Do you know what emollients are? Let’s find out together the benefits they can bring to your skin and what are the various types.
You may have never heard of them, but you have probably used them before, since emollients they are often included in skin care products.
Knowing what you put on your skin is not only interesting, but also important. For this reason we want to understand what they are the ingredients usually found in formulas and this time we want to focus on emollients.
Discovering emollients and the benefits they bring to the skin
If you want to know what we are talking about, you just have to keep reading to know what emollients are and what benefits they bring.
When we talk about emollients we refer to the ingredients, mainly lipids and oils, used in a moisturizer. Among these we find, for example, sunflower oil, lanolin and jojoba oil. Since emollients are included in moisturizing formulas, they should be of some benefit to the skin. That’s right. Emollients are used in creams, gels and serums to help moisturize and improve the softness and flexibility of the skin.
The type of emollient that is best for you depends on your skin condition, the part of the body affected and your personal preferences. We advise you to try a few different emollients before you decide. Different types can also be used at different times of the day or year, as skin dryness varies. The most common way to classify emollients is based on how oily or greasy they are. Regardless, they all soften and smooth the skin, but the amount of oil contained determines the degree of occlusivity. The more oil an emollient contains, the more it is able to form a protective layer on the skin to retain moisture. Now that we’ve outlined the benefits of emollients, let’s see together the various types:
- Creams: they contain a good balance of oil and water. This makes them easy to spread on the skin, but they are less moisturizing than an ointment. They have enough oil to hold water in the skin, but are less greasy and messy. They are lighter and easier to apply than ointments, which makes them suitable for daytime use. They are also heavier and more moisturizing than lotionswhich also makes them suitable for use night. The skin absorbs emollient creams relatively quickly, so they need to be reapplied more often than ointments.
- Ointments: they consist mostly of oils and are very greasy. They are dense, so they prevent the skin from losing water and they don’t have to be reapplied very often because they are not absorbed quickly. They are sticky and difficult to spread on the skin, especially on the hairy areas. Ointments are very moisturizing and are the best emollients for very dry skin. They can stain clothes and are messy, so many people prefer to only use them at night while they sleep.
- Lotions: they consist mostly of water with a small amount of oil. They are the least moisturizing of the three types of emollients. Being liquid, they are easy to spread on the scalp and other hairier areas of the body. This type of emollient it is suitable for daytime use because it is thin and easy to apply. However, it is necessary to reapply the lotions more frequently because the skin absorbs them quickly. Most contain preservatives, so your skin is more likely to have a negative reaction. Before using a new lotion, test it on a small patch of skin to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction.