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What Is a Humectant?

marzo 20, 2020

Sure, you know that using a moisturizer is important for caring for dry skin, but do you know what goes into your moisturizer in order to keep your skin hydrated in the first place? If you’re ready for a little skin care lesson, perhaps you’d like to learn more about humectants, a common ingredient found in moisturizers, creams, and lotions. Below, we’re sharing everything you need to know about humectants—including what they are in the first place. Ready to expand your knowledge? Let’s get to it!


A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) defines humectants as compounds that attract and bind water. They can help hydrate the skin by drawing water from the deeper epidermis and dermis (layers of your skin) or from the air if the humidity is greater than 75%.


As you can probably guess, humectants benefit the skin by providing hydration. The NCBI study explains that when a moisturizer contains humectants, the water content of the skin more rapidly increases. Pretty cool, huh?


Curious as to what common humectants may be in some of your favorite skin care products? A study from the Indian Journal of Dermatology lists glycerin, alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, gelatin, and honey as humectants you might already be familiar with.


We touched on popular humectants you may have seen on the labels of your go-to skin care products, but perhaps you’d like some new recs. Read on for eight products containing humectants that are worth adding to your dry skin routine.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30: This anti-aging cream is formulated with hyaluronic acid, along with Pro-Retinol, vitamin C, and SPF 30. The moisturizer helps reduce wrinkles, firm and brighten, and leave skin feeling soft and smooth.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum: This daily serum is formulated with 10% pure glycolic acid and helps resurface, even skin tone, and reduce dark spots and wrinkles. It’s also blended with aloe and can provide soothing benefits.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum: Formulated with 1.5% pure hyaluronic acid, this serum absorbs quickly to replenish hydration immediately and visibly reduce wrinkles for visibly plumped, youthful-looking skin.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Moisturizer Fragrance Free: This moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid, Pro-Retinol, and vitamin C. The formula works to reduce wrinkles, firm and brighten skin, and leave it feeling softer, smoother, and plumped with hydration.

L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm - Face, Neck, Chest and Hands: Formulated with manuka honey extract, this moisturizing balm absorbs quickly to relieve mature, very dry skin on the face, neck, chest, and hands—even on the go. The formula wraps skin in soothing moisture to soften skin that feels tight and uncomfortable, leaving it looking more youthful with a healthy glow.

L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin: This water-based moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid and aloe water. It’s formulated to offer lightweight hydration, breaking into water upon contact with skin to deliver instant hydration that glides on easily for quick absorption.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30: This moisturizer contains glycolic acid, vitamin C, Pro-Retinol, and SPF 30. The formula helps reveal brighter skin, correct uneven skin tone, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Dual Overnight Moisturizer: This anti-aging night moisturizer has a safe, yet effective formula featuring vitamin C and Pro-Retinol and an exfoliating concentrate with glycolic acid. The dual treatment targets the appearance of wrinkles and uneven tone to reveal brighter, more radiant skin.

Now that you’re familiar with humectants and the skin care benefits they provide, perhaps you’re ready to learn even more about skin. Next, read our article, Gommage Is the Exfoliation Method You Didn't Know You Needed.

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