The next step in our series of components of natural skin care products is to explore the definition, uses, and natural versions of humectants.
A humectant is a substance that can absorb water from the air to keep a food or skin care product moist. The applications to skin care here are obvious. Skin needs to be hydrated to look and feel its best, and humectants can pull moisture from the atmosphere and deliver it to thirsty skin. Another interesting use for humectants is in those desiccant packets that you sometimes find in food, shoes, or other products. A little packet of a desiccant such as silica gel will be packaged up along with a certain product. Therefore, the humectant will pull moisture out of the product, such as food or shoes, and keep it from becoming damp and moldy. The same mechanism is at work when it comes to natural skin care products, though the goal is to trap moisture in the skin to keep it nice and hydrated and youthful looking.
What makes a humectant do its job is its hydrophilic chemical structure. It will have hydrophilic groups such as hydroxyls, amines, and/or carboxyls that attract water molecules and bond with them. As you might imagine this is most useful in natural skin care products such as conditioners, lotions, body butters, facial moisturizers, and other moisturizing products. Products such as ones designed for damaged or extra dry need extra doses of humectants to attract moisture back to damaged hair.
There is a wide variety of humectants in use in natural skin care products, including shea butter, aloe vera, glycerin, collagen, and beeswax. Humectants can also be used to make a product more absorbable into the skin and increase the time in which the compound is actively working on the skin. As you might imagine, this is one reason that it is important to choose the best natural skin care. All skin care products are absorbed into your skin. Whether a lotion, facial moisturizer, cosmetic, nail polish, shampoo, conditioner, or other hair product, the skin is incredibly absorbent and will absorb whatever product is applied to it. Some people advocate that you not put anything on your skin that you wouldnt feel comfortable eating. This is because you absorb topical products just like you digest food, and either way it ends up inside you having an impact on your body, whether is synthetic or natural skin care products.
It is definitely worth it to be careful about what you put onand by extensionin your body. Toxins that wind up in your food supply or in your skin care products can accumulate and have health impacts for years. If you are a woman of reproductive age then these toxins can accumulate enough to be passed on to your gestating or breastfeeding children. This is a serious health concern, and one that is not fully understood. It is best not to wait until the science begins to catch up with our intuition, but just to go ahead and select only the purest and best natural skin care products for yourself and your family.