emollient adj : having a softening or soothing effect especially to the skin [syn: demulcent, salving, softening] n : toiletry consisting of any of various substances resembling cream that have a soothing and moisturizing effect when applied to the skin [syn: cream, ointment]
Etymologyemollient-, present participle stem of emoliare ‘make soft’, from e- + mollis ‘soft’.
- something which softens or lubricates the skin
- 1993: It must be most painful to have a hard rod thrust into the nether orifice. That was a most painful punishment you had for the King in your play. Painful but fitting. —There are emollients, Kit said, oil, butter and the like. The pleasure is considerable. — Anthony Burgess, A Dead Man in Deptford
- anything soothing, or that makes something more acceptable
- 2004: Attentive conversation is an emollient I lack sorely aboard Prophetess & the doctor is a veritable polymath. — David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Emollients are substances that soften and soothe the skin. They are used to correct dryness and scaling of the skin. They are a key component in the manufacture of lipstick, lotions, and other cosmetic products.
The terms "moisturizer" (something that adds moisture) and "emollient" (something that softens) are sometimes used interchangeably, as they describe different effects of these agents on the skin. However, the term emollient is most often used to describe single ingredients, whereas "moisturizer" describes finished products.
Mechanism of actionEmollients have three basic properties:
emollient in Spanish: Emoliente
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