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.
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