What Are the Best Moisturizing Ingredients?

When dealing with dry skin, the best approach is to use several different moisturizing ingredients to restore skin hydration, improve the skin barrier, and increase what is called the natural moisturizing factor, or NMF. The biggest factor in determining which moisturizers are right for your skin is your Baumann Skin Type®, which indicates the level of dryness of your skin, as well as skin sensitivity and other factors.

Your Baumann Skin Type® can then be used to create a customized skin care regimen that includes the best moisturizing ingredients for your particular skin type. Here are some of top moisturizing ingredients for dry skin.


Glycerin is a colorless and odorless liquid derived from plants. It acts as a humectant, meaning that it draws in moisture from its environment. Using humectants like glycerin can be very beneficial, but it can also be detrimental to your skin if not used properly. Because glycerin soaks in moisture from the space around it, it can attract water from both the outside air and the deeper layers of your skin.

Thus, when used in a moist, humid environment, glycerin can help to increase the moisture content of your skin. In dry, arid climates, on the other hand, glycerin can pull water up from your skin, leaving it dehydrated and dry. In this case, it is best to combine humectants like glycerin with an occlusive agent to seal water inside your skin and prevent it from escaping into the atmosphere.

MLE Technology (Myristoyl/Palmitoyl Oxostearamide/Arachamide Mea

Myristoyl/palmitoyl oxostearamide/arachamide mea is the very long, technical name for a lab-created ingredient known to mimic the natural lamellar structure of your skin’s lipids. This is also referred to as multi-lamellar emulsion (MLE) technology.

Why is MLE technology so important in a moisturizer? Your skin has a built-in barrier system that prevents water from escaping into the atmosphere and keeps harmful particles from penetrating your skin. This barrier is made up of a complex system of lipids, which need to be arranged in a specific shape and pattern in order to function properly. For people with very dry skin, including chronic conditions like eczema, the skin’s barrier is weakened. Studies have shown that applying MLE formulations directly to the skin can improve skin barrier function by imitating the structure of its natural lipids.


Ceramides are one of the important lipids that are naturally present within your skin. They, along with fatty acids and cholesterol, are crucial for proper barrier function. Topical ceramides can be used to improve the skin barrier, prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and improve dry, flaky, and itchy skin conditions. While natural ceramides can be derived from bovine tissue, safety concerns were raised during the mad cow disease outbreak. As a result, scientists have created pseudoceramides, which have been deemed safe and effective moisturizing ingredients.

We also know that applying ingredients rich in linoleic acid, such as safflower oil, increases ceramide production in the skin. Topical lactic acid can have the same effect.

Stearic Acid

A long-chain fatty acid, stearic acid is often used as an emollient ingredient in topical moisturizers. Emollients are mainly comprised of lipids and oils and are added to cosmetic products to soften and smooth your skin. They work by filling in the spaces between desquamating skin cells and flattening upturned edges of individual cells to create a smoother surface.


Oils are substances that are insoluble in water and contain a variety of fatty acids, including stearic, oleic, and linoleic acids. Oils can be derived from plants, animals, and synthetic processes.

Argan oil, derived from the fruit of the Argania spinosa tree, is one of the best skin care products for dry skin. It contains a high concentration of linoleic and oleic acids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. As described above, linoleic acid also plays a role in the production of ceramides within the skin and therefore aids in improving dry skin. Argan oil is also very rich in antioxidants, which neutralize oxidative stress on the skin that could otherwise contribute to accelerated aging and skin cancer.

PAORR (pronounced “power”) contains 100% pure Moroccan argan oil and is an excellent topical treatment for dry, sensitive skin types

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In Summary

Look for these top five moisturizing ingredients that correspond to your Baumann Skin Type® to improve dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and many other conditions related to an impaired skin barrier and decreased hydration.

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By | 2019-04-09T03:02:14+00:00 November 14th, 2018|Beauty, Dr. Leslie Baumann, Hydration, Skincare|0 Comments