Main Moisturizer Ingredients

Moisturizers include emollients that smooth and soften the skin. While there are hundreds of ingredients used to hydrate the skin, these are the five most commonly used ones.

Glycerin: In addition to providing hydration, glycerin forms a barrier on the skin's surface. This property allows it to glide on smoothly, but it can clog pores in high concentrations.

Hyaluronic acid: This molecule can hold 1,000 times its own weight in water, making it the ultimate hydrator. It also helps draw active ingredients deeper into the skin and may be called a cyclic acid.

Shea butter: Widely used as a moisturizing ingredient, shea butter is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties as well.

Sodium hyaluronate: Closely related to hyaluronic acid, this water-binding ingredient works to moisturize the skin. Like hyaluronic acid, it can hold more than 1,000 times its own weight in water.

Vitamin E: In addition to its antioxidant properties, nourishing vitamin E is a good moisturizer because it's oil-soluble.