Humectants are not the newbies in town but age-old ingredients in skincare. They are hydrophilic, which means they can attract water from the environment and bind it to the epidermis. They are a key ingredient in many skin care products, including body lotions, face serums, and face creams. So, in this blog, we will dive deeper into the world of humectants for the skin. 

Humectants are the ingredients that help retain moisture in your skin’s topmost layers. The main principle that works is that humectants attract water molecules from the skin’s dermis or the air and later bind them to the skin’s topmost layer. This way, humectants are used to address various skin woes, including fine lines, wrinkles, scars, etc. 

Amazing benefits of humectants for the skin

Humectants have a host of benefits for the skin, including:-

  1. Hydration: Since humectants are best suited for dry and sensitive skin, they work to improve hydration levels. They soak water from the surrounding and bind it to the skin’s topmost layers, making it soft and reducing fine lines. 
  1. Moisture Retention: Humectants help strengthen the skin’s protective layer, preventing water from skipping or evaporating. This helps to maintain optimal moisture levels, even in dry weather conditions. 
  1. Skin Soothing and Calming: Humectants like Glycerin or Aloe Vera have skin-soothing and calming properties. They can help soothe conditions like redness, inflammation, and irritation. This is why most skin care products, such as face moisturizers meant for treating eczema or psoriasis have aloe vera and Glycerin in them. 
  1. Skin Barrier Repair: Hyaluronic acid can hold nearly 1000x its weight in the water, giving you soft and supple skin. It enhances the skin’s ability to fight against external stressors such as pollutants and allergens. 

Did you know: Natural humectants for hair are hydrophilic, drawing moisture from anywhere and bringing it straight to your curls?

4 Commonly used humectants in skin care

  1. Glycerin: Glycerin is known for its moisture-attracting properties. It is used in various skincare products, such as face creams, lotions, serums, etc. Its antimicrobial properties help prevent the skin from harmful bacteria and combat concerns such as clogged pores and damaged skin barriers. 

Best suited for: Oily and dry skin. 

  1. Hyaluronic Acid: This goodness, Hyaluronic acid, helps improve skin texture due to its ability to bind water. It reduces dullness, wrinkles, fine lines, and wrinkles, reducing skin scarring. It is used in skin hydrating products, such as serums, face toners, etc. 

Best suited for: Dry and sensitive skin.

  1. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is a natural humectant for the skin. Popular for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps to soothe skin irritation and sensitivity. It contains polysaccharides that help to lock moisture and has a cooling effect. A toxin-free Aloe Vera Face Gel is a natural remedy for sunburned or irritated skin.

Did you know? Aloe Vera Gel is one of the best natural humectants for the skin.

Best suited for: Sensitive, irritated, and inflamed skin. 

  1. Sodium Hyaluronate: Sodium hyaluronate is a form of hyaluronic acid. Its smaller molecular size is why it penetrates the skin better than any other ingredient. It attracts and holds onto the water, giving you naturally soft and plump skin. 

Best suited for: Dry skin

Humectants For Skin: Mamaearth Bestsellers

At Mamaearth, we’re committed to helping you attain your beauty goals with our nature-inspired ranges. Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing make an important part of skincare. So, picking products that meet your skin’s needs is essential. We have a diverse range of cleaners, serums, face masks, and sheet masks best suited for different skin woes. 

Since we largely focus on nature’s bounty when it comes to skincare, here is one of our best humectants for skin:

Mamaearth Honey Malai Face Wash

Mamaearth Honey Malai Face Wash

Honey Malai Face Wash

Gently Cleanses | Makes Skin Glow

Price₹ 259.00
Available Offer35% Off
Discount CodeREDEEM35

This traditional skin care recipe gives your skin a nourishing glow. Mamaearth Honey Malai Face Wash is an age-old tradition of love and care for your skin. It gently cleanses and nourishes the skin without damaging its outermost layers. It has a light creamy texture that helps combat dryness and dullness, leaving your skin feeling soft and rejuvenated. 

You can also try the following:-

Mamaearth Honey Malai Body Wash

Mamaearth Honey Malai Body Wash

Honey Malai Body Wash

Gently Cleanses | Replenishes Moisture

Price₹ 349.00
Available Offer35% Off
Discount CodeREDEEM35

Mamaearth Honey Malai Body Wash lets you bathe in the goodness of the Honey and Malai for radiant skin. It is a gentle formula that does not disrupt the skin’s protective barrier while washing away dust and grime. The presence of humectants ensures that your skin retains moisture for a long time, and Honey gives your skin that healthy sheen. 

Tip: Want to get glass skin? face scrub features humectants like Glycerin to help lock in water and give you a luminous facial glow. 

Humectants in cosmetics

Mamaearth Hydra-Glow CC Serum

Hydra-Glow CC Serum

Hydrates Skin | Natural Coverage| SPF 30

Price₹ 649.00
Available Offer35% Off
Discount CodeREDEEM35

Mamaearth has a range of cosmetics formulated with humectants like hyaluronic acid. Our Hydra-Glow CC Serum is a unique formula that brightens skin and conceals dark spots & pigmentation, giving your skin a natural, long-lasting, radiant coverage. This is a very good toxin-free product that uses humectants in cosmetics.


In conclusion, humectants are valuable ingredients in skincare products that help attract and bind moisture. They are vital in maintaining skin hydration levels, preventing dryness, and promoting a healthy glow. So, if you are looking for a safe and gentle face moisturizer with humectants, give our toxin-free skincare products a try!


  1. What are humectants?

    Humectants are a common moisturizing agent in skincare products that hydrate skin. It helps retain moisture from the surroundings and seals it into the skin’s layers. In addition, it strengthens the skin’s protective barrier, preventing any environmental stressors from entering. 

  2. How to use humectants on your face?

    To use humectants in your skincare, it is best to use them on damp skin soon after bathing or cleansing as they will be absorbed better. Additionally, look for safe alternatives, such as honey, aloe vera, Glycerin, hyaluronic acid, then their chemical counterparts. 

  3. How do humectants work?

    Humectants derive moisture from the two sources only. First, through the dermis of the skin into the epidermis, or second, from the water molecules in the environment. So, they pull water from the skin or air and seal it to your epidermis, keeping your skin well-hydrated, soft, and supple. 

  4. How to use humectants for low porosity hair?

    Low porosity hair struggles to retain moisture in the follicles because of the damaged bond between the cells. The tightly packed hair shaft causes the cuticles to lie flat, resulting in the loss of moisture. So, you can use non-toxic humectants like Glycerin, aloe vera gel, and sorbitol to infuse and retain moisture to damaged hair shafts. 

  5. What are humectants for hair?

    A humectant is a moisturizing agent known for its ability to lock moisture to the hair shafts. The use of heating tools, chemicals, and environmental stressors can weaken the hair shafts damaging the bond between the cells. This is where humectants can be of great use. They are best suited for low and high-porosity hair. 

Popular Search Terms

high porosity hairhow to hydrate haircalendulasweet almond oilstearic acid usesgoat milk soaptitanium dioxidepropylene glycolallantoninxanthan gumgrapeseed oileucalyptus oil benefitsvirgin coconut oilvirgin olive oilcetyl alcoholwheat germ oilglycolic aciduses of citric acidsodium hyaluronaterosehip extractcarrot seed oilgreen tea extractszinc oxidekaolin claybentonite claynymphaea albasqualane, emollients, emulsifiers