Advertisement

What are the ingredients used in moisturizers?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

Moisturizers use two types of hydrating ingredients: humectants, which attract water molecules to the skin, and emollients, which seal that moisture on top by forming an occlusive protective barrier. There are usually plenty of both in a single moisturizer, and many humectant and emollient substances are multitaskers used to make the vehicle more effective. Their primary function may be to make the lotion creamier or better able to glide onto the skin, but they also have a secondary hydrating benefit.

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

More About this Book

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

Continue Learning about Moisturizer Ingredients

What do emollients do?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Emollients moisturize your skin directly, instead of just attracting moisture to your skin like hume...
More Answers
What are the common emollients used in skin care products?
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MDDr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Emollients are ingredients that soften skin and seal in moisture, creating an occlusive, protective ...
More Answers
Why is it important to have a humectant in a moisturizer?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
The purpose of a humectant is to draw in and hold onto moisture. Some of the most commonly used hume...
More Answers
What do dry emollients do?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Dry emollients, such as isostearyl alcohol, absorb quickly into the skin. They do not provide much s...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.