Swimming in skincare terminology? Don’t worry, here’s everything you need to know about humectants and emollients; my hard-to-spell, hard-working ingredient types you can hard-ly miss if your skin barrier needs a helping hand. 

What is a humectant?

Humectants are like moisture magnets, attracting water from your environment and binding it to your skin. They excel at hydrating your skin from within, helping to plump it up and restore that coveted dewy glow. Think of them as the hydrating heroes that quench your skin’s thirst.

Humectant power moves include: 

  • Juicier, hydrated skin
  • Helping to bust breakouts 
  • Balancing oil production 

What are some humectant ingredients?

Hyaluronic acid: A tall glass of water for your skin. 

Glycerin: A sweet hydration magnet. 

Aloe: The stuff you spritz on when you get sunburnt.

What is an emollient?

These clever ingredients are masters of sealing the deal. They form a protective barrier on your skin’s surface to lock in all the goodness brought by those friendly humectants, ensuring long-lasting hydration, and shielding your skin from external aggressors. 

Emollient power moves include: 

  • Increased skin softness and smoothness
  • More hydration
  • Greater skin flexibility  

What are some emollient ingredients?

Ceramides: Fatty acids focused on keeping you juicy.

Niacinamide: Oil balancing, soothes irritation and redness.

How do humectants and emollients work together?

Humectants and emollients are a match made in hydration heaven, working together to give your skin the ultimate moisture boost. When they team up, the humectants draw in moisture, while emollients seal it in, working together to provide intense hydration and maintain that coveted moisture balance. When your skin needs a thirst trap, reach for this skin-plumping power couple in my Hyaluronic Acid Body Serum. Then try my Perky Sculpting Body Hydrator for an extra hydration hit.

When does my skin need humectants and emollients? 

  • Whenever your skin needs moisture. If your skin feels parched, tight, or lacks bounce, it’s screaming for humectants and emollients.
  • Experiencing extreme temperatures? Your skin should be experiencing some extreme hydration to keep it happy. Humectants and emollients keep your skin hydrated in hot, dry climates, and shield it from moisture loss in cold, dry conditions.
  • Post-cleanse. Whilst cleansing is essential, you can strip away natural oils, resulting in dry, tight skin that needs a hit of moisture.
  • When it’s bedtime. Your skin rejuvenates while you sleep, and that’s when humectants and emollients can work wonders.
  • When you’re experiencing dry patches, uneven tone, irritation, or even acne anywhere on your body. These are good signs your skin barrier is damaged. When your skin barrier is damaged, products rich in humectants and emollients can help heal and strengthen.

And that’s everything you need to know about my hydration power couple. The next step? Trying it for yourself.