THE MECHANICS OF MOISTURE
Reading through our Value of Ingredients lists, you may have noticed that certain ingredients were described as being Emollients or Humectants. And sometimes you will see ingredients described as Occlusives. Here is how we define these terms.
Emollients act as lubricating agents that maintain suppleness in the surface layers of the skin. They are also responsible for maintaining a healthy barrier function and natural exfoliation. This keeps the skin smooth and soft in addition to being lubricated. Glycerin, Squalane, Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter are prominent emollients.
Humectants are ingredients that pull moisture from the air to the skin's surface. Whenever the environment is a source of hydration as through high humidity, this is a natural humectant action. Not as commonly known is how humectants interact within the skin itself. In this capacity, humectants attract water from the dermal layers to the epidermal layers to increase water content in the epidermis, and this improves the elastic quality of the skin tissues. L-Sodium Hyaluronate is a frequently-used humectant.
Occlusives work by increasing the water content within the skin by preventing transepidermal water loss or evaporation. A new breed of occlusives are now being prescribed post laser and post peel to protect from infection. Cyclomethicone is a popular occlusive ingredient as is a natural variation called Caprylic/capric triglycerides.