Emollients are interesting ingredients.
I use natural emollients a lot in my formulas, to improve barrier function.
They are often referred to as protectors, because they lie on top of the skin shielding it from environmental harm, repairing and restoring your skin; making them the perfect choice for a lipid dry skin type.
The molecules are large and don’t penetrate easily, which is why, they make skin feel lovely and soft.
Barrier Healing Emollients
Natural emollients such as jojoba, squalane and sunflower oil, are rich in fatty acids that protect the skin.
These fatty materials are found naturally in our barrier, which is why you will find them in a number of the Naked Chemist products for a dry skin.
There are many synthetic emollients I don’t include in my formulas. Silicones cyclomethicone, dimethicone and cyclopentasiloxane, are the most commonly used.
Polymers: These are a relatively new synthetic Silicone, which work as fantastic spreading agents.
They are used to create a nice texture in skin care products, and help deliver performance cosmetic ingredients effectively.
They work by imparting a silky feel on the skin, helping with slip and glide; they are often referred to as breathable barriers, because they leave a protective film on the skins surface.
Because they have such a nice texture, they have replaced many of the more traditional emollients that were thick and fat.
I prefer not to use these silicones in my formulas, because they are biologically inert, I prefer to use a natural silicone made from olive oil.
Lanolin: This is an ingredient that whether purified or not, I choose to avoid in my formulas.
Why? Because the question has to be asked, do my clients really need to be smearing their body with something that has come into contact with sheep dip? Especially when you consider, the entire natural substitutes available.
The article killing you softly the dangers of lanolin, gives a good insight into why you should avoid this ingredient in your products.
Mineral oil: Emulsifiers to avoid, are the ones that have a mineral oil base.
Polyethylene glycol ether is usually combined with paraffin; this could include trideceth -3, -6, 10, tricetheareth, which are petro-chemical based.
Mineral oil, works by trapping water in the top layers of the skin, whilst creating a protective barrier, thus helping to keep skin plump and moist and invading bacteria out.
This is a subject I discuss in greater detail, in the chapter on occlusive ingredients, which you can read all about here.
So as you can see emollients do have their place in skincare, but you just have to make sure their natural.
Why? Because everything touches you matters.
Yours in skin health. Samantha