Have you ever wondered what are the most common skincare ingredients that you can come across in your facial moisturizer? If the answer is yes, then read on.
Today you’ll learn what is a humectant, some good examples of humectants and what are emollients. With all this information, you’ll know how to get rid of dry flaky skin on face instantly. And by the way, did you know that insufficient skin hydration could also be a reason for enlarged pores and oily skin?
Now, let’s find out what are the most common skincare ingredients you should have in your everyday skincare routine to get the glowy skin.
The most common skincare ingredients #1: Humectants
What are humectants for skin?
To make a long story short – humectants are the way how to hydrate skin.
You may know it – dry flaking skin on the face, skin feeling tight, rough textured skin and uneven skin tone on face.
Nothing pleasant, right? And here comes our humectants. Humectants are common moisturizing agents found in your hydrating face cream, hydrating face serum and even in your cleansing milk for face.
Think of them as magnets that attract moisture from the air into the stratum corneum (the upper layer of your skin).
Humectants can prevent or solve this unpleasant dry flaking skin, skin feeling tight, rough textured skin and uneven skin tone on face.
My tip for healthy skin – never replace your hydrating face cream with facial oils. Facial oils won’t give the skin the necessary hydration. You’ll find out why in a while.
Most common examples of humectants
- aloe vera gel
- lactic acid (alpha-hydroxy acid)
- hyaluronic acid
From the whole list of humectants I’ve chosen ceramides, urea and hyaluronic acid as they are currently the most common skincare ingredients on the market. In terms of glycerine, you can find it almost in every product, and so I thought you should get to know it better, too.
What does glycerine do for the skin?
Glycerine is one of the most effective humectants suitable for all skin types.
Glycerine helps protect the skin from external stressors and strengthens the important skin barrier. A healthy skin barrier is better able to retain moisture in the skin, and thus stays hydrated and supple for longer.
Glycerine in higher concentrations is suitable for those who suffer from eczema. It will also help heal small wounds. However, you shouldn’t use undiluted pure glycerine, as this could be irritating to the skin.
It is a cheap humectant that is easy to obtain. It may be the reason why you can find it in so many products. The next time you read the INCI list of one of your products in a drugstore or on the internet, try to have a look if it contains glycerine.
What do ceramides do for the skin?
Ceramides currently belong to the hot active ingredients in cosmetics. These humectants are naturally found in skin cells and make up about 50% of the outer layer of skin.
Various factors reduce their amount in the skin. Whether it’s ageing, dermatitis or not washing the face the right way.
Ceramides strengthen the skin barrier. Thanks to that, your skin will be able to retain moisture. Itchy dry skin and rough textured skin will be gone and your face will be nice and glowy again.
Urea for skin
So why to use urea for skin? Like other humectants, urea can regulate moisture of skin, improve skin elasticity and relieve dry flaking skin.
It also works as a gentle exfoliant and thanks to that, other active ingredients in skincare penetrate deeper into the skin.
Those with patches of itchy dry skin on face lacking elasticity and skin suffering from atopic eczema will tolerate urea in a concentrations upto 10%.
Urea in cosmetics in a concentration of upto 30% has stronger exfoliating abilities, which increases the risk of skin irritation. In such high amount, it is more suitable for the body and especially for dry cracked feet.
What does hyaluronic acid do for the skin
Its most commonly used derivative is sodium hyaluronate. This type of derivative can penetrate even deeper into the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant suitable for every skin type, but you need to know how to use hyaluronic acid so that your skin does not dry out even more.
How to use hyaluronic acid on skin
My tip for healthy skin – always apply hyaluronic acid serum to damp skin. This means that you can refresh your skin with flower or thermal water, for example, and only then apply hyaluronic acid serum. Otherwise, your skin won’t be hydrated and supple, but dry and irritated instead.
And what are the other benefits of hyaluronic acid? In addition to acting as a humectant for skin, it is also often used in products for mature skin to slow down the wrinkles formation.
