Linoleic Acid vs Oleic Acid

Do you ever wonder what makes a particular oil good for one skin type but not another? Most people might think that all oils are similar, but this is far from true.

In order to see results in natural skin care, the skin care formulator MUST pay attention to and understand the structural composition of the ingredients used.

While so much goes into choosing specific ingredients, one of the components I look for are fatty acids. All raw plant oils contain fatty acids. When choosing oils for particular skin types, there is a long list of fatty acids to look for and understand, but the two acids that I pay particular attention to are Oleic acid and Linoleic acid.

Oleic acid is also known as Omega 9. It’s a fatty acid produced by the human body and is found in our skins own natural oil. The amount found varies from person to person. Oleic acid penetrates very deeply into the skin, replenishing lost moisture and helping to restore dry skin. It’s high level of antioxidants work hard to fight free radical damage. By minimizing free radicals in skin, we can help slow down the signs of aging. Oleic acid is ideal for products formulated for dry, mature and sun-damaged skin.

Linoleic acid is Omega 6. It’s an essential fatty acid, meaning that it is not produced by the body, but is essential for the body. It promotes healthy cell activity and is a vital component for healthy skin, especially those with acne. It has been found that people who experience acne have low levels of Linoleic acid in their skin. When acne products are formulated using oils high in Linoleic acid, the acne often begins to clear up, especially when combined with lymphatic massage (hello jade rollers, gua sha and facial cupping). Linoleic acid is good for all skin types, but does not penetrate the skin as deeply, making it a preferred choice for oily skin.

Levels of Oleic acid and Linoleic acid in an ingredient also depend on how much an oil has been processed/refined (aka stripped of its nutrients). It’s one of the MANY reasons I will not use refined oils in any of my products. Using nature’s freshest ingredients in their raw, unrefined and least processed state is always what’s best for your skin!

Levels of Oleic acid and Linoleic acid in an ingredient also depend on how much an oil has been processed/refined (aka stripped of its nutrients). It’s one of the MANY reasons I will not use refined oils in any of my products. Using nature’s freshest ingredients in their raw, unrefined and least processed state is always what’s best for your skin!

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About Rachel Devine

Rachel Devine is a multi award-winning holistic aesthetician and the founder and skin care formulator of R Devine Organic Skin Care. With a difference approach to healthy skin, Rachel strongly believes in the importance of self care, self love, and taking a full body holistic approach to skin care, both inside and out.