Monday, March 3, 2014

How "Moisturizers" Are Supposed To Work

I will be adding to this post.

I had another email on this topic. There are common misconceptions about "moisturizers". Humectants draw water from the air. However, if air is dry and too much of a humectant is used, or too much of one is in a cosmetic product, it can draw water from hair or skin and be counterproductive for the purpose used.

Can cosmetic mineral oil baby oil replace hair conditioner? Yes, best used on hair with little to no residue, or less conditioner than normally used first. Many people put more conditioner on hair lacking moisture and the result is more build-up (residue) and drier hair. It does not help.

Technically, no oil, or any other cosmetic ingredient moisturizes hair or skin. Water does so. Cosmetic mineral oil can help keep added water in both, or it can help maintain a moisture level. It can do so longer than most other ingredients, including vegetable oils and silicone.

That is what any "moisturizer" is supposed to do, and why cosmetic mineral oil is used in so many cosmetics for extra dry skin, for example. And also why mineral oil baby oil is often used in small amounts on damp to wet skin post bathing.

See also

This blog post, this link, and this one, updated 2015. The top three "moisturizing" cosmetic ingredients in order are: petrolatum (Vaseline is a brand), lanolin and mineral oil. The others following do not come close to the same performance for longer term moisturizing. The difference for longer hair is that mineral oil is neither heavy nor sticky, or greasy used alone in small amounts, like the first two. It does not contain and is not a wax. Petrolatum contains wax and mineral oil, and lanolin is a wax. Both can be difficult to remove from hair, while mineral oil can be washed out easily. Mineral oil has superb detangling properties, and it is also antistatic. It should not need reapplication between hair washes, if enough is used post washing.