An emollient is an agent used externally and/or topically to soothe and to soften dry skin. They keep water and oil together, which is why lotions and lipstick have a soft and creamy texture to them. They are often used to treat flaky skin and eczema. Some common emollients include olive leaf, fig, hollycock, almond, comfrey root and aloe.
Emollients range from milky lotions to heavy ointments. An easy way to tell if a product is a strong emollient is by its lipid to water ratio. If a product has a greasy and thick (messy) texture, it will be an effective emollient.