HUMECTANTS - INTENSE HYDRATION
A humectant is an ingredient that binds water and can donate it to the skin. If this moisture is sealed with a final lipid layer, the water evaporates less quickly and the skin remains hydrated.
Hyaluronic acid and glycerin are among the best-known humectants and are found in a number of skin care products. They are very water-loving and provide intensive moisture.
Learn more about a mild and effective routine with intensive moisturizers and oil-based care. Find out what exactly moisturizers are and what properties and functions they have.
MOISTURE & HYDRATION FOR YOUR SKIN
When it comes to dry skin and hair, moisture loss is often the cause. One way you can help your skin retain more moisture is by using products with humectants.
Humectants keep the skin healthy and elastic, prevent the premature formation of wrinkles and strengthen the natural skin barrier. After all, this barrier function is the most important task of the skin, it protects the organism from dehydration and harmful external influences.
In our article about the skin protection barrier, you can learn more about its structure, function and care tips for your lipid barrier.
Moisturizing is an important part of daily skin care, especially in cases of epidermal barrier changes and decreased epidermal water content. It is an important component in maintaining skin health and treating various symptoms associated with skin dryness and associated with impaired skin barrier function, such as atopic diseases and other types of dermatitis.
Essential moisturizing care is composed of at least one or all of the following three options:
Humectants, or moisturizers, consist of hygroscopic substances that help the stratum corneum absorb water by drawing water from the dermis and a moist environment into the epidermis.
Emollients consist mostly of lipids and their components, which fill the gaps in the intercorneocytes, improving hydration, smoothness, softness and flexibility of the skin.
Occlusive agents are mostly based on oils and have the function of maintaining the water content of the skin by forming a hydrophobic barrier over the skin and preventing excessive transepidermal water loss.
The effectiveness of moisturizers depends largely on proper selection and adherence to continuous application.
Skin moisturization via skin care acts in the outermost layer of the skin in interaction with a complex system of lipid and protein structures. Actually, our Skin own humectants whose building blocks are constantly replicated by the process of cell regeneration.
Some factors, which are mostly due to environmental influences or habits, can lead to an excessive withdrawal of moisture. These include, for example, intensive sunbathing and excessive bathing in high water temperatures, but also influences such as dry heating air, wind and cold.
The use of overly irritating and alkaline body cleansers can also have a negative impact on skin moisturization. That is why so-called Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF) are used in skin care, i.e. humectants (sometimes also called moisturizers) that are integrated into cosmetic products depending on the application. They balance or compensate for transepidermal moisture loss and thus make a significant contribution to healthy, plump and smooth skin.
More information about the composition and structure of our skin.
HOW DO HUMECTANTS WORK?
The stratum corneum consists of flattened keratinized cells (corneocytes) surrounded by an extracellular lipid matrix. While the skin lipids repel water, hydration of the corneocytes is crucial for maintaining the biological functions of the skin.
NMF - Natural Moisturizing Factor
Hydration of corneocytes is provided by natural moisturizing factors (NMF), a mixture of amino acids and other derivatives. It is generally assumed that NMF acts as a humectant mixture
NMF systems can be considered as a unique biological system for water management in a complex biological substrate that is subject to large fluctuations in response to external environmental changes. The properties of topically applied (applied to the skin) humectants such as glycerol, sugars, and their derivatives are commonly associated with the desiccation behavior of the stratum corneum. Studies on the molecular mechanisms of hydration provide the basis for identifying ways to moisturize the skin.
Humectants are water-loving, which means they are polar, while non-polar means oil-loving. Polar substances like to join other polar substances, and nonpolar substances like to join other nonpolar substances.
But what makes chemical substances like to come into contact with each other? This is due to the so-called intermolecular forces. These are tiny sticky interactions that substances can form with each other. Water can form a so-called strong hydrogen bond with water-loving substances.
PROPERTIES AND MODE OF ACTION OF HUMECTANTS
All humectants combine with water to intensively moisturize the skin. Humectants are water-binding ingredients that draw moisture into the stratum corneum, the top layer of the skin, whether through the environment or through the deeper layer of the skin (the dermis).
Humectants work by drawing water from the dermis (the second layer of skin) into the epidermis (the top layer of skin). This process increases the moisture content of the stratum corneum, the layer of dead cells that forms the outermost layer of the epidermis. In this way, the skin looks less scaly and is less prone to dryness.
