What Are Humectants and Why Do They Matter in Skin Care?


What Are Humectants and Why Do They Matter in Skin Care?

July 14, 2022

If you're like most people, you probably don't think about the ingredients in your skincare products. But, the truth is, these ingredients matter! If you really want to find the right one for your skin, then you need to know which ingredients will benefit you most. You don't want to waste your time and money on a product that will not give you the results you're looking for. In this blog post, we will shed some light on one common ingredient, humectants, and why they are important in skin care.

What Are Humectants?

Humectants are hygroscopic molecules that attract and retain water, either from the air or deep within the skin. You'll find them in three main forms: synthetic, naturally derived, and natural or unchanged.

Why Do Humectants Matter in Skin Care?

Humectants are important in skin care because they can help to keep the skin hydrated. When the skin is properly hydrated, it looks and feels softer, smoother, and more youthful. Additionally, hydrated skin is better able to protect itself against environmental stressors, like pollution and UV radiation. This is because hydrated skin has a higher level of natural oils, which act as a barrier against these harmful agents.

What Are the Different Types of Humectants?

There are many different types of humectants, but some of the most common include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and urea. Let's take a closer look at these below.


Glycerin, or glycerol, is a natural compound that often comes from animal fats or vegetable oils. It's a clear, odourless liquid that has a sweet taste, and a great ability to attract and retain water.

Not only is glycerin an effective humectant, but it's also non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores. This makes it especially ideal for those with acne-prone skin. You'll most commonly find it in products like moisturizers and serums.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is found naturally in the body. It has many important jobs, including cushioning and lubricating joints, helping to heal wounds, and, of course, keeping the skin hydrated. Hyaluronic acid is found in all sorts of skincare-related products, including dermal fillers, serums, and moisturizers.


Urea is another substance that can be found in our bodies. Like hyaluronic acid, it plays a large role in helping to keep the skin moisturized. While you may not see urea listed as an ingredient in many skincare products, it's often included in formulations that are meant to treat dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. This is because urea is also an effective keratolytic, meaning it helps to break down and remove dead skin cells. This makes it especially beneficial for those with rough, dry skin.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, humectants are important in skin care because they help keep the skin hydrated. If you're looking for a product that will help to improve the appearance of your skin, then make sure to look for one that contains ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or urea. These ingredients will help to keep your skin looking and feeling its best!

Need some help improving the appearance of your skin? Contact Lyft Medical Aesthetics today to see how we can help!