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7 Ingredients That Make Your Body Lotion a Moisturizing Machine

Catherine Conelly is a Senior Love and Health Editor at SheKnows.

Quick! Check your lotion bottle for these ingredients

We always hear about the toxic ingredients that should never ever be in our beauty products, but what about the ones that should be there? Check your lotion bottle for these six ingredients that make lotions and moisturizers better at their job.

1. Peptides

Peptides are amino acids that help your skin produce collagen and tell it how to function properly. Applying them topically via creams and lotions can decrease the appearance of wrinkles over time. One study even found that peptides can help minimize the symptoms of skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis and dermatitis, which makes it an ideal ingredient for your facial moisturizer and your body lotion. Win-win.

More: Summer skin safety for the whole family

2. Ceramides

These little guys are lipid molecules that lock in moisture and protect your skin, so if you have dry skin, it typically means you're lacking ceramides. Your body produces them naturally, but they tend to diminish as you age. Luckily, you can restore lost lipids and restore moisture to your skin's barrier by using a lotion that contains ceramides. Because they're so absorbent, they help lock in water and give your skin its groove back.

3. Sodium PCA (sodium pyroglutamic acid)

Sodium PCA is one of many effective humectants used in personal care products. That just means it can absorb lots 'n' lots of water, which helps bind moisture to your skin cells and prevent dry skin. Sodium PCA also happens to have anti-aging benefits and can reduce inflammation. Even cooler, it actually attracts moisture from the air to your skin to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

More: No-fail summer skin care strategies

4. Essential fatty acids

Eat avocados, they say. Cook with olive oil instead of butter, they say. Well, just as these omega 3- and omega 6-heavy foods are good for your diet, they're also good for your skin. A severe lack of essential fatty acids (omegas) can lead to skin abnormalities and dermatitis. But your lotion probably isn't going to list "avocado" on the ingredient list. Instead, look for avocado oil, flaxseed oil, cottonseed oil or safflower oil, just to name a few. Borage seed oil and primrose oil are two others.

5. Glycerin

Glycerin is another humectant that helps attract and retain skin's moisture. The International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that using a lotion with 20 percent glycerin increased hydration more than lotions without glycerin.

More: 5 Ways to snag high-end skin care products for next to nothing

6. Vitamin E

You'll often see this on a label as tocopherol. It's been shown to hydrate skin, promote healthy elasticity, and even defend against free radicals, all of which make it a great anti-aging ingredient as well as a moisturizing one. You'll be hard-pressed to find a lotion that doesn't have vitamin E these days.

7. Various antioxidants

We could spend days going into the many types of antioxidants that are good for your skin. They fight free radicals, cell damage and wrinkles. Some examples to look for include green tea, vitamin C, lycopene and grape seed. While not all of these moisturize your skin directly, they keep skin healthy, which also influences its ability retain moisture and function properly.

This post was sponsored by Curél.

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