hu·​mec·​tant hyü-ˈmek-tənt How to pronounce humectant (audio)
: a substance that promotes retention of moisture
humectant adjective

Examples of humectant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most of us already know how hydrating ingredients—think humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or emollients such as jojoba oil and shea butter—can work glow-inducing wonders by helping the skin attract and retain moisture. Jenny Berg, Vogue, 22 June 2024 Your derm can offer product recs that are safe to use on your face, but generally speaking, something with hydrating humectants (like hyaluronic acid and glycerin) and skin-soothing and protecting ingredients (like ceramides, petrolatum, allantoin, and colloidal oatmeal) are good options. Alice Oglethorpe, SELF, 10 May 2024 Ingredients to Look for in Moisturizers for Combination Skin For combination skin, choose a moisturizer with humectants and emollients. Lauren Paige Richeson, Health, 3 Apr. 2024 Manufacturers often pair ceramides with humectants, such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, for additional moisture. Lisa Desantis, Health, 22 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for humectant 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'humectant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1867, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of humectant was circa 1867

Dictionary Entries Near humectant

Cite this Entry

“Humectant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
hu·​mec·​tant hyü-ˈmek-tənt How to pronounce humectant (audio)
: promoting the retention of moisture
humectant properties
humectant materials


2 of 2 noun
: a substance (as glycerol or sorbitol) that promotes retention of moisture

More from Merriam-Webster on humectant

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