Dry skin is something that many of us suffer from as it can occur at any age and any time of the year. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one of the recommended ways to prevent and treat dry skin is by regularly applying moisturizing products that can soften and smoothen the skin. With so many products available on the market, it’s important to know what ingredients to look out for and to avoid any synthetic chemicals that may cause dry skin to worsen.
What is a Humectant?
As medical doctor Heather Brannon explains, humectants are the main ingredients found in moisturizing skin care products. These help to hydrate the skin by attracting water to the site of application and locking in moisture.
Humectants attract water molecules from the air as well as moisture from the inner layers of the skin into the outermost layer, known as the epidermis. This extra kick of moisture in the epidermis helps to repair dry skin by adding some well-needed hydration.
Synthetic humectants, such as Butylene Glycol and Sorbitol, are more commonly found in skincare products, as they are generally cheaper to produce than natural humectants. Although they do provide moisture to the skin in the short-term, they may cause the skin to dry out in the long-term. Instead, look out for products that contain natural humectants such as Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe and Vegetable Glycerin. These not only help to attract moisture to the surface of the skin but also contain skin-loving nutrients for extra nourishment.
Although its name might suggest otherwise, Hyaluronic Acid is able to naturally hydrate, smoothen and revitalize the skin. Hyaluronic Acid is a natural molecule that is normally found in the body to help keep your joints and eyes hydrated, whilst keeping your skin looking young. In fact, babies are born with high levels of hyaluronic acid, which is the reason why their skin feels so soft and supple.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural humectant that is used in many skincare products due to its antioxidant properties and its impressive ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. It is readily absorbed into the dry skin and helps to get rid of any dehydration and dullness in the skin cells. As well as being great for dry skin, it’s also a great ingredient to look out for in anti-aging products that are designed to rejuvenate the skin.
Aloe is a natural humectant that is easily absorbed and is able to moisturize even the deepest layers of the skin on the face and body without making it feel greasy. Due to its gentle properties, aloe is great for hydrating dry skin that is also sensitive.
Because of its nutritional, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, aloe can also be used on sunburnt skin to help speed up the healing process and on acne to heal the skin naturally and with minimal scarring.
There are both synthetic and natural forms of glycerin. However, the natural form glycerin, known as vegetable glycerin or glycerol, is derived from plant-based oils, and is a wonderful ingredient for keeping the skin soft, as it continues to work even after it has been rinsed off. Glycerol is colorless, odorless and very gentle on the skin, making it safe for sensitive skin. It’s non-toxic properties also make it safe to use on children or babies.
Meiling Skincare’s natural soaps contain a high concentration of vegetable glycerin and other natural humectants to ensure that your skin is kept feeling soft and nourished with every use.
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