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Fatty Acid

[fa-tē, a-səd]

Categories: Emollients, Emulsifiers

Fatty Acid Skin Benefits:

Not to be confused with fats, fatty acids are chemically represented by a carboxylic acid and a long aliphatic chain, which can either be saturated or unsaturated. There are two types of fatty acids- natural fatty acids and essential fatty acids. Common examples of natural fatty acids for skin include glycerides, sterols, and phospholipids. Essential fatty acids for skin include omega-3 and omega-6, and are categorized based on the human body inability to produce them. For this reason, both omega-3 and omega-6 must be consumed from the diet.

Fatty acids are most often used in cosmetics as an emollient or an emulsifier. As an emollient, fatty acids help to enhance skin-hydration by sealing in the skin’s moisture and reducing evaporation to the surrounding atmosphere. Fatty acid’s emulsification properties serve as a thickening agent for skin care products. This enables skin care ingredients with differing solubility to form a more consistent and cohesive solution. Overall, fatty acids are highly beneficial to infuse into personal care products as a way to provide better spreadability as well as alleviate skin dryness. 1

  1. Naturals and Organics in Cosmetics: From R&D to the Marketplace. Allured Publishing Corporation. 177-180, 189-201 (2007)