Moisturisers are ingredients that increase the moisture content of the skin, and help to maintain the skin barrier. The main categories of moisturising ingredients are emollients, humectants and occlusive agents. Emollients smooth and soften the skin surface. Examples of emollients include dimethicone and plant and mineral oils. Humectants draw water into the skin, increasing its moisture content. Examples include glycerine, propylene glycol, urea, hyaluronic acid and alpha hydroxy acids. Occlusives reduce water loss through the skin, and include petroleum jelly, lanolin, mineral oil and silicones. 

For more information, see the blog post All About Moisturisers.

Sethi A, Kaur T, Malhotra SK, Gambhir ML. Moisturizers: The Slippery Road. Indian J Dermatol. 2016;61(3):279-287.


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Spotlight on Skin was created by award-winning Melbourne-based dermatologist, Dr Julia Rhodes.

Julia knows first-hand how overwhelming the skincare world can be, and that’s with over 10 years of experience practicing dermatology. Given that even she gets overwhelmed, she appreciates how hard it can be for those of you without a scientific background to make sense of all the information available, and choose products that are right for your skin…