I often heard the word emollient used to describe Castor oil, but my understanding of what it meant was limited only to my inference skills rather than actual research.
I'm glad I took the time to look it up because what I found was very interesting- to me at least.
Emollients serve three basic functions for skin and hair:
-Increasing the ability to retain moisture (hold water)
-Providing a layer of oil to prevent water loss/ evaporation
-Lubricating the skin and hair
Emollients and moisturizers are often used interchangeably, and emollients are specific in their ability to soften skin and hair as well as treat dryness.
Common emollients are: Jojoba oil, Avocado oil, Soybean oil, Vitamin E.
This is where the "oils that moisturize" movement gets it's validity.