Humectants are water-loving ingredients that draw moisture into the stratum corneum, the top layer of skin, whether through the environment or through the deeper layer of skin. In face and body skincare, humectants are typically used in leave-on hydrating products like serums, lotions, and creams.

Trends come and go, but healthy, glowing skin is one thing that will never go out of style. Humectants, for example, are a type of humectant that can help you reach this goal. A humectant is a moisturizing agent commonly found in hair and skincare products. Humectants are known for their capacity to retain moisture while maintaining the overall qualities of the product in question, and you’re probably more familiar with them than you realize. So, what precisely should you be aware of when it comes to humectants?   


The What   


A humectant is a chemical that helps to keep the skin moist. It’s typically found in serums, lotions, and creams for the face and body. It’s a moisturizer that helps attract moisture to the skin’s surface and keeps it there so the skin doesn’t dry up as rapidly.   


Humectants come in various forms, but they all serve the same objective as skin hydrators. Some humectants are derived from natural sources, such as honey and aloe vera, while others, such as glycerin and propylene glycol, are synthesized from other sources. Hyaluronic acid and collagen-boosting qualities, both of which are widely present in our daily skincare, are examples of humectants


The Why  


Humectants are designed to operate like a sponge and draw water. They can hold up to 100–1000 times their body weight in liquid.   


Keeps the outside world out: Occlusive humans operate to seal off the gaps in the skin. Humectants can aid in the dissolution of active ingredients and the preservation of products. Urea, a humectant, can also be used as a keratolytic. It works well on dry, rough skin, such as the heels.   


Exfoliates: Humectants can act as exfoliators, removing dead skin cells and balancing moisture levels in the skin. That’s why humectants are used to relax and calm irritated skin. By “plumping” the top layer of your skin, humectants can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 


Click here to check out our list of best humectant moisturizer to give your skin a radiant glow.