Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A substance that promotes retention of moisture.
  • adj. Promoting retention of moisture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any substance that promotes the retention of water, especially one used to keep a food product moist

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Diluent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Moistening; diluent.
  • n. A substance regarded as tending to increase the fluidity of the blood.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any substance that is added to another substance to keep it moist

Etymologies

From Latin hūmectāns, hūmectānt-, present participle of hūmectāre, to moisten, from hūmectus, moist, from hūmēre, to be moist.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Honey is a natural humectant with antimicrobial properties, which means your skin will be happy when you give it some sweet honey love.

    Anna Brones: 20 Unusual Uses for Honey

  • It is being produced at the absolutely lovely Williamstown Theatre Festival, located in the absolutely lovely town of Williamstown, Massachusetts, a haven for the creative spirit, a healing balm for those who spend the lion's share of their time trying to matter in the garish narcissopolis of Los Angeles or the humectant crush of New York; a place where burgeoning young artists can, you know, burgeon.

    Steven Weber: Thanks, Art!

  • It is also a moisturizer and acts as a humectant, which means that it attracts water from the upper layers of the skin down into the deeper layers to restore the water levels to your skin.

    Robert Tornambe, M.D.: What's In That Cream You're Putting On Your Face?

  • Moisturize the callused area twice a day with a thick cream containing either urea (Carmol lotion) or lactic acid (AmLactin or Lac-Hydrin), both of which have exfoliating and humectant properties.

    Simple Skin Beauty

  • But if you feel slightly tight (especially if your cleanser contains salicylic acid or a drying detergent), use a water-based, lightweight lotion or gel formulation that contains more humectant ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin) than waxy or oily emollients.

    Simple Skin Beauty

  • Milk also has anti-inflammatory and humectant properties that help to soothe and moisturize skin simultaneously.

    Simple Skin Beauty

  • You can use a humectant (like honey), an emollient (such as avocado or olive oil), an anti-inflammatory (cucumbers or oatmeal), or a gentle exfoliant (such as milk or yogurt) to achieve the desired outcome.

    Simple Skin Beauty

  • If you like to use a facial mist, make sure it contains something more than H2O—a humectant ingredient such as glycerin or aloe vera, which will lock on the moisture you just spritzed and will keep your skin hydrated.

    Simple Skin Beauty

  • The best topical antidote is fresh aloe vera, since it has anti-inflammatory and humectant properties.

    Simple Skin Beauty

  • • They moisturize, using humectant and emollient ingredients.

    Simple Skin Beauty

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