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Linoleic acid vs. Oleic acid

Talk nerdy to me.

The skin’s outermost layer, called the stratum corneum, is composed of lipids.

lipid layer in skin. Best oils to use on dry skin.
Our Skin's Lipid layer

This is a protective barrier to prevent your body and skin from dehydrating. This is why moisturizers contain oils to restore the healthy levels your skin needs to be and look its best and it is also the reason why face oils work so well when used properly.

This lipid layer consists of three different types of lipids:



•essential fatty acids.

Essential fatty acids are not produced in the body and can only be replenished
through foods or topical applications, which is why you will always see fatty acid references like, “Rich source of Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9!”) in health magazines and blogs.

Fatty acids are essential to healthy skin, since they are the building blocks of all oils, including your skin’s natural oil- sebum. In the skincare world, linoleic acid and oleic acid are the top players.

Linoleic acid and oleic acid are two important fatty acids naturally present in our skin, and the amount you have usually dictates your skin type.

If you have dry skin then chances are you have higher levels of linoleic acid and less oleic acid and vice versa.

As a result, oils with higher percentages of linoleic acid are excellent options for those battling acne, whereas oleic acid is thicker, richer and more hydrating, ideal for dry or mature skin.

fatty acids are essential to healthy skin. They are building blocks of all oils. Pintrest pin. skincare health.

Here are some examples of oils suitable for each skin type with the average percentages:

For acne prone, oily, and sensitive skin – high linoleic acid oils

Rosehip – 44% linoleic, 13.9% oleic

Evening primrose – 72% linoleic, 8.4% oleic

Safflower – 68-85% linoleic, 8-30% oleic

Hemp seed – 52% linoleic, 10% oleic

For dry and mature skin types - high oleic acid oils

Sunflower - 70-88%, 3-20% linoleic

Argan - 43-49% oleic, 29-36% linoleic

Sea buckthorn - 28.4% oleic, 17.84% linoleic

Marula - 70-78% oleic, 4-7% linoleic

For combination skin - balanced oils (almost equal amounts of linoleic - oleic acids)

Argan - also falls in this category

Baobab - 30-40% oleic, 24-34% linoleic

Tamanu - 34-41% oleic, 29-38% linoleic

It's also important to note that the origin of the oil can impact the ratio of oleic vs. linoleic acid. Buy from a reputable supplier that states the origin and percentages of the oil. You'll likely find percentages range due to the variability of plant supply.

For example, check out the fatty acids analysis on the Mountain Rose Herbs Argan Oil page.

And to be fully transparent, even equipped with all this knowledge, sometimes it really does take a little trial and error to find the perfect fit for your skin.

As always you know, you can always email me if you find yourself having more questions about oils and acids, or anything skincare related. I’d love to help you!

You can reach me

Better yet book a facial let's chat about your specific skin goals! New client facials are $69 book here!

We have officially concluded our education on facial oils, hopefully you feel confident in choosing the right oil for your skin care routine now!

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