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Emollients and moisturizing ingredients – what’s the difference?

Posted on December 02 2015

Winter is coming, slowly but surely. As the weather changes many of us experience our skin changing as well. Most likely it becomes drier. If you have dry skin to start with this is a challenge since you are moving from “dry skin” to the region of “desert skin”. If you have acne prone skin you are also up for a challenge. Dry skin and acne is a difficult and somewhat contradicting state.

So what do you need to look for in your personal skin care?

There is no silver bullet in skin care; your skin needs a mix of substances to stay healthy. If your goal is to avoid dry skin it is important to look at two different types of ingredients – emollients and natural moisturizing factors (NMF).

Simply put emollients are oils or “oil related” substances your skin uses to rejuvenate itself. (Chemically speaking you can break them down into fatty acids, ceramides and phospholipids, but I want to avoid to get too technical). Think of them as lego blocks of different shapes and colors. Your body uses these different “legoblocks” to restructure and heal the skin.

NMFs are substances that attract moisture in the surrounding air. Many are small molecules that penetrate the outer layers of the skin and the functions as magnets that attract and retain moisture. Examples of these are glycerin, urea and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a very large molecule that can retain water up to 1000 times its own weight. It exists naturally in the body and creates the plumpness of the skin. As we grow older the level of hyaluronic acid decreases which is one of the reasons our skin looses its plumpness with age.

All our products contain a mix of natural oils that contain a wide range of substances that will emolliate the skin. Also we have added glycerin to our base cream since this a very effective NMF. If you want to boost the hydrating effect you should choose our “Night” blend, which contains hyaluronic acid to top the moisturizing effects.

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