We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Emollients?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
BeautyAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At BeautyAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Emollients, also commonly referred to as moisturizers, are products that help to soften skin or to treat skin that has become dry. Most emollients are forms of oil or grease, such as mineral oil, squalene, and lanolin. They work by increasing the ability of the skin to hold water, providing the skin with a layer of oil to prevent water loss, and lubricating the skin.

Many natural ingredients are typically added to moisturizing products in order to give them their emollient properties. The juice from the aloe vera plant contains emollients, and is commonly added to skin lotions. This plant has long been used to preserve the moisture of the skin and to soothe dryness and other skin problems. The Mayas and the Incas used aloe vera to provide relief from sunburn. Today, it is used in special emollients to help burn victims heal quickly and with as little scarring as possible.

Another ingredient commonly used as an emollient is jojoba oil. Like aloe vera, jojoba oil helps to keep the skin moist. Jojoba oil is similar to sebum, an oil that is naturally found in the skin. For this reason, jojoba oil helps keep dry skin moist and suppresses the production of oil in skin that is oily.

Vitamin A is also used in many skin products as an emollient. It has been shown to be effective in keeping the skin healthy by increasing the amount of collagen in the skin, which helps keep the skin moist and elastic. Forms of vitamin A commonly used as emollients in lotions include retinyl, retinoic acid, palmitate, retinal, tretinoin, and isotretinoin.

Vitamin E is another emollient ingredient commonly used in moisturizers, as are soybean oil and avocado oil. All three of these emollients provide protection for the skin and help it retain its moisture. Avocado also contains large amounts of vitamin A and potassium.

Vitamin C is also an emollient, as well as an antioxidant. This vitamin has been proven to help create smoother, firmer skin when applied on a regular basis. In addition, it helps preserve moisture in the skin and prevents the skin from drying out.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon996422 — On Aug 26, 2016

Thanks for the simple explanation of emollient. I'll try to avoid using the word in presentations for now, however, your explanation of what it is, what it does, and how emollients are helpful is very nice indeed. Please, keep on writing.

By anon60143 — On Jan 12, 2010

yeah all that has been said is good but is formulating an emollient easy business? I'm only asking this because I'm studying Pharmacy.

By Mrsyarosh — On Dec 11, 2008

How can Emollients help heal/alleviate someone with mild psoriasis? Any natural known or proven research remedies?

By anon20963 — On Nov 08, 2008

How do i use vitamin c emollient in addition to astringent 8 and resurfacing gel 15

By rippedskin — On Oct 13, 2008

I have no idea when this was posted but you can purchase avocado oil at a health food store. It is a wonderful oil that is excellent for your skin!!!

By anon6360 — On Dec 26, 2007

My grandson dumped a bottle of bubble bath in the tub. Yes. Where was the mom? Regardless, he has now acquired a severe reaction to baths due to shampooing and soap. I am reading the article about emollients and am relieved that aloe vera will possibly relieve this little fella. Any ideas about how to make avocado oil? We like avocados.


BeautyAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

BeautyAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.