Rely on a Reputable Humectant Supplier in the Philippines


Determining the moisture content is one of the most vital and widely used processes in testing various products. For example, knowing the moisture content in food can help identify its nutritional value, especially after determining the results of its analysis and meeting the compositional standards or law.

This is why industries incorporate moisturizing agents in their products. Aside from preserving the overall properties of the product, they help improve its quality and performance.

One of the essential moisturizing agents found in many products is humectants. They help stabilize food products through moisture control and draw moisture into the top layer of your skin.

If you’re looking for humectants that you can use for your products, turn to Wills International Sales Corporation. We provide various kinds of humectants for your needs.

What Is a Humectant

Humectants originated in the early 19th century from the Latin word “humectare,” meaning moist or wet. They are hygroscopic compounds that attract water molecules and have emollient properties, such as natural moisturization and hydration. Aside from this, they contain a mixture of low molecular weight soluble hygroscopic substances, such as lactic acid, pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, and amino acid.

This moisturizing component has been used in many cosmetic and personal care products, such as hair conditioners, body cleansers, facial creams, body lotions, lip balms, soaps, and many more. They are also utilized in food manufacturing since they help thwart potential bacterial growth in addition to possible changes in their chemical structure and physical and sensory properties.

How Does a Humectant Work?

The function of a humectant is to increase the moisture level in the stratum corneum, the layer of dead cells in the outer crust of the epidermis. This will result in making the skin less flaky and prone to cracking and chafing.

Aside from that, humectants promote the shedding of dead skin cells by breaking down all the proteins holding the cells together. For example, if the humidity is over 70%, they can draw more water vapor from the air to help moisturize the skin.

However, not all humectants work the same way. You can use some to supply moisture, while others get rid of dead skin cells to even out your skin’s moisture levels.

The Two Types of Humectants in the Philippines

Humectants can either be artificial or derived from nature. Each type works differently and has properties that make them suitable for specific applications.

Synthetic Humectants

These humectants are widely utilized in personal care products because of their prolonged shelf life and low-cost production. Synthetic humectants can lock in moisture to a certain degree and provide any nutrients to the skin. There are even cases that they affect the body’s natural moisturizing mechanism, eventually resulting to dry skin.

The most common synthetic humectants found in products are:

  • Butylene Glycol
  • Urea
  • Glycerin
  • Tremella Extract
  • Sorbitol
  • Dicyanamide
  • Sodium Lactate


Natural Humectants

Humectants derived from nature serve a dual purpose: drawing moisture to the skin’s surface and enhancing the skin’s hydrating ability. They help stimulate moisture production in the dermis and encourage the growth of new cells in the epidermis.

The following are the most common natural humectants:

  • Hyaluronic Acid – A chemical produced by the body that promotes skin repair and growth of basal keratinocytes
  • Aloe Vera – A plant derivative with anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid – A natural compound that is found in fruit, milk, and sugar cane
  • Honey – A non-oily additive that contains alpha hydroxy acid
  • Seaweed – A marine plant extract that contains hydrocolloids, which helps in healing


The Common Humectants That You Can Find in Products

Propylene Glycol

This component is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water to make polyester compounds. In addition, propylene glycol is used as a base for deicing solutions and antifreeze in the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries.

Propylene glycol is colorless, nearly odorless, and thick in consistency. It can be used as a food additive in many products to help them maintain their character, moisture, and texture.

This humectant has been beneficial to various packaged foods, including:

  • Seasoning Blends
  • Salad Dressings
  • Powdered Drink Mixes
  • Baking Mixes
  • Flavoring Extracts
  • Highly Processed Snacks
  • Ice Cream Flavors
  • Food Coloring
  • Flavored Popcorn


Many food manufacturers use propylene glycol as a preservative and flavor enhancer. Some also use it as an emulsifier, texturizer, and processing aid to improve a food’s appearance.

Hexylene Glycol

Hexylene glycol is a humectant with an oily, colorless liquid form and a mild, sweet odor. When mixed with other substances, it floats and combines with other components slowly, especially with water.

This ingredient has been widely used in producing many skincare and cosmetic products to improve the texture and sensory feel of the formula. Furthermore, it functions as a surfactant, emulsifier, and agent that reduces viscosity.

Most of the time, hexylene glycol is synthetically produced by condensing two acetone molecules. This process leads to the production of diacetone alcohol, which is further hydrogenated to create hexylene glycol.

Here are a few products that contain 0.1% to 25% hexylene glycol:

  • Hair and Bath Products
  • Eye and Facial Makeup
  • Fragrances
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Shaving Products
  • Skincare Products
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