Moisturization remains the main objective of skin care cosmetics, coupled with secondary functions such as antiwrinkle, firming or brightening benefits. The moisturizing ability of a formulation generally is imparted by the use of polyols, mainly glycerin. Glycerin can help attract water from the formulation or the atmosphere and retain it in the epidermis. Added to an emulsion at levels between 3% and 10%, glycerin ensures a good level of hydration that is maintained for several hours; the duration of this effect depends on the other components in the formulation.
Many emollients, such as mineral oil and some silicones, act as occlusive agents and help to prevent the evaporation of water from the skin. Other emollients may not play an active role in hydration but instead help to maintain a soft and smooth feeling on the skin, giving the impression of better moisturization. In addition, a number of moisturizing actives act upon the lipidic cement of the horny layer, the glycoaminoglycans (GAGs), or the skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMF). These tend to have longer-term effects since they act on the skin’s biological mechanisms. The hydration of the skin largely controls the consumer’s perception of comfort; i.e., tight, dry skin is often related to insufficient moisturization. To address skin moisturization with a natural solution, the present article describes an ingredient of natural origin that is capable of improving skin moisturization.