Do you want to keep dry skin at bay? Or enjoy smooth, supple, and youthful skin? One of the best ways to achieve all these benefits is by using moisturizing lotions, oils, creams, and balms. But as you’ve already realized, there is an astounding number of skin hydration products in the industry – some with ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. So, how do know what to look for?
Sure, you can take the easy route by grabbing a catchy formula in the nearest store and crossing your fingers for the best. But coming from people who care about your skin health, it’s advisable to consult the ingredient list. Why so? The contents of the formulation in a skin moisturizer are what defines it – “the devil is in the detail.” This article shares some of the best skin hydration ingredients (crème of the crop) in skincare products.
- Kukui Oil
In a conversation with Glamour, “12 Years a Slave” and “Black Panther” star, Lupita Nyong’o mentioned Hawaiian Kukui oil as part of her make-up regimen. Quite surprisingly, her comment caught most people off-guard. What exactly is kukui oil, and what are its benefits?
Kukui oil is an essential oil produced the kukui nut tree – also known as the candlenut tree. The oil extract has been part of Hawaiian culture for centuries. Some sources claim that Polynesians used kukui oil to protect the skin of infants from free radicals. Today, it is used as an emollient (substance to soothe and soften skin) in lip balms, body lotions, and shampoos.
Dry or cracked skin is a breeding ground for germs, uncomfortable, and often painful. Scientific studies show that topical application of kukui nut oil promotes the growth of new cells and prevents dry skin. Kukui nut oil has essential fatty acids that make it a potent moisturizing product. Additionally, the soothing properties of kukui oil help with minor burns, wounds, and skin irritations. It’s also used to protect the skin from wind, salt, sun, and other free radicals in the environment.
- Babassu Oil
With 70% fats among other unique compositions, Babassu oil is a highly sought-after essential oil from the Attalea speciose palm plant. The nutrient-dense oil is native to South America, where it’s readily available as vegetable oil and in natural health stores. Most of the benefits of Babassu oil are attributed to its composition of antioxidants, vitamin E, palmitic, oleic, myristic, stearic, and lauric acid among other therapeutic compounds.
According to a recent research article, babassu oil has emollient properties that prevent dandruff, hair loss, and lock in moisture in the skin and hair. Another study showed that the essential oil is absorbed rapidly into the skin without leaving an oily residue. Therefore, moderate application of babassu oil on your skin could help with skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and psoriasis. This sounds impressive, right? Well, that not all! The high levels of antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin E in the oil also make it a potent remedy for improved skin elasticity, growth of new skin cells, and elimination of wrinkles.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil does not need an introduction. It's arguably one of the most common ingredients in skin hydration products – and rightfully so! It’s believed that natives in tropical regions of the world used coconut oil to protect their skin from drying due to harmful sun rays. Coconut oil seems to be mother nature’s remedy to help people in the sunniest and hottest places on earth.
According to the U.S. National Nutrition Database, there are various nutrients in coconut oil such as Vitamin E that improve skin health, prevent dry skin, and even remedy skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne. Coconut oil is a great way to soften the skin and get rid of hard, dead, or dry skin. By rubbing the oil on your feet, palms, face, and other body parts, most people claim that the skin becomes softer with time.
- Macadamia Seed Oil
Who loves macadamia nuts? The nuts are a favorite among most people (including us) due to the high nutrient profile and rich flavor. But the beauty of these nuts is not just internal. Topical application of macadamia seed oil may help improve your skin health. The macadamia nut extract is characterized by the enchanting nutty aroma and amber color.
Generally, macadamia nuts are potent antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals and improve the overall health of the body. When it comes to skin health, a study published by the Journal of Plant Food for Human Nutrition showed that squalene, which is a rare antioxidant in macadamia nut oil, helps prevent age spots, dry skin, wrinkles, and improve skin regeneration. Macadamia seed oil is even good for shaving! Some sources suggest that the anti-inflammatory and soothing effects of macadamia seed oil can be an excellent addition to your cabinet of shaving products. Applying the essential oil after shaving leaves the skin healthier, smoother, and moist.
- Aloe Leaf Juice
The elephant’s gall, the burn plant, the lily of the desert – the aloe vera plant goes by many names. This a succulent plant that has been recognized by both traditional and modern medical practitioners in nearly every continent for its therapeutic properties. Although the whole plant can be harvested for its active ingredients, it’s the aloe vera leaves that pack the hardest punch.
How does aloe vera help hydrate the skin? The plant contains salicylic acids, saponins, eight enzymes, nine minerals, and a truckload of vitamins that help maintain the health of your skin. More specifically, a study appearing in the Indian Journal of Dermatology claimed that regular use aloe leaf juice stimulates fibroblasts that create elastin fibers and collagen – hence reducing wrinkles and the appearance of fine lines. The same study also characterized aloe leaf juice as a powerful moisturizer that could help improve skin integrity, tighten skin pores, and treat dry skin.
- Jojoba Seed Oil
Did you know that jojoba seed oil is actually a plant wax and not oil? The Simmondsia Chinensis plant or jojoba plant is a shrub that is native to North America. The plant has been used in medical practices for centuries. The secret to its health benefits lies in its compounds. Jojoba seed oil is rich in erucic, eicosenoic, oleic, palmitoleic nervonic, palmitic, and stearic acids. Individually, these compounds have potent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant effects – you can guess what they can do collectively. Jojoba seed oil has a similar consistency to our body’s natural moisturizing agent, sebum.
What is the role of jojoba seed oil in skin hydration and skin health? Emerging evidence in the Journal of Dermatological Science shows that some compounds in jojoba seed oil are absorbed directly by the skin, forming a protective shield against the loss of moisture. The hydrating properties of the oil protect vulnerable cells from environmental elements, and prevents skin flaking or cracking. Jojoba oil also has emollient qualities that soothe skin cells in inflamed, itchy, swollen, or irritated regions.
- Sweet Almond Oil
There are a lot of skin hydration ingredients in the cosmetic and health industry. However, sweet almond oil holds a special position in the list of skin moisturizers. The concentrated oil is extracted from sweet almonds through almond kernel press or distillation processes. Sweet almond oil contains numerous compounds that set it apart from other skin hydration ingredients.
As per the National Nutrients Database, the essential oil is high in folate, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin K. But what really brings out its true power is its concentration of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fats. Omega-6 fatty acids in sweet almond oil make it excellent for facilitating supple skin and strengthening hair.
In the book, How to Overcome Dandruff and Other Scalp Disorders, by Sylvia Sage, she recommends the use of sweet almond oil as a remedy for scalp flakes and dry skin. Sylvia claims that the oil cures dandruff mainly due to its deep moisturizing effect on the skin. Her assertions are supported by other reputable sources that cite sweet almond oil an effective way to moisturize cracked or dry lips.
- Acai Pulp Oil
Acai pulp oil is extracted from the Acai berries of the Acai palm. The plant mainly grows in floodplains or swamps, and the berries are a staple of indigenous tribes in the Amazon basin. People in Brazil have been using acai pulp oil and berries for generations to remedy different skin diseases and conditions. Aside from being a significant ingredient for overall health, acai pulp oil is increasingly attracting attention in the cosmetic industry.
Acai pulp oil and berries contain essential nutrients such as sodium, potassium, iron, calcium, different minerals, vitamins, proteins, healthy fats, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates. A study in the Phytochemistry Letters Journal claims that antioxidant compounds in acai pulp oil aid with skincare by moisturizing the skin and providing relief from irritation.
- Grape Seed Oil
As you can tell from the name, grape seed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes belonging to the Vitis vinifera species. Potent essential oils such as grape seed oil have received overwhelming attention in the last few decades as people move towards natural, eco-friendly remedies. Specifically, grape seed oil is sought-after for its versatility in medicinal practices, cosmetic, and culinary applications.
The essential oil could help improve skin health thanks to its high levels of antioxidants, polyunsaturated fats, and flavonoids. An American study appearing in the Archives of Dermatological Research showed that grape seed oil helps the skin look younger and moisturized by reducing blemishes, wrinkles, oxidative stress, improving elasticity, and promoting cell regeneration.
- Jasmine Oil
Does the name “Jasmine” ring a bell? Aside from being the name of a princess in Disney’s animation, Aladdin, it is a famous flower associated with love and romance. But its popularity is not just about aesthetics; jasmine essential oil is attributed to a wide range of therapeutic benefits.
It’s claimed to have antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, parturient, emmenagogue, galactagogue, and other technical-sounding properties. However, we are only interested in their impact on skin hydration and health. One of the most widespread uses of jasmine oil is in skincare products and aromatherapy. The essential oil helps treat dehydrated, brittle, or dry skin, thanks to its moisturizing properties. It’s also used in body/massage oils to soothe the skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
11. Whole Plant Hemp CBD Oil
Whole plant hemp CBD oil is quickly becoming a trendy ingredient in skincare products. Simply put, hemp is a specially cultivated variety of the cannabis sativa plant that is rich in CBD, with less than 0.3% THC. In addition to CBD, whole-plant hemp CBD oil contains a variety of naturally-occurring flavonoids, terpenes, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and phytocannabinoids that help support good health.
According to some sources, hemp seed oil also contains essential unsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acids) and omega-6 (linoleic acids). Emollient properties in these compounds help facilitate supple, nourished, and soft skin. The vitamins and antioxidant properties of whole plant hemp CBD oil also protect the skin from free radicals.
Hydrate Your Skin with Kino
Which skin hydrating ingredient would you like in your lotion? Coconut oil, kukui nut, sweet almond oil, acai pulp oil, or maybe aloe leaf juice? Well, Kino CBD products use all of these ingredients to rejuvenate and hydrate your skin! Our face, hair & body oils, body lotions, and lip balm are specially formulated to offer all the skin hydration benefits nature has to offer.
Featured Image: Noah Buscher Via Unsplash
Article Image 1: Jackie Tsang via Unsplash