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The natural moisturizing system in human skin is mainly composed of water, lipids and natural moisturizing factor (NMF). Natural moisturizing factor is a general term for some low molecular weight substances that exist in the stratum corneum and can combine with water. Its main components include amino acids, bared alkyl carboxylic acid, urea, uric acid, glucosamine, lactate, inorganic salts, etc., which have the function of regulating moisture and skin pH. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Generally speaking, the skin will feel comfortable with a water content of 10% or more in the surface stratum corneum, while the water content should be 30% or more if you want to achieve the effect of “moist and clear”. If lacking, the skin will be dry and prone to the formation of sensitive skin. Therefore, natural moisturizers are born.


Sources of natural humectants

Natural moisturizers are substances that are made from natural organisms and processed artificially to obtain emollient and hydrating effects. Natural humectants exist in human body, animals, plants, and aquatic organisms.


Types of natural moisturizers

There is a wide variety of natural moisturizers, which can be classified according to molecular weight, structure, and source.

According to molecular weight: low molecular weight moisturizer, high molecular weight moisturizer.

By chemical structure: polyols, amino acids, polysaccharides, organic salts, etc.

Moisturizers are classified by source: human source, plant source, animal source and aquatic biological source.

Human sources: moisturizing factors such as lactic acid, urea, sodium and potassium.

Vegetable sources: contains many natural plant oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, argan oil, aloe vera, etc.

Animal sources: Sugar, protein and lactic acid in honey.

Aquatic sources: polyketides, alkaloids, peptides, proteins, lipids, amino acids of fungi and fungus, glycosides, isoprenoids and hybrids, and many other compounds.


Characteristics of natural moisturizers

Hydrate the skin, they can maintain the skin in a balanced state of higher than normal water content by controlling the exchange of moisture between the product and the surrounding air, which serves to reduce dry skin. Some of them also have anti-aging, repair, whitening and sun protection features.


Details of natural moisturizers



Xylitol, white crystals or white powdered crystals, is easily soluble in water and absorbs heat when dissolved. Xylitol is non-cariogenic, metabolism is not regulated by insulin, widely used as sweetener and nutrient.


It is often added to skin care products as a moisturizer to play a lubricating and moisturizing role, and can form a protective film on the surface to prevent moisture dissipation, with a recommended dosage of 0.5%-5%.



Erythritol, generally a rhombic crystalline solid, is easily soluble in water, slightly soluble in alcohol, and basically insoluble in organic solvents such as ether and benzene. Its moisturizing property is better than glycerin 27%, and more mild.


It is widely used in personal care products such as cleansers, toners, softeners, lotions, etc. It is used in sunscreen products and after-sun soothing products to provide a mild, cooling moisturizing effect. The recommended dosage is 0.5%-3%.



Sorbitol, white odorless crystalline powder, relative density 1.428, easily soluble in water, acetone, acetic acid and hot ethanol, slightly soluble in methanol, cold ethanol.

The process production methods of sorbitol are high temperature and high pressure hydrogenation, electrochemical method and fermentation method.


It can be used as a moisturizer for toothpaste, cosmetics and tobacco, and the recommended dosage is 1%~10%.



Mannitol, white needle-like crystals, odorless and sweet. Easily soluble in water, almost insoluble in ethanol and ether, aqueous solution is alkaline.

At present, the industrial production of mannitol mainly adopts kelp extraction and high temperature and high pressure catalytic reduction method.


It can be used as moisturizer in cosmetics, and the recommended dosage is 0.5%~5%.



Panthenol is a white crystalline powder or a yellow to colorless clear viscous liquid. There are two products, DL-panthenol is a racemic mixture of L-panthenol and D-panthenol called panthe nol, and the ortho-panthenol is called dexpanthenol.


Only D-panthenol has vitamin-like properties. Widely used in medicine, food, feed, cosmetics and other fields, skin pharmaceutical class, skin care, hair cosmetics more widely used. The recommended dosage is 0.5%~1%


Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronic acid, is a white powder with no special odor. It has strong hygroscopicity, soluble in water, insoluble in alcohol, ketone, ether and other organic solvents. It has very high hydrophilicity, viscoelasticity and permeability.


As a more ideal moisturizer, it is widely used in various skin care products, and the recommended dosage is 0.02%-0.5%.


Sodium PCA

Also known as natural moisturizing factor, it is an important added ingredient in skin care and hair care cosmetics. It is colorless or slightly yellow transparent odorless liquid, easily soluble in water, ethanol, propanol, glacial acetic acid, etc.


Its moisturizing ability is a little stronger than glycerin, propylene glycol and sorbitol, which are all traditional moisturizers. sodium PCA is not irritating to skin and eyes, and can make skin and hair moist, soft, elastic and shiny, and anti-static.

It is mainly used in cream cosmetic baths, shampoos and other products. The recommended dosage is 1%~5%.


Lactic acid

L-lactic acid is part of the skin’s inherent natural moisturizing factor. It is a colorless liquid and a colorless to light yellow liquid in industrial form. Odorless and hygroscopic.


Lactic acid is a versatile ingredient that can be used as a moisturizer, pH regulator, and whitening ingredient.

○As a natural moisturizer, it can be used in skin and hair care and cleansing products after compounding with sodium lactate to increase the shine of skin and hair.

○ Lactic acid is added to the product in a certain ratio with sodium lactate to adjust the pH.

○As a fruit acid, it is less irritating than hydroxyacetic acid and effectively promotes the metabolism of the stratum corneum, which has whitening effects. However, only L-lactic acid has whitening effect.


Sodium lactate

Sodium lactate, colorless or slightly yellow transparent syrupy liquid, odorless or slightly special odor. The main production methods are fermentation method, direct neutralization method and compound decomposition method.


As a moisturizer, pH regulator, whitening agent, sodium lactate is used in combination with milk.


Polyglutamic acid

White crystal powder, easily soluble in water. It is a homo-polyamide made by amide bond polymerization between α-amino and γ-carboxyl groups with left- and right-handed photophoric glutamic acid as the unit body.


Safe and mild, good biodegradability. The recommended dosage as a moisturizer for skin care and hair care products is 0.1%~1%.



White crystalline powder, also known as amino acid moisturizer. Betaine is divided into natural betaine and synthetic betaine.


It is a new type of moisturizer with fast absorption and high activity. In the application of personal care products, it can quickly penetrate into skin and hair tissues, improve the moisture retention ability of skin and hair, stimulate the vitality of cells, repair aging and damage, and give skin and hair a moisturized and smooth feeling. The recommended dosage in cosmetics is 0.5%~5%.


Aloe vera extract

The main components of Aloe vera extract are polysaccharides, anthraquinones, proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc.


Cosmetics made from aloe vera extract include health toothpaste, skin cleansing and skin care products, series of hair products, moisturizing creams, youth creams and other products with a recommended dosage of 3% to 8%.

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