Some types of humectants also promote the shedding of dead cells by breaking down the proteins that hold skin cells together. At humidity levels above 70%, humectants can even extract water vapor from the air to moisturize the skin.
Humectants alone can actually increase dryness because they can draw water from deeper layers of the skin. Without an occlusive to trap the water, this moisture can evaporate, leaving the skin drier than before. That's why these two ingredients work best together.
Too high a concentration of hyaluronic acid can also have a counterproductive effect, as hyaluronic acid can bind many times the amount of water and attracts moisture at any price. If there is too much hyaluronic acid in a skin care product, there is a risk that the hyaluronic acid molecules will help themselves to the water reservoirs in the skin and not to the water already contained in the product or available in the ambient air.
This molecule occurs naturally in the body, although the body produces less of it with age. This is one of the factors that lead to dry, aging skin.
Low-molecular hyaluronic acid is absorbed deep into the skin and provides hydration of the connective tissue. It stores water in the skin for a long time. Wrinkles are reduced and skin texture smoothed. Overall, it helps to achieve more elasticity and resilience.
High-molecular hyaluronic acid cannot penetrate the skin barrier as deeply, but it quickly has an optical plumping effect and promotes elasticity. This form of hyaluronic acid has anti-inflammatory, nourishing and cooling properties.
Glycerin is an intensively hydrating active ingredient and binds many times more water to itself. It is a skin-own component of the acid mantle and very well tolerated. Glycerin acts as a penetration promoter and thus helps moisture to be transported into the skin. Depending on the dosage, glycerin provides intensive moisture without leaving a sticky feeling on the skin. Glycerin soothes irritations, strengthens the skin barrier and protects against external environmental influences.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid are naturally derived acids from fruit and lactose. AHAs not only attract water, but also help the skin shed dead skin cells faster. AHAs act as solvents that dissolve the glue between dead skin cells, causing them to slough off faster. It is highly recommended to apply a sunscreen (at least SPF 30) daily when using AHA acids in your skincare routine.
ALOE VERA JUICE POWDER
Aloe Vera is known for its skin soothing and nourishing properties. Gel and juice from the aloe vera plant smooth the surface of the skin and hair. In this way, aloe vera can act as a moisturizer and emollient.
Pure Aloe Vera Gel, can be gently dried into highly concentrated powder and thus incorporated into cosmetic products. Aloe Vera Juice Powder contains polysaccharides and amino acids, which can bind and store a high amount of water. It also contains salicylic acid, which has an anti-inflammatory effect. Furthermore, it contains many vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes. Aloe Vera Juice Powder, has a cooling, soothing and moisturizing effect.
As a polyhydric alcohol, Pentylene Glycol can bind water to itself and thus ensures the transport of moisture into the skin and provides intensive moisturization. Pentylene glycol is an ingredient with multifunctional properties. In the product and on the skin, it prevents the formation and growth of microbial organisms, such as germs, bacteria and yeasts. It is well-founded as a preservative and at the same time can increase the effectiveness of other active ingredients. This is not a classic alcohol molecule, but a bivalent alcohol, also called diol.
Other moisturizers in personal care products include:
- Plant extracts, e.g. algae
- Propylene glycol
- Sugar alcohols such as xylitol and sorbitol
- Peptides and amino acids
- Panthenol (vitamin B5)
Take your time when choosing skin and hair care products. Some moisturizing products are better suited for oily skin, while others are suitable for dry, sensitive or inflamed skin. Some ingredients can clog pores, which may not be the best choice for acne-prone skin.
You'll find humectants in personal care products such as:
- Body lotion
- Skin cream and body butter
- Facial cleanser
- Lip Balm
- Eye cream
SYNTHETIC & ORGANIC HUMECTANTS
Humectants are used in many cosmetic and personal care products, such as hair conditioners, body washes, face creams, eye lotions, after-sun lotions, hair masks, lip balms and some soaps.
Moisturizers are found primarily in skin and hair care products, but are also used in many other industries. They are added to foods and are present in some pharmaceuticals and agricultural products.
Humectants are water-binding substances that attract water from the air or from deep within the skin. There are three main forms:
- Natural or unmodified
- Naturally obtained
Humectants can be either man-made or derived from nature. Each functions differently and can have properties that make them suitable for certain applications. An example is a type of humectant called nanolipid gel, which is used in many foot and heel balms for its antifungal properties. Or pentylene glycol, which has moisturizing properties while also being antimicrobial.
