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Why do moisturizers use both humectants and occlusives?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Moisturizers use humectant ingredients, such as glycerin, to draw water from the surrounding environment and lock it in. Humectants also help to hold onto water that is applied directly to the skin. Moisturizers will also incorporate oily substances called occlusives, such as petrolatum, in their formulations to boost skin' s ability to hold onto moisture by creating a film over the skin' s surface to trap water in. This film smoothes the skin and also creates a barrier that helps to prevent moisture loss.

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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.