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Emollients the performance ingredients

do you have parched dry, flaky skin?

Or a skin that is prone to inflammation?

Then what if we were to tell you that without emollients chances are you could have dry skin.

They are often referred to as protectors, because they lie on top of your skin shielding it from environmental harm, repairing, and keeping it supple.

The molecules are large and don’t penetrate easily, which is why they make your skin feel lovely and soft.

Barrier healing emollients

Natural emollients include Jojoba, Squalane, and Lecithin, rich in fatty acids and naturally found within your skin.

Natural silicone alternatives such as ‘Coco-caprylate’ are a readily biodegradable light emollient and ‘Silybum marianum ethyl ester’ the latter we prefer to use our formulas. They have unique properties and are superb emollients providing great slip and can feel like silk on your skin. They also act as conditioners, film-formers, moisturisers, and thickeners.

Both Fortify barrier repair cream, and Bio lipid complex contains natural occlusive, skin-identical ingredients, that prevent moisture loss and rebuild your skin’s natural protective barrier.

Synthetic emollients

There are many synthetic emollients available, but we as a company we choose not to include them in our formulas because they are biologically inert. Still, they are worth a mention as they are found in many moisturising formulas on the market today:


These include Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, and Cyclopentasiloxane; they are the most commonly used to create a nice texture in skincare products; they also help deliver performance cosmetic ingredients effectively.


These are relatively new synthetic silicones, which work as spreading agents. They also work by imparting a silky feel on your skin, helping with slip and glide; they are often referred to as breathable barriers because they leave a protective film on the skin’s surface. Because they have such a nice texture, they have replaced many of the more traditional emollients that are considered too thick.


This is an ingredient that we choose to avoid in my formulas if purified or not. Why? Because the question has to be asked, do we really want our clients smearing their skin with something that has come into contact with sheep dip? Especially when you consider, several natural substitutes are available.

Mineral oil

Emulsifiers to avoid are the ones that have a mineral oil base. Polyethene 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 your skin, whilst creating a protective barrier, thus helping to keep skin plump and moist and invading bacteria out, this is a subject we discuss in greater detail in the chapter on occlusive ingredients, which you can read all about here.

So as we can see emollients really do have their place in skincare, but you have to make sure they’re natural. Why? Because everything that touches you matters.


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