Skin Conditioning Ingredients



Skin Conditioning Ingredients at a glance

  • Have emollient, humectant, and occlusive properties
  • Include a wide range of ingredients, including silicones & glycerin
  • Leave skin looking plumped and smooth
  • Help alleviate dryness + rough, flaky texture

Skin Conditioning Ingredients description

Skin conditioning ingredients – also known as skin conditioning agents - is a term that refers to a wide range of substances that help skin look and feel smoother, both immediately and over time. Skin conditioning ingredients include natural and synthetic emollients, humectants, and occlusive agents. Emollients refer to ingredients that hydrate skin, while humectants are ingredients that attract moisture to skin, and occlusive ingredients form a protective barrier on skin to defend it from damage. You’ll see these types of ingredients in all well-formulated moisturizers, as they form the foundation for good skin care products that boost and restore skin’s barrier. If your skin is very dry, you will see a decrease in the tight feeling that can come after cleansing and an alleviation of rough, flaky texture. These ingredients aren’t only for dry skin, though; all skin types benefit from conditioning ingredients (though if your skin is very oily, you will want to avoid very occlusive ingredients and stick to more lightweight skin conditioners, such as hyaluronic and polyglutamic acids). Skin conditioning ingredients are also used in facial and body cleansers, toners, sunscreens, and serums.

Skin Conditioning Ingredients references

  • Conditioning Agents for Hair and Skin, 1999, Marcel Decker, Inc., R. Schueller, P. Romanowski, editors
  • Clinics in Dermatology, July–September 1988, Pages 24-28

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.