Skin requires moisturizer throughout the day to keep it moist, nourished & protect it from pollution. If not skin tends to become dry, flaky, itchy, dull & with time it looks prematurely aged.
It is the substance, in the form of lotion or cream, that provides moisture to the skin. Skin is exposed to the environment because of which it loses moisture from time to time. Moisturizer fulfills this loss.
What are main substances used in a Moisturizer?
Generally moisturizer is a mixture of different natural & chemical substances. But the main constituents are the substances that actually provides moisture or retain skin moisture are called “Humectants” & “Emollients.” Every moisturizer contains one or more of these substances.
What are Humectants
Humectants are the substances that maintains the moisture in the skin by attracting water to the upper layer of the skin or from the environment. Some commonly found humectants are Honey & Glycerin.
A sweet substance produced by bees by collecting floral nectar of plants. Honey is produced by enzymatic activity. It bonds with water molecules to increase the water content in the skin .
Honey is also a good antioxidant, which nourishes the skin, making it look younger & bright. It is the most inexpensive yet most effective for skin. Honey also helps in cleaning pores & lighten scar marks.
Glycerin is colorless, odorless liquid. It prevents skin from dryness.
Glycerin draws up moisture through the skin layer & slows drying of skin. This helps to get ride of dead cells, keeping the skin moisturized & feel softer.
Glycerin is yet another inexpensive substance.
What are Emollient
Emollients are the substances that provides a layer of protection that helps prevent moisture loss from the skin. E.g. Cocoa Butter & Shea Butter.
An anciently used substance for skin. It is high in fatty acid which acts as an protective barrier over the skin to hold in moisture. It is a pale yellow, vegetable fat extracted from cocoa bean.
Cocoa butter has melting point just below human body temperature. So has good emollient properties. It is found in many lotions & cream. The natural fragrance also makes it more likable.
It is rich in phytochemicals. Acts as anti ageing by protecting against harmful UV rays. It also heals eczema.
An excellent emollient for dry skin. Used as sunblock in lotions, as it have limited capacity to absorb ultra violet radiation. Like cocoa butter, also melts at body temperature.
It is rapidly absorbed into the skin.
Shea butter also has healing effect on skin. It nourishes the skin with vitamin A & E. Prevents premature wrinkles.
In short it has good moisturizing, anti ageing, healing & protecting properties making it highly useful in cosmetics.