Ever wondered about the types of moisturising ingredients used in lipsticks, creams and lotions, what they do individually & together? a) Emollients These help to improve your skin's appearance by softening, smoothing, and increasing its elasticity. For my lip nourishing recipe, they are natural plant oils and butters, mostly from foods like avocado and sesame seeds. Emollients range from very light and easily absorbed oils to richer heavier butters like cocoa, coconut & shea. The best oils are rich in essential fatty acids vitamins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Some oils are not particularly emollient like borage for example so they will feel quite dry. That's why there are always several different oils & butters in a product - to improve the feel, look and performance. Castor seed oil (from plants) is in a class of its own - it is incredibly thick and highly emollient and has a beautiful and long lasting sheen. b) Occlusives Are for keeping the moisture in. They reduce what is known as the trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) by creating a waterproof barrier on the skin or lips. Some emollients such as cocoa butter and castor seed oil have occlusive properties, along with beeswax they make them fab ingredients for protecting against the elements especially drying conditions such as airconditioning and heating. Some occlusives are quite comedogenic (block your pores and form pimples) and should be avoided on oily or acne prone skin types. Eg coconut oil/butter. Occlusives ingredients are ideal for lips, hands and feet as they form a protective barrier, especially on dry or cracked skin. Many skincare experts are anti occlusives as they may stop the skin from breathing. c) Humectants Attract moisture your skins surface to keep cells plump and hydrated. Once there, they need to be kept in place with extra ingredients such as emollients and occlusives. Honey, lecithin, glycerin & hyaluronic acid are good examples.