Harmattan: 8 Effective Moisturiser Ingredients For Your Skin

It is the time of the year again when we experience dry air, a dusty environment, and dryness of skin.

To avoid the harsh effects of harmattan, you need to stay hydrated, take off cracked lips, and most importantly, moisturise your skin using an oil or cream.

Therefore, to get the best moisturising cream or oil, below are effective ingredients you must look out for your skin:

  • Urea

Urea is an effective exfoliator. It is really great at exfoliating and moisturising at the same time. Urea helps to melt away dead cells and ensure other moisturising ingredients penetrate well into the skin.

study shows that the use of urea-containing formulations improves dry, scaly skin and other skin defects.

  • Glycerin

Glycerin is a humectant. It is a substance that moistures and works like a vacuum that sucks water from the atmosphere and the lower layer of the skin.

It readily absorbs and retains water. It also smoothens and hydrates the skin. Glycerin protects the skin’s outer barriers and therefore prevents it from dryness and flaking.

According to a 2016 study, glycerin is “the most effective humectant” available to increase hydration on the top layer of your skin, in comparison with numerous others.

  • Petrolatum

Petrolatum is an occlusive ingredient that prevents water loss and an emollient that hydrates the rough dead cells on the skin’s surface. Also known as petroleum jelly and vaseline, petrolatum is also very good at filling in cracks to treat chapped skin.

However, people with oily skin might skip petrolatum because it might exacerbate their bodies.

  • Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid packs a powerful moisturising punch that helps your skin retain its natural moisture by pulling water to the skin and preventing moisture loss.


This acid makes skin appear plumper, feel softer, and treats face wrinkling.

In 2014, a study involved female participants applying topical hyaluronic acid as a lotion, serum, and cream. After 8 weeks, the study results showed finer skin and an increase in skin hydration of up to 96% in the participants.

  • Ceramides

Ceramides are fats found naturally in the skin. Their job is to seal in water so skin cells don’t dry out.

They reinforce the skin’s natural moisture barrier and get absorbed by the skin really quickly.

According to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, there is a relationship between damaged skin and low ceramide levels which makes it a must-check ingredient in the moisturiser you’re getting next.

  • Niacinamide

Also called niacin, this is a derivative of vitamin B3. It supports your epidermal lipid barrier performance, which locks in the natural moisture and keeps your skin hydrated and protected from this harsh harmattan weather.

According to a study, the topical application of niacinamide can increase the production of ceramides — lipids that help maintain the skin’s protective barrier — which may contribute to its topical effects on wrinkles, fine lines, and the skin’s moisture barrier.

  • Dimethicone

It is a light emollient that forms a protective layer over the skin’s surface. It helps to hydrate and keep moisture by creating an oily layer on top of the skin that traps water.

Jessie Cheung, a certified dermatologist, also states that dimethicone “helps to fill in fine lines and wrinkles”.

  • Shea butter

Shea butter is a natural excellent emollient. It can help the skin reduce moisture loss. You can also use it alone to keep your skin moisturised.


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