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I frequently get asked from my clients the secret to obtaining plump, hydrated and glowing skin. It’s simple…..MOISTURE! And what is the best way to ensure your skin has the moisture it needs? HUMECTANTS!
What are humectants?
Humectants are ingredients that attract moisture to your skin, almost like a magnet. Since our skin cells are mostly made up of water, you can imagine how vital it is to not only replenish water to our skin cells, but also help the skin to retain that moisture.
Because humectants have a magnetic pull, the type of climate you are in can also make a big difference in how you use your humectant. If you live in a humid climate, it is much easier to help replenish and retain moisture in the skin since a humectant on the skin will pull the moisture from the humidity in the air. This is why a humid climate is the skin’s best friend and using a humectant ensures you get the most benefit from your skin-friendly environment.
On the other hand, if you live in a desert/dry climate, a humectant on the skin can actually pull moisture from the skin and evaporate leaving the skin even more dry. This reaction is called trans epidermal water loss (or TEWL, for short). Therefore, the key to using humectants in a dry climate is to trap the moisture in the skin before it can evaporate.
Here’s two quick tips on how to ensure you trap and hold as much moisture as possible:
Are humectants only for dry skin?
While it may seem like humectants are best for dry skin types, they actually are essential for all skin types including oily skin.
Our skin type is something we are born with and is in reference to how much oil our skin naturally produces. Of course, dry skin types that produce little to no oil production also tend to become easily dehydrated. Therefore, humectants are essential to draw moisture to the skin. This step is frequently overlooked and many with dry skin become confused as they will slather layers and layers of creams on the skin, but they still feel very tight and dry. Using a humectant as a first step is a crucial part to properly moisturize your skin.
The beauty of our oil production is that its our skin’s natural lubricant which will assist in holding moisture. However, our oil production has zero to do with moisture in the skin, therefore, even the oiliest of skin types can benefit from humectants too! This is especially true if your skin has ever felt super oily, but still tight, dry and flaky. This imbalance of oily, dehydrated skin can become a vicious cycle. When the skin is water dry, or dehydrated, the oil glands will go into hyperdrive producing even more oil to try to compensate for the dehydration. Of course, since the skin was not lacking oil moisture, the extra efforts the oil glands put forth do not resolve the tight, dry flaky situation. Therefore, humectants are essential to balance oily skin types. Lastly, humectants can also help to regulate the oil production since the oil glands will take note of the moisture in the skin and not feel pressured to produce as much oil. So, in a way, humectants do help with oil control!
What are the best humectants to use?
While hyaluronic acid is the trendiest humectant, there are many humectants that do an amazing job at hydrating the skin Emme Diane products contain so many different humectants to ensure you are giving the skin adequate moisture support. Our two most popular humectants are:
Skin Quencher Gel which contains:
Aloe Vera: deeply hydrating and provides the skin with anti-inflammatory properties
Glycerin: the gold standard of humectants, glycerin not only attracts moisture like a magnet, but also supports cell regeneration leading to softer, healthier skin
Sodium PCA: an amino acid found naturally on human skin that is incredibly powerful at binding moisture to the skin
Hyaluronic Acid: has the ability to hold 1000x’s its weight in moisture, but it is also a postbiotic which helps rebuild the unique microbiome of the skin
Dew Drops Hydrating Serum which contains:
Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid, as explained above
Sorbitol: helping to retain moisture in the skin, sorbitol also acts as a prebiotic to maintain and protect the skin’s healthy microbiome
Caprylyl Glycol: an amazing humectant but also provides antibacterial and preservative-like properties extending the shelf life of your serum
Using humectants in combination with a customized skin regimen will result in properly hydrated, plump and more youthful looking skin!
To see what humectant is right for you, start with my free Online Skincare Consultation.
How would you use a humectant in conjunction with vit C in morning and retinol in the evening?