The Pitfalls of Humectants in Hair and Skin Care Products


Humectants are great - if you live in an environment that has humidity in the air. But what if you live in a dry environment, such as Arizona, or Africa? There's a problem of women living in dry, non-humid environments, where it's particularly hard to get and retain moisture in hair. A product that can be used in a dry environment can be used anywhere - though that's not the case with products developed for use within humid environments.

The job of humectants is to take moisture from the air and attract it to your hair. But what happens when there's no moisture in the air, and you're using products with humectants in them? There's a need for women who live in non-humid environments to find the right products that add moisture to their hair when none is to be found in the air.

In using products created with humectants such as honey, glycerin, panthenol, among others, women in dry environments find that their hair still doesn't obtain or hold moisture. Here's the reason why: Most hair products are developed in environments where there's enough humidity to make those products work well...if you live there. If you don't live in a humid area, or the area you live in has dry seasons (winter, for example), or you travel to a place like Arizona or Africa, where it's very dry, you can't use those same products and expect them to work well.

While humectants are great for hair in humid environments, they work oppositely in dry environments or dry weather conditions. In a dry environment, instead of pulling moisture from the atmosphere and attaching the moisture molecules to your hair, humectants will pull moisture from your hair, and allow the moisture molecules to evaporate into the environment around you. Some may live in an environment that is dry during a particular season, or the whole year round. Most women moving from an environment near water, such as California, southern or east coast states, find that years after they've moved to a drier environment they still haven't discovered why they haven't found a hair product that will help their hair retain the moisture that they were used to previously.

Find products that work no matter what environment you're located in, products that provide all the moisture your hair can hold (because our hair can only hold so much at a time). It's hard work discovering the right products for our hair in the first place; harder still to find a different set of products to use if you have to travel or move to a different environment.

Humectants you might find in your skin and hair care products:

• Glycerin 
• Panthenol/ vitamin B5 
• Honey 
• Sorbitol 
• Glycol 
• Dipropylene glycol 
• Ammonium lactate 
Propylene glycerol 
• Polyethylene glycols 
• Glyceryl Triacetate 
• Sodium Pyrollidone Carboxylic Acid (Sodium PCA) 
• Butylene Glycol 
• Hyaluronic Acid 
• Urea