The ever-evolving world of skincare can sometimes get overwhelming, throwing new terms at us frequently. You’re likely to have come across terms like emollients and humectants in skincare and wondered what they meant. Well, let’s find out today!

What Are Emollients?

Let’s first look at the skin’s basic structure to understand emollients and their role in skincare.

Healthy skin contains an adequate amount of moisture in its upper layers. When this moisture level drops, the skin dries and cracks or flakes. This results in spaces between the skin cells, which makes the skin vulnerable to many problems like dryness or inflammation. 

Emollients fill in these gaps with lipids, smoothing out the skin surface. They help reduce seasonal dryness and improve the skin’s pH. It is important to opt for the toxin-free ones as they suit human skin types and cause no issues. They are thus used in many toxin-free skincare products.

5 Benefits of Using Emollients for Skin

1. Heals dehydrated skin – Emollients add a protective film on the skin’s topmost layer, ensuring the moisture stays in and heals dry skin. A good-quality face cream helps you avail of this advantage.

2. Seals in moisture – When you use an emollient right after a bath, it traps the moisture and prevents it from escaping, ensuring that the skin doesn’t dry out soon, especially during cold, dry weather

3. Soothes irritation – Emollients play an important role in soothing irritation and itching. This is especially true for the issues arising from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

4. Heals burns – Many of us don’t know this, but emollients can also heal burn damage to a certain extent, especially that caused due to radiation treatment or sun exposure. This is one of the least-known benefits of using emollients for skin.

5. Prevents chafing – The properties of an emollient also make it a great pick to help prevent chafing from tight clothes or friction. This is why it may also be used in a face moisturizer

Types of Emollients in Skin Care

Emollients are mainly of two types, based on their function:

Humectants – These emollients attract water to the skin and hold it in. They’re generally lighter and wash off easily.

Occlusives – These form a coating on the skin that prevents any water loss. They’re often thicker and don’t dissolve in water.

Emollients are also classified into different categories based on their formulations.

1. Ointments

These are the thickest emollients and are ideal for extremely dry or rough skin. Ointments are often made of oily substances and can be a little greasy. They also last longer and don’t wash away with water that easily.

Since they are thicker, ointments can be difficult to spread and may stain your clothes, making them better for overnight use. They have fewer preservatives and are suitable for sensitive skin but are not recommended for oozing skin. 

2. Creams

Creams constitute a mix of oil and water, making them thinner and less hydrating than ointments. They are easier to apply, easily absorbed, and ideal for both day and night.

An excellent emollient day cream for this purpose is the Mamaearth Vitamin C Daily Glow Lumi Cream. It contains multiple emollient and humectant ingredients and turmeric and Vitamin C for a perfect glow during the day. These ingredients also help reduce pigmentation, giving an overall smooth appearance.

Mamaearth Vitamin C Daily Glow Lumi Cream

Vitamin C Daily Glow Lumi Cream

Gives Highlighter Like Glow | Moisturizes Skin

Price₹ 299.00
Quantity30g
Available Offer35% Off
Discount CodeREDEEM35

3. Lotions

Lotions are a formulation that contains more water with just a tiny amount of oil. They’re lighter than creams, easier to apply, and easily absorbed. However, they must be reapplied frequently and may contain more preservatives than the other options. 

Due to this, it helps to choose body lotion with as many natural ingredients as possible, such as our Rose Body Lotion. This lotion contains well-known emollient ingredients, like shea butter and olive oil, that provide excellent hydration while being light and non-greasy.

Mamaearth Rose Body Lotion

Rose Body Lotion

Intense Hydration | Non-Greasy | Softens Skin

Price₹ 299.00
Quantity200ml
Available Offer35% Off
Discount CodeREDEEM35

4. Gels

Face gels are lighter than creams and are easily absorbed into the skin. They’re often used for smaller areas and are ideal for oily skin. Being colorless, they don’t leave any residue and are suitable for daytime use. Some of the best emollients for dry skin are the ones that additionally contain deeply hydrating ingredients. The latter include aloe vera and hyaluronic acid.

If you want to use only a few products during your morning skincare routine, you can opt for a multipurpose product like our Summer Glow BFF Combo. This kit contains a face gel and a face serum, both serving as sunscreen. They have many hydrating ingredients that heal dry skin, especially during summer.

Mamaearth Summer Glow BFF’s

Summer Glow BFF's

Protects Against UV rays | Deeply Moisturizes

Price₹ 1017.00
Quantity30g and 50g
Available Offer35% Off
Discount CodeREDEEM35

5. Sprays

Sprays are a relatively less-used emollient formulation but can be handy for hard-to-reach areas. They’re also good for infected skin where regular creams and ointments won’t work since they must be spread by hand. Sprays are generally absorbed fast and don’t leave a residue. 

6. Emollient Cleansers

While all the above products are leave-on, you can also use emollient products that can be washed off. Using generic cleansers can dry out skin choosing emollient ingredients can soothe the skin and prevent further drying of the skin. Emollients and moisturizers work great in close tandem to rule this issue out.

Most emollient cleansers contain fewer foaming ingredients and more moisturizing ones, like our Aqua Glow Face Wash. This safe and gentle face wash is specifically formulated to add extra hydration to the skin while cleansing. It contains hydrating ingredients- Himalayan Thermal Water, Aloe Vera, and Hyaluronic Acid.

Mamaearth Aqua Glow Face Wash

Aqua Glow Face Wash

Boosts Hydration | Unveils Glow | Keeps Skin Soft

Price₹ 399.00
Quantity100ml
Available Offer35% Off
Discount CodeREDEEM35

7. Other Products

To make the skin more receptive to the emollient ingredients you’re applying, it helps to exfoliate it regularly. Choose an excellent hydrating face scrub like the Mamaearth Honey Malai Face Scrub, which contains natural emollients like Almond Oil and a natural humectant like Honey.

For intense hydration treatment for the face, it’s recommended to go for a hydrating face mask like our Aloe Vera Sleeping Mask. As its name suggests, this mask should be applied overnight so that the skin can soak in all its hydration. 

Mamaearth Aloe Vera Sleeping Mask

Aloe Vera Sleeping Mask

24-Hour Intense Hydration | Reduces Blemishes

Price₹ 499.00
Quantity100g
Available Offer35% Off
Discount CodeREDEEM35

Choosing a face toner that doesn’t dry skin out is essential. This is important to know because one should stay away from alcohol-based products. Go for a toner with hydrating ingredients like cucumber and aloe vera, such as the alcohol-free Mamaearth Vitamin C Face Toner.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a good emollient for the skin?

    A good emollient for skin is suited to your skin type, attracts moisture, and locks it in for a long time so the skin doesn't dry out. 

  2. What are common skin emollients?

    Common skin emollients are plant oils like coconut, almond, olive, sesame, jojoba, shea butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax.

  3. What are emollients in skin care?

    Emollients used in skincare contain mainly fatty acids or oils that fill the gaps left behind by drying skin. They enter these gaps and smoothen the skin’s surface, keeping it healthy.  

  4. What is the best type of emollient?

    The best emollient type is perfect for your skin type, skin condition, affected area size, and use time. All these factors must be considered when choosing the ideal emollient for you. 

  5. Is Aloe Vera an emollient?

    Aloe vera is considered a natural emollient, a part of many moisturizing products today. 

  6. Is an emollient the same as a moisturizer?

    No, emollients are some of the ingredients found in moisturizers that help attract moisture and lock it in.

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