Facial Oils: Are You Using the Correct Percentage of Oleic and Linoleic Acids?
If your skin is dry, sensitive or doesn’t seem as lifted and smooth as it once was, there’s a good chance it’s lacking some essential