Science Behind Everyone’s Favourite Skincare Product

Even if your skincare shelves are sparse, you probably have a container of moisturizer. It might not sound like anything special (buzzy charm trends and also exotic treatments certainly obtain more buzz), but moisturizer is probably the most popular cosmetic product on the planet.

Available in hundreds of hundreds of iterations (and equally as many different cost factors), much of us don’t even understand where to start when it pertains to selecting the right moisturizer.

So what’s the trick to arranging via the masses? Scientific research! Knowing exactly how to pick the best cream for your skin comes down to these three primary moisturizing agents: humectants, moisturizers, and occlusives.


Humectants are generally used in moisturizers to help with hydration. They function by drawing water from the much deeper layers of your skin into the leading layer (called the stratum corneum). This is essential, since the outer layer of skin is mostly composed of dead skin cells, which have a tendency to look dry or plain without proper hydration.

By preventing water loss and keeping skin hydrated, humectants assist keep skin from flaking, cracking and chafing. The even more dampness your outermost skin cells have, the plumper, firmer, as well as younger your skin will certainly look.


Every person! No matter your skin kind, these ingredients are key for moisturized, healthy skin.


Humectants are used in tons of personal care products (think: cleansers, face creams, lip balms, frizz lotions, and soaps). Some are derived from nature (all-natural humectants) and some are synthetic (artificial humectants).

Remember the term humectant isn’t normally printed on item tags, so you’ll intend to look for certain humectant ingredients. Below are some preferred instances:

All-natural Humectants: hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, alpha hydroxy acids (i.e. glycolic as well as lactic acid), honey as well as seaweed.

Artificial Humectants: glycerin (or glycerol), propylene glycol, butylene glycol, sorbitol, and urea.


Moisturizers are skin-loving components that assist skin stay soft, smooth, as well as flexible. Unlike humectants, emollients don’t affect the water material in your skin cells.

They aid to repair fractures in the skin obstacle by loading spaces between cells and also skin flakes with fatty substances called lipids.

Moisturizers are terrific for repairing skin damage, so they are often located in anti-aging items. They also help repair damage brought on by sunlight direct exposure, ecological stressors, and extreme items.


Emollients benefit many skin types, with the one exception being skin that is normally very oily. Some emollient items (specifically thick, oil-rich solutions) can be as well heavy as well as lead to clogged up pores and breakouts.

Emollients are useful for any person taking care of common dry skin, and also can be especially valuable in managing problems like dermatitis and also psoriasis, as they can minimize skin itchiness and scaling.


Lanolin, mineral oil, ceramides, dimethicone, coconut oil as well as other plant-based oils.


Occlusives are moisturizing agents that develop a safety barrier on the skin to avoid the loss of dampness. They seal every little thing in, consisting of humectants and also moisturizers, to help lock in hydration and also keep skin soft throughout the day.

Occlusives also safeguard the skin from external toxic irritants, so the overall result is kept skin moisture, lowered irritation and also enhanced skin obstacle feature.


Occlusives frequently have a thick, hefty consistency, which makes them a prominent pick for extremely dry skin. They are much more typically discovered in body lotions as well as lotions than facial creams (which commonly favor humectants as well as moisturizers).


Shea butter, colloidal oat meal, petroleum jelly, beeswax and also paraffin wax.


Take a look at the ingredient list on your cream and also you’ll likely see water provided as the very first active ingredient (if not initially, it’s generally in the top 3). Why?

There are a couple of factors water is usually provided as the key ingredient in your skincare items (even the pricey ones!):.

Water works as a natural solvent. That means it assists liquify and provide the remainder of the components in the formula to your skin for efficient results.
Water is often used to emulsify oils (creating that smooth, luxurious appearance you enjoy). These are occasionally referred to as oil-in-water emulsions or water-in-oil emulsions, depending upon the ratio.
It’s cheap! Water is in some cases called an affordable filler (often rightly so), however it can also offer the wetness you need for a healthy skin.
Some skincare components are hydrophilic, implying they’re most effective when mixed with water.
Water is an excellent base for skincare products because it’s hypoallergenic, normally unscented, as well as not likely to cause a damaging response.