Some of the most popular ingredients in our lotions and moisturizers are derived from synthetically-produced mineral oil, silicone and glycerin. Why? Time and again, research has shown that these ingredients do a bang-up job of attracting moisture to the skin and locking it in. Naturally water-free petrolatum, for example, has been shown to reduce moisture loss in the skin by 98 percent, whereas other oils only reduce moisture loss in the skin by 20-30 percent. With findings like these, it’s no wonder the American Academy of Dermatology recommends petrolatum, along with glycerin, dimethicone, lanolin, mineral oil, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid for soothing dry, irritated skin.
Though these ingredients can be naturally found in animals and plants, synthetically-derived (and more affordably priced) versions are commonly used in beauty products. If looking to lighten your synthetic load, try checking the ingredient labels for organic versions of these plant-based moisturizers on the rise:
The lipids in soy, along with lecithins and phytosterols, are believed to help hydrate the skin and keep the skin barrier healthy. Bonus: soy’s fatty acids are thought to contain antioxidants—super ingredients that help protect skin from pollution. Look for this ingredient in face creams, eye balms, serums and cleansers.
When we think of chamomile, calming tea blends often come to mind. However, studies have also found that this plant can be soothing for our skin as well. Not only does chamomile contain anti-inflammatory properties, it also wields natural moisturizing powers. Look for its soothing and hydrating powers in lotions and creams for the body, face and eyes.
Hydrating ingredients can spring from the most unsuspecting of locales. Take jojoba: this perennial shrub thrives in the arid Sonoran desert. Yet beneath its unremarkable exterior lies an oil that can leave a protective film on the skin, locking moisture within.While Native Americans have reportedly long used the plant in skin salves and to heal wounds, modern-day beauty companies are tapping the ingredient for use in lotions and cleansers.
This beauty ingredient is so popular, it has become the cornerstone of complete cosmetic and skin care lines. When prepared for skin care, this oil is sourced from argan kernels then cold pressed. Traditionally, it’s been used by Moroccan women to moisturize skin. Now, it can be found in everything from shampoos and hair oils to face oils and creams.
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