Humectants | the water magnet | important cosmetic ingredient

humectants can hold 1000 times their own weight in water

Humectants are one of the most important compounds in skincare and haircare.

Humectants not only have the ability to attract moisture, they also prevent water loss, thus enabling our skin and hair to retain their natural moisture levels.

Humectants can hold 1000 times their own weight in water and play a big role in volumising hair. By attracting water to hair, the hair shaft expands, giving hair a bigger, fuller look.

Wide range of humectants

There is a broad category of products that can be classified as humectants such as proteins, acids and polysaccharides. Smaller molecules include:

Hydroxyl groups

Humectants containing two or three hydroxyl groups (-OH), the diol and triols, are the most common compounds (Glycerin, Butylene glycol ) as they attract water molecules through hydrogen bonding.  These are often used due to being cheap, effective and easy to obtain.

While they are good to use in formulation it should be noted that at higher concentrations (e.g. 5 % and up) they can leave the skin with a tacky, sticky feel so less is definitely more.

Bibliography

http://www.makingcosmetics.com/Humectants_c_54.html

http://thenakedchemist.com/humectants-and-hyaluronic-acid-in-skincare/

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/curlchemist-what-are-humectants/

Related Post

Colors in marketing | influence consumers Have you ever bought a bottle of wine, perfume or face lotion just because of the shape of the bottle, the dazzling design, or the color of the artwor...
The science behind beauty | cellular activators How do you separate clever marketing from fact? How does one navigate the daunting number of elixirs on the market promising to turn back the clock on...
SUPEROX-C | a free radical-fighting active ingredi... Superox-C from Lucas Meyer is an active ingredient containing Kakadu plum, an indigenous ingredient native to Northern Australia. Kakadu plum is a un...
Follow your nose | the olfactory system Our olfactory system doesn't just detect scents. It plays a major role in how and what cosumers buy - and don't buy! Have you ever caught a waft of a...