Emollient v. Moisturizer v. Humectant v. Healing Cream v. Moisture Barrier

photo (1)What is the difference between all of these cosmetics? The terminology for all these healing creams and skin products can get confusing. So, treatment let’s get go through what each of these different products are:

Emollients – The words “emollient” and “moisturizer” are often used interchangeably, viagra 60mg though an emollient can also be a term used to describe an ingredient within a moisturizer.

An emollient keeps water from evaporating through the outer layer of skin. It creates a protective covering that keeps skin moist and resilient. And it can be available as a cream, for sale ointment or lotion.

According to the National Eczema Society, “One of the most important elements in managing all types of eczema is to keep the skin soft and supple by frequent and generous use of emollients.” Many people who have eczema or psoriasis use emollients consistently.

Emollients are also found in many skin and beauty products from lipstick to foundation. What every emollient has is an ingredient that acts as a humectant, a lubricant, and an occluder. The humectant enables the skin’s surface to hold more water. The lubricant helps the skin to slide more easily when it rubs against something. And an occluder reduces water loss by adding a layer of oil.

Some examples where emollients can be found are in silicone, in vegetable oils, in vegetable butters like shea, jojoba and cocoa, and in petroleum jelly.

Moisturizer – Like an emollient, a moisturizer keeps water from evaporating through the outer layer of skin. It creates a protective covering that keeps skin moist and resilient. It can be available as a cream, ointment or lotion.

Good moisturizers tend to have a combination of an emollient and a humectant.

Humectant – As described above, a humectant enables the skins surface to hold more water. But how does it do this? It actually bonds with water molecules to increase water content in the skin by a) drawing it from the environment (when there’s a lot of humidity), or b) enhancing water absorption in the skin’s outer layer. Some examples of humectants are sugars, proteins, glycerin (one of the most popular in skin care products), elastin and collagen.

Healing Cream – We’ve discussed what a healing cream is in previous posts. The definition of this can extend from medicated ointments to simple moisturizers. Generally, a healing cream does include some form of moisturizer, along with at least one ingredient known for promoting healing and regeneration to damaged skin tissues.

Moisture Barrier – Also known as a skin protectant, a moisture barrier often contains dimethicone, zinc oxide, lanolin, or petrolatum, which forms a protective barrier on the top layer of the skin in order to shield it from irritants or moisture caused from physical problems like incontinence or perspiration. This can give a wound the protection it needs to heal, free from further aggravation from friction or fungus (a problem in the case of too much moisture). A moisture barrier works with the skin to restore and strengthen it’s own natural barrier, and it also helps keep toxins or irritants out.

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