The 14 best natural moisturizers and what are their benefits for your skin?


There is more than one moisturizer. In fact, there are several natural emollients that you probably already use in your skincare routine. Emollients are the mainstay for dry, cracked, and damaged skin. They are almost always used in moisturizers because they lock water into the skin while providing a protective barrier that keeps irritants out. But what is an emollient and why is it used in cosmetics?

What is an emollient?

Emollients retain moisture in the skin while providing a barrier against irritants. Emollients are used in skin care products and cosmetics to soothe and moisturize the skin, make it softer, and improve conditions that cause dryness, itching, and redness. Emollients work by forming a thin, hydrophobic film on the surface of the skin that repels water and prevents moisture loss. This effect differs from that of moisturizers, which attract water vapor to moisturize the skin.

The main ingredients are the same, namely petroleum jelly, paraffin, glycerin, butter and vegetable oils. The lipids (or lipids) in these ingredients fill in the tiny cracks in dry skin and smooth the surface. Formulators use a combination of these ingredients to create skin care products and cosmetics to moisturize the skin. Although people may think of an emollient as a moisturizer, and use the two terms interchangeably, an emollient is actually an ingredient used in a moisturizer to retain water in the skin.

Types/types of moisturizers

Not all moisturizers work the same way on the skin. Some contain more fats or oils, while others are better at creating a skin barrier. You will find moisturizers in many forms, such as creams, serums, lotions, and ointments. The thicker and creamier the formula, the higher its barrier.

Here are some key natural moisturizers:

1. Aloe vera

Aloe vera contains fatty acids with soothing properties, antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E that neutralize free radicals that contribute to aging, and enzymes with anti-inflammatory effects. It is often used in skin care products to improve skin irritations and burns, moisturize the scalp, and treat cold sores.

2. Shea butter

Shea butter is a common emollient used in creams, conditioners, body butters, and hair masks. Rich in oleic acid, a fatty acid that smoothes skin and reduces wrinkles.
Shea butter can also be used to moisturize the scalp and hair, which helps soothe dandruff and provide a protective layer against irritants.

3. Coconut oil

Coconut oil for skin contains three fatty acids that have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties: capric acid, caprylic acid, and lauric acid. These lipids help prevent moisture loss from the skin pores, thus improving the skin’s barrier function. Coconut oil also contains powerful antioxidants that reduce signs of aging as they fight free radical damage.

4. Rosehip oil

Rosehip oil provides lipids, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E. It promotes cell regeneration and protects the skin from toxins and free radicals. Rosehip oil is commonly used to reduce the appearance of age spots, help treat conditions like eczema, and boost collagen production.

5. Urea cream

Urea cream is an essential product for dry, rough and even cracked skin. Urea is actually part of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor – it’s an ingredient in skin.
Synthetic urea is made for topical creams to improve skin integrity, smooth cracks, and lock in moisture.

6. Bakuchiol

Bakuchiol is an extract from the leaves and seeds of the patchi plant. It is known as the gentler alternative to retinol, which is commonly used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It is an emollient that has nourishing and anti-inflammatory effects and helps soothe rough and damaged skin.

7. Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter is an ultra-hydrating emollient that has become a popular ingredient in commercial beauty products. It is rich in fats, like coconut oil, which allows it to prevent skin drying and flaking. Cocoa butter also contains polyphenols that help reduce signs of aging and improve skin elasticity.

8. Squalene oil

Squalene oil is made up of antioxidants that make up about 12% of skin lipids. Rich in fatty acids that are able to penetrate and soften the skin. She uses Squalene Oil Face Serum to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fight acne, and treat eczema.

9. Beeswax

Beeswax is an excellent skin moisturizer, rich in vitamin A and has anti-inflammatory effects. It has antibacterial effects and can be used to improve conditions such as diaper rash, psoriasis, and eczema. It can also help clear up acne and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

10. Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil forms a protective lipid film on the skin’s surface that locks in moisture and soothes rough patches and irritation. Jojoba is also non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores. In addition to being used as a skin moisturizer, jojoba is an alternative to shaving cream, helps get rid of dandruff, and can speed up wound healing.

Benefits for the skin

1. Improves dry, cracked skin

Emollients are often used for their hydrating effects, and studies show that they are actually helpful in helping the skin retain moisture. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology indicates that emollients help break the cycle of skin dryness and keep skin soft. People with dry, scaly, and cracked skin may benefit from topical application of an emollient to the affected area. Another study published in Geriatric Nursing found that for aging skin, an emollient treatment can help reduce both dryness and loss of skin barrier function.

2. Reduce signs of aging

Research shows that moisturizers can improve sun damage and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. One study found that applying fatty acids to the skin improved skin hydration, barrier function, and pH. After 28 days of treatment, the lipid-containing moisturizer significantly reduced wrinkles and improved texture.

3. Relieve skin irritation

Emollients are commonly used in the treatment of many skin conditions and skin irritations. A 2018 study published in PLoS One concluded that emollients act as a preventive tool for infants at risk of developing atopic dermatitis. Research also indicates that emollients have anti-inflammatory activity, relieve irritation, and may improve skin conditions including psoriasis, keratosis, and xeroderma.


Emollients are available in many forms. You’ll find it in almost all skin moisturizers, including ointments, creams, and lotions. To use an emollient, simply apply it to clean skin, usually once or twice a day. You can also use emollients for your scalp and hair. Just massage it into the scalp and ends of the hair. Depending on the product, it is rinsed out afterwards or used as a leave-in moisturizer.

You want to make your own moisturizer using an emollient. Try this homemade lotion with frankincense, lavender, and peppermint oils.

Risks and side effects

There are several types of emollients and they are often combined with other ingredients in a skin care product. Although applying topical emollients is considered safe for most people, it is possible to experience side effects, such as irritation, redness, and tingling. If you notice any of these side effects, stop using the product immediately.

* Presse Santé strives to impart health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the opinion of a health professional.


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