Make sense of your skin cream
Your bathroom might be bursting with skincare products – but do you really know what all those ingredients do for your complexion? Be baffled no longer.
Humectants & natural moisturisers
Glycerin, sorbitol and butylene glycol are all humectants. This means they work like water magnets, holding moisture in your skin, to keep it soft and silky.
They might sound aggressive but lactic acid, potassium lactate, sodium PCA, urea and collagen amino acids are all moisturisers found naturally in your skin. They form part of the skin's own moisture-retaining system.
Skin lipids & essential fatty acids
Bad for your heart but essential for your skin, cholesterol, phospholipid and stearic acid form part of a protective lipid barrier which keeps skin healthy by keeping the wrong things out. They also have important moisturising and emollient properties.
Soybean oil, sunflower oil, evening primrose oil and avocado seed oil are all sources of essential fatty acids. They're rich in linoleic and linolenic acids, which are building blocks for ceramides – a key constituent of healthy lipids.
Occlusives & sunscreens
Petroleum Jelly, petrolatum and dimethicone are all occlusives – ingredients which help to hold moisture in and the harsh environment out.
The snappily named octyl methoxy cinnamate (OMC), benzophenone and parsol MCX are sunscreen materials, which protect skin from the sun's damaging ultra-violet rays.