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Humectants 101: The Water-Loving Ingredient Explained

We wanted to answer some of the most common questions we’ve gotten lately about humectants and their function in your favorite hydrating skin staples.

Q: What is a humectant?

A: A humectant is a substance that is key to keeping the skin hydrated. It helps draw moisture to the skin’s surface and retains water so that the skin doesn't end up drying out or feeling thirsty. It's typically seen in face and body products and can be found in Starflower + Snow Mushroom ultra-hydrating sleep mask and Mushroom + Moss gel cream.

Q: What ingredients can be categorized as a humectant?

A: Different humectants have different origins, but they all have a common purpose as a skin hydrator. Some of our favorites to use in WK formulas are aloe vera, snow mushrooms, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and propylene glycol.

Q: Are there other benefits to using humectants besides hydration?

A: Humectants work like a sponge to attract water and many can hold up to 100–1000 times their weight in moisture. Humectants that are occlusives like glycerin work like an invisible bandage and seal off the skin from the outside world, holding onto serious moisture.

Q: When should I incorporate humectants into my routine?

A: If you have a skincare routine, you are probably already using humectants without realizing it! Products with humectants can be applied at any time, day or night, and works best while skin is still damp. Our favorite way to apply? Swipe on Starflower and Snow Mushroom ultra-hydrating sleep mask  to damp skin and then apply a reusable silicone mask for 10 mins and behold the power of ✨occlusion✨. No no need to rinse off. Just hit the sheets and wake up with bouncy gleamy skin.


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