What would you like to know?
Share this Story

Soft skin without stickiness

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Cut the grease in your lotions

Do you love soft skin but hate the stickiness you get from most lotions? Believe it or not, it is possible to get super soft skin without dealing with greasy or sticky moisturizers. You just have to know what to look for.

woman applying lotion in towel

Moisturizing 101

One glimpse into the lotion aisle at your local grocery store can be enough to make you give up trying to understand lotion. Thankfully, you don't need a degree to figure it out, just a bit of basic information.

Summer skin care products that protect and heal >>

Moisturizers are made up of two key types of ingredients: humectants and occlusives. Both work very differently in the way they deliver moisture to your skin.

Occlusives form a seal on the surface of your skin, locking in moisture. This is a handy feature, because dry air, wind and water are all pretty effective at sapping that moisture right out of your skin. Lotions with occlusive properties may be thicker and greasy, and are sometimes irritating to sensitive or oily skin. They're most effective when you apply them to damp skin. Some popular occlusive ingredients are lanolin, silicone, petroleum, petrolatum and paraffin.

The golden rules of skin care >>

Humectants work to draw moisture from the air into your skin, as well as from the tissue under your skin. These lotions are thinner, since they aren't oil-based. They're not as greasy or irritating, but they don't have a lot of staying power either. Humectants are most effective when you apply them several times throughout the day. Some of the most common humectants are glycerin, glucose, urea and lactic acid.

The perfect combination

Both occlusive and humectants have their benefits and drawbacks, so your best bet is to find a moisturizer that uses both. The perfect combination of occlusive and humectants will be able to deliver moisture and protect your skin, all without leaving you feeling sticky or feeling the need for several applications.

The next time you're at the grocery store, don't panic in the moisturizer aisle. Instead, read the bottles and look for a combination of both types of ingredients.

How to save money on skin care products >>

And don't worry that it'll cost you an arm and a leg. Some of the best moisturizers that include occlusives and humectants are low to moderately priced, like Vaseline's Total Moisture product line. These products use ingredients like glycerin, lactic acid and petrolatum to deliver to you the best of both worlds, without leaving you feeling sticky.

Quick Tip

When you get out of the shower, pat yourself dry -- don't rub. Apply lotion to your skin while it's still damp.

More moisturizing tips from SheKnows

Skin care secrets of the stars
Skin care tips for women in their 30s

Anti-aging skin care for moms

Recommended for You
Comments
Hot
New in Beauty
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!