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Skin is our first defense against the environment. On any given day it may be up against extreme cold, intense heat and sun, wind, low humidity, dirt, harsh cleansers, etc. Did you know that even a relaxing hot shower can be damaging to your skin?
Just like "location, location, location" is a fundamental principal in real estate, "moisturize, moisturize, moisturize" is a basic tenet of skincare. Moisturizing is one of the most important things you can do to keep your skin in tip top shape. Understanding how moisturizers work can help you choose the right products for your skin. Humectants and emollients are the two main types of moisturizing ingredients in skincare products.
- Humectants absorb water from the air around you and reduce the loss of moisture from the skin. Common humectants are glycerin, aloe vera gel, urea, and hyaluronic acid.
- Emollients act as barriers protecting the skin and keeping moisture locked in. Common emollients are vegetable oil (i.e. fractionated coconut oil) and butters, and squalene.
Products that combine essential oils with other moisturizing ingredients can help you avoid dry, itchy, and even cracked skin. Yesterday's DIY Cuticle Cream is a great example!