Hyaluronic acid smoothes fine lines and brightens the skin. It’s simply the way how to get healthy glowing skin naturally.
The most common skincare ingredients #2: Emollients
What are emollients in skin care
Do you remember the sentence “Facial oils won’t give the skin the necessary hydration“? So here is the explanation. Emollients are mostly plant oils for skin. And plant oils don’t act as water magnets mentioned above.
Emollients are the skincare ingredients that leave your skin so soft and smooth at the first glance. They do this by filling the upper cells of the skin. Emollients are simply the way how to get super soft skin on your face naturally.
But! First you need to apply the products containing some humectant ingredients.
Emollients are usually full of antioxidants and fatty acids, and so they are really amazing at supporting the skin elasticity and soothing any irritations. Their ability to lubricate is especially helpful for dry flaking skin and dry sensitive skin.
How to choose facial oil for oily acne prone skin
But that doesn’t necessarily mean oily skin type should avoid the great benefits of emollients. All you need to do, is look for the right plant oils for oily skin type.
Plant oils for skin with a high content of oleic acid can create an oily layer and oily acne prone skin doesn’t really need this. On the other hand, this oily layer can be beneficial for dry patches on skin.
If you have rather an oily skin type, choose plant oils for skin that contain a higher percentage of linoleic acid. These plant oils are usually absorbed faster, so they don’t create this oily layer on the skin.
Emollients make up 5 – 30% in emulsions. An emulsion is a product that contains both water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients. These are, for example, your facial moisturizer, serums and make-up removers.
The amount and choice of emollient hugely affects the sensory properties of the final product.
Natural plant oils for skin
Plant oils for oily skin prone to acne
- Sunflower oil
- Jojoba oil
- Rosehip oil
- Grape seed oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Almond oil
Plant oils for itchy dry skin
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Argan oil
- Evening primrose oil
- Avocado oil
- Moringa oil
- Macadamia oil
Benefits of jojoba oil for skin
Jojoba oil is one of the natural oils for every skin type. It is a very light carrier oil that is quickly absorbed and gives you the naturally super soft skin.
Our natural sebum is very similar to the composition of jojoba oil. Therefore, it is one of the great natural plant oils both for oily acne prone skin and dry flaking skin lacking natural glow.
I used it myself when I got a pimple or two (or three) and it did help me a lot to reduce the inflammation. Overall, the skin looked much happier.
Most common examples of emollients
- plant oils
- mineral oil
- butyl stearate
- glycol laurate
- caprylic / capric triglyceride
- fatty alcohols
The most common skincare ingredients #3: Occlusives
What are occlusives in skincare
Among common skincare ingredients fall also occlusives. Occlusives in skincare have basically two functions.
Firstly, they act as a barrier that keeps water sealed inside your skin. Secondly, they protect the skin from external environments, such as wind and cold weather.
By creating a thin layer on the skin, moisture is locked inside, which reduces any irritation and skin itching. It also gives you the glowy healthier skin by restoring the skin’s barrier.
What falls into occlusive ingredients
Some most common occlusive ingredients in skincare that you’ve surely come across are:
- cocoa butter
- mango butter
- squalane oil
- mineral oil
- cetyl alcohol
- candelilla wax
- carnauba waxe
Which group of these most common skincare ingredients is the most important?
All of these most common skincare ingredients are important. It’s because each of them has its own function and at the same time complements each other.
Just to summarize – every skin type needs occlusives, emollients and humectants. Humectant will hydrate the skin, emollient will make it nice and smooth and occlusives will seal all the moisture inside.
The only difference will be in a choice of plant oils for skin depending on your skin type.
Dry flaking skin will fall in love with thicker, longer plant oils for skin. Oily acne prone skin will, on the other hand, benefit from lighter short plant oils for skin.
Have you ever wondered why cosmetic manufacturers add preservatives to their products? Learn what function preservatives in cosmetics have and whether or not it is safe to avoid them.
That’s all for this article. I hope it helped you become more familiar with some most common skincare ingredients. If you enjoyed reading, leave me a comment below.
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