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How Do Moisturisers Work?

Emollients are the magic ingredients behind that wonderful feeling of a smooth and supple skin after using a good moisturising product. Emollients are complex mixtures of chemical or natural agents designed to make the external layers of the skin softer and more flexible.

But how do they work? They can work in one of three ways or a combination of the following:

Occlusive emollients

Moisturise means technically to add or restore moisture. Occlussive emollients don't really add or restore moisture but they prevent any further loss of moisture by forming a thin film on the surface of the skin to prevent any loss of moisture.


These attract water from the surrounding medium in order to moisturise the skin.

Restoration of deficient compounds

These look at possible causes for dehydration and try to address them by restoring natural moisturising factors on the skin such as amino-lipids and lipopeptides. Their workings are more complex in nature, but can be highly effective depending on your skin type and condition.

By having the right levels of moisture, your skin operates better and healthier, however, to achieve the smooth texture that you are looking for, emollients also fill the spaces in between the skin cells with tiny droplets of oil. The end result, a softer and more pliable skin and a pleasurable sensation for the host.