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Ingredient: Emollients

When deciding on a skin care moisturizer, an emollient is the third in the trifecta of skin care ingredients - along with occlusives & humectants. Each of these ingredient types has a different action when it comes to moisturizing your skin. Most skin care products use a combination of them to create a synergistic effect.

An emollient softens dry, rough, flakey skin, making it look and feel better. When the top layer of your skin doesn't contain enough water, it dries out. This causes skin to crack and flake off, leaving open spaces between the cells in your skin. Emollients fill those spaces with fatty substances, called lipids, which make your skin smoother and softer.

Emollients help soothe dry skin and work well on individuals with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Oil-based emollients are heavier in texture and leave a slightly greasy sheen on skin, which makes them ideal for very dry skin. Water-based emollients don't leave a greasy residue, making them more suitable for normal to oily skin types.

Examples of emollients:

  • Aloe vera
  • Shea butter
  • Lauric acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Oleic acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Triethylhexanoin
  • Ceramides.
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