Humectants are a key ingredient in moisturizers and cleansers. They benefit the skin by:
- Attracting water from the dermis into the epidermis, increasing the water content in the epidermis
- When humidity is higher than 70 percent, humectants can also attract water from the atmosphere into the epidermis
- Increasing the pliability and flexibility of the skin, preventing it from cracking
- Promoting consistent desquamation (shedding of the outer layer of skin) by degrading the corneodesmosomes that hold skin cells together
- Reducing skin irritation caused by dry skin
- Preventing outside chemicals from contacting the dermis.
Del Rosso, James. "Cosmeceutical Moisturizers." Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology - Cosmeceuticals. Ed. Zoe Diana Draelos. Elsevier, 2005. 99-102.
Johnson, Anthony. "The Skin Moisturizer Marketplace." Skin Moisturization. Ed. James J. Leyden and Anthony V. Rawlings. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2002. 7-16.
Rawlings, Anthony, et al. "Humectants." Skin Moisturization. Ed. James J. Leyden and Anthony V. Rawlings. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2002. 248-257.
Pronunciation: hyoo-MEK-tent - (noun)