Synthetic humectants are widely used in personal care products because they can be manufactured inexpensively and have an inherently long shelf life. Synthetic humectants are able to retain moisture to some degree, but do not provide nutrients or significant benefits to the skin. In some cases, they can disrupt the body's own moisturizing mechanism and dry out the skin in the long term.
Some of the most popular synthetic humectants are:
- Butylene glycol
- Tremella extract
- Sodium PCA
- Sodium lactate
Natural humectants serve a dual purpose: they draw moisture to the skin's surface and simultaneously boost the skin's own hydration. They do this with substances that stimulate moisture production in the dermis while promoting the growth of new cells in the epidermis.
Some of the most popular natural moisturizers are:
- Hyaluronic acid, a chemical produced naturally in the body that promotes skin repair and the growth of basal keratinocytes
- Aloe Vera, a plant derivative that has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
- Alphahydroxy acid, a natural compound found in fruits, milk and sugar cane, which promotes desquamation of the skin
PROTECTION FROM WATER LOSS
For humectants to exert their effect, they must remain in the skin and hair. Therefore, in most products, humectants are combined with occlusives to ensure that moisture does not escape into the air. The addition of emollients in the formulation ensures a smooth surface.
Long-chain saturated fatty acids (stearic, linoleic, oleic, lauric acids and fatty alcohols) are essential fatty acids that belong to the emollients. They occur naturally in wool grease, palm oil and coconut oil and are commonly used in cosmetic formulations or topical medicines. Emollients influence skin physiology and pathology by exerting numerous effects on the skin's barrier function.
Emollients, such as emollient lipids, smooth the skin's surface and provide a softer texture by filling in gaps and cracks that make the skin feel rough. They also help repair and strengthen the skin's natural protective barrier.
Occlusive substances and plasticizers form a barrier on the surface to trap the previously added moisture. Oils and plant butters act as emollients (plasticizers) and can have mild to stronger occlusive effects.
Mineral oil (petrolatum, paraffin oil, etc.) have a much more occlusive (sealing) action compared to vegetable oils. In cases of very dry or dehydrated skin, these ingredients can help very well against transepidermal water loss.
In principle, it makes sense to increase the absorption capacity of lipids by using a moisturizing product beforehand. A well moisturized skin allows subsequent products to penetrate the skin much faster.
Intensive moisture for the skin is provided, for example, by the Hydrating Serum or the Balancing Toner by LIPID GLORY’s waterline. The Hydrating Serum is a moisturizing serum with hyaluronic acid and the Balancing Toner, our moisturizing spray, has a balancing effect with niacinamide.
MOISTURE FOR DRY SKIN
Particularly during dry weather (especially in the winter months), moisturizers can even extract too much water from the skin and lead to premature dehydration. This applies, for example, in particular to the intensively moisture-binding, synthetic humectant glycerin.
To counteract this, some moisturizers contain an occlusive agent that prevents moisture loss by forming an oil or lipid film on the skin. Occlusives are generally rich and oily and contain ingredients such as:
- Mineral oil
- Shea butter
Products that bring occlusive properties:
- Balms (e.g. with plant butters and organic beeswax)
- Thicker creams or lotions
When choosing a product, carefully read the information about ingredients and properties, and always apply occlusive skin care after moisturizing skin care to help the products work together.
SKIN CARE ROUTINE WITH HUMECTANTS
Humectants protect skin cells from dehydration and have a supporting effect on the natural skin barrier in its protective function. They are an ideal way to regulate the water balance of the skin.
When moisturizing the skin with care products, you want not only to moisturize, but also to reduce excessive water loss as much as possible.In the following, we present four essential care steps that are suitable for all skin types. These include mild and thorough cleansing, regulating and moisturizing active ingredients, protection and care.
Gentle products that moisturize your skin, provide nourishing lipids and keep your skin's protective barrier in balance are ideal.
Every skin benefits from a routine without fragrances, skin-friendly pH levels and a balanced supply of moisture and the right lipids. More about the skin protection barrier or the structure of our skin.
4 care steps of a mild and effective routine for morning and evening:
- Mild and thorough cleansing for all skin types with a gentle cleansing balm.
- Valuable ingredients reliably remove makeup, sunscreen, dirt, sweat and excessive sebum in one cleansing step.
- Experience intensive cleansing that leaves skin feeling hydrated and soft without unnecessarily stressing or drying the skin.
- Refresh your skin after cleansing with a regulating toner
- Multifunctional ingredients moisturize your skin and have regulating effects on enlarged pores, fine lines and sebum production
- Use this step to soothe your skin, add antioxidants and nutrients, and balance pH levels.
- Provide your skin with a moisturizing serum that absorbs instantly, is non-sticky, does not roll off and leaves your skin feeling soft.
- Intensive moisturizers provide your skin cells with sufficient hydration, strengthen the skin's protective barrier and ensure long-lasting hydration of your skin.
- The contained moisturizers have an antimicrobial effect and prevent inflammation.
- Protection & Care
- Lipids that match your skin type provide your skin with fatty acids that protect your skin's protective barrier from external influences and keep your skin supple.
- Oil serums and balms, with their lipids, act against environmentally induced transepidermal water loss and preserve moisture in the skin.
- Pure organic vegetable oils are rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and secondary plant compounds. Many oils and waxes (compoenents of balms) have antimicrobial and regenerative properties.
You can use this essential care routine in the morning and in the evening. Ideally, use a sunscreen in the morning. Our care oils and balms for the last step "protection & care" are perfect to give you all day suppleness under a sunscreen.
Tips for the order of products in your routine
- Start your skin care routine with the Cleansing balm. Take a small amount between the palms of your clean hands, melt the balm and massage your skin with gentle movements, feel free to take your time for this step. On contact with water, a rich and cleansing milk is formed. Add one or two drops of water directly when melting or keep adding moisture during the massage.
- Remove the resulting cleansing milk with lukewarm water and then gently dry your face. It is best to pat your skin dry with a clean towel without rubbing. A mild cleansing makes your skin ready for the application of regulating and hydrating products.
- Always apply your moisturizers starting with the most watery form. This means, for example, that you first apply a very watery toner and then a light gel serum.
- Oils, balms or creams are ideally applied to a previously hydrated skin. Lipids are then simply absorbed better, leaving the skin feeling rather supple and appearing less greasy or build-up.
- Apply a few drops of the oil on the prepared, moistened skin, so the oil can be better massaged in.
- Or mix your individual emulsion. Our LIPID GLORY oil serums and balms can be blended with the Hydrating Seruminto an emulsion according to your needs. Put a few drops of the oil and one or two pumps of the hydrating serum in the palm of your hand and mix with your fingers. Voila, a light fluid that absorbs quickly is created.
- Gently apply the oil or emulsion to your skin with light massaging movements to facilitate absorption. A gentle massage stimulates the blood circulation in your face.
Create your own grooming routine!
Our LIPID GLORY collections consist of mild and effective products. We have the right skincare line for every skin type, providing all the essential steps of a skincare routine.
All ingredients used in our products come primarily from controlled organic cultivation or are ecologically responsibly obtained. LIPID GLORY is designed to regulate and strengthen your skin's protective barrier, intensively moisturize your skin, and protect and keep it supple with plant lipids.
Mild and effective products for a simple care routine with our balms for a rather dry, sensitive or mature skin:
- Cleanses mildly and thoroughly
- With gentle clay and mild emulsifiers
- Non-irritating, non-drying and gentle on the skin's protective barrier
- Reliably removes makeup, dirt, sweat and sunscreen
- Has regulating properties
- Balances the pH and soothes the skin
- Contains the multifunctional active ingredient niacinamide
- Contains the moisturizers aloe vera powder and glycerin
- Intensive moisture with antimicrobial effect
- With low and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid
- Absorbs immediately, does not stick, does not roll off
- Helps regulate inflammation
- Light day oil containing only photostable oils
- With soothing organic jojoba oil and organic almond oil
- Protects against environmental influences
- Preserves the skin from water loss
- Balm for irritated and sensitive skin with just 5 ingredients
- With organic oils and organic beeswax
- Also suitable for the sensitive baby skin
- Nourishes the skin soft and supple and protects it from environmental influences
- Is characterized by its regenerating and antioxidant properties
- Organic argan oil is very compatible and is said to support the skin barrier function
- Protects the skin from environmental influences and oxidative processes
- Is a proven care oil for skin and hair
- Supports the natural barrier function of the skin
- Especially suitable for impure and oily skin
- Has an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and moisturizing effect
- Protects against environmental influences and prevents moisture loss from the skin
- Very mild and compatible base oil
- Excellent for sensitive and dry skin
- Has a light scent of marzipan
- Absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves it feeling silky and soft
If you have any questions about Humectants in your skincare routine, feel free to contact us!
We wish you much joy with your feel-good moments, patience and gratitude with your skin.