What is a Humectant?

Humectants are a key ingredient in many products, but what exactly are they and how do they work? Let's dive into the world of humectants to uncover their benefits for your skin.

A humectant is a type of skincare ingredient that has the ability to attract and retain moisture from the air, helping to hydrate the skin. They work by drawing moisture from the environment into the outer layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum. This process helps to keep the skin hydrated, plump, and healthy-looking. Humectants also have the ability to improve the skin's barrier function, reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL), prevent dryness and reactivity along with calming inflamed skin.

When we use products formulated with a humectant, this ingredient provides a range of benefits for skin including improved texture, tone and moisture retention along with a more supple appearance. Humectants can especially beneficial for those with dry or dehydrated skin because they work to restore the balance.

While humectants are generally safe and effective for most skin types and tendencies, there are some potential drawbacks to be aware of. In very dry or low-humidity environments, humectants may actually draw moisture from the deeper layers of the skin, leading to increased dryness both topically and dermally. To prevent this, it's important to either follow up with a product that has occlusive ingredients, such as lipids, emulsifiers or waxes, or to use a humectant and occlusive-based product to help seal in moisture and prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL). This means that humectants are even more beneficial when used in conjunction with lipid-based products.

While there are many different types of humectants on the market, the ones commonly found in skincare products include glycerin, honey, hyaluronic acid, hydrosol, propylene glycol, aloe vera and sorbitol.

As a brand we formulate with both organic humectants and occlusive ingredients which hydrate skin while providing a barrier against moisture loss. This is just one of the reasons why our products feel comfortable on skin regardless of the climate or humidity level. If we took a deep dive into the ingredients we formulate with, we include organic humectants in the following formulations:

  • Glycerin | Lavender & Primrose Moisturizer, Chamomile Infused Moisturizer, Rosemary & Mint Moisturizer, Coconut & Lavender Baby Moisturizer, Lemon Mint Moisturizer, Cypress & Clary Sage Moisturizer, Vanilla Mint Moisturizer, Juniper Berry & Lavender Shaving Oil, Sweet Orange & Rose Facial Toner
  • Honey | Daily Face Polish
  • Aloe | Lavender & Neroli Hand Sanitizer
  • Sugar | Lavender Sugar Scrub, Rosemary Mint Sugar Scrub, Bergamot & Coriander Sugar Scrub, Lavender & Rosemary Sugar Scrub, Hepburn Facial Mask
  • Hibiscus ExtractLavender & Neroli Hand Sanitizer
  • Neroli HydrosolLavender & Neroli Hand Sanitizer
  • Rose Hydrosol | Sweet Orange & Rose Facial Toner
  • Trehalose | Daily Face Polish

The following organic ingredients have humectant properties, pulling moisture into skin, but are not true humectants by definition:

  • Oats | Chamomile & Oats Clay Facial Mask
  • Witch Hazel | Sweet Orange & Rose Facial Toner, Lavender Aromatherapy & Pillow Mist, Lemongrass & Coriander Aromatherapy Mist, Sweet Orange & Clove Aromatherapy Mist, Eucalyptus & Peppermint Aromatherapy Mist
  • Castor Seed Oil | Bay, Frankincense & Lavender Beard Oil, Sweet Orange & Rosemary Cleansing Milk

Overall, incorporating products with humectants into your skincare routine can help to keep your skin hydrated, healthy, and glowing. Whether you're dealing with dryness, fine lines, or dullness, humectants can be a valuable addition to your routine.