Humectants are water-soluble substances that can attract and retain water. They are hygroscopic, which means they can attract water from both the atmosphere and the skin.
What are the benefits?
Humectants are commonly used in cosmetics for a variety of reasons. 1. Humectants prevent evaporation of products, tends to result in a thicker texture. 2. Humectants draw water into the skin, causing the stratum corneum to "swell." Smoother skin texture can be observed as the stratum corneum swells, giving users the impression of firmer skin. 3. Humectants can also disrupt the skin barrier (normally densely packed stratum corneum cells) and enable other ingredients to penetrate. Some common examples of humectants: Glycerin Sorbitol Sodium Hyaluronate also known as Hyaluronic Acid Urea Propylene Glycol Alpha Hydroxy Acid and sugars.