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What is the difference between humectants and emollients?

Woman with hydrated and moisturized skin

What is the difference between humectants or emollients?

Humectants and emollients are two types of moisturizing ingredients. Here are the differences:

Humectants: draw moisture into the top layers of your skin

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Glycerin
  • Honey

Emollients: lock the moisture into place. Without emollients, the moisture in the skin will evaporate, and the skin will be left drier than it was before.

  • Petrolatum (Vaseline)
  • Coconut oil
  • Shea butter

Are humectants or emollients better for moisturizing acne-prone skin?

The best moisturizers for sensitive acne-prone skin contain a mix of emollients and humectants. This combination helps draw moisture to the top layers fo the skin (which need it the most (especially when using acne treatment products) and lock it in place. The MDacne oil-free hydrating moisturizer contains both emollients (shea butter and coconut butter) and a humectant (hyaluronic acid) all non-comedogenic ingredients that help to moisturize the skin without clogging pores and causing additional breakouts.

 

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