hu·​mec·​tant | \ hyü-ˈmek-tənt How to pronounce humectant (audio) \

Definition of humectant

: a substance that promotes retention of moisture

Other Words from humectant

humectant adjective

Examples of humectant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As a humectant, this molecule improves the skin’s ability to absorb and hold water, enabling deep and lasting hydration with a non-greasy finish. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 Aloe vera acts as a natural humectant, holding hydration in the skin. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Apr. 2022 Triple strength hyaluronic acid, a powerful humectant, helps the skin to hold on to moisture for longer. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Apr. 2022 There's urea, which is both a humectant and an emollient, vitamin B6, which promotes healthy oil production, hyaluronic acid, and sodium DNA. Megan Decker,, 9 Feb. 2022 The formula uses glycerin, a gentle and hydrating humectant that nourishes the skin. Tamim Alnuweiri,, 19 Jan. 2022 The retinol also includes other natural ingredients like stevia extract, to minimize fine lines, and mondo grass root extract, which acts as a humectant to keep your skin hydrated while preventing irritation. Tiffany Dodson, Harper's BAZAAR, 31 Aug. 2021 PhD Advanced Clean ticks all of those boxes, primarily thanks to the addition of conditioning agents such as glycerin, a humectant known for its moisturizing properties. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, 26 July 2021 For daily cleansing, look for products with gentle exfoliating ingredients like lactic acid (which also acts as a humectant) to keep skin feeling fresh and dewy, rather than stripped. Talia Abbas, Glamour, 19 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'humectant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of humectant

circa 1867, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for humectant

Latin humectant-, humectans, present participle of humectare to moisten, from humectus moist, from humēre to be moist — more at humor entry 1

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Time Traveler for humectant

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The first known use of humectant was circa 1867

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Last Updated

2 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Humectant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for humectant


hu·​mec·​tant | \ hyü-ˈmek-tənt How to pronounce humectant (audio) \

Medical Definition of humectant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: promoting the retention of moisture humectant properties humectant materials



Medical Definition of humectant (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance (as glycerol or sorbitol) that promotes retention of moisture

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