What does "humectant" mean? If your skin is on the drier side, then you may have seen this term around. Humectant is a type of moisturizing ingredient, drawing water from the air into one's skin, making it effective and desirable for those with dry skin types. Humectant ingredients include lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, and many more. Humectant-ingredients and skincare formulas with humectant properties are popular among those who have dry skin, or during seasons of cold, dry winter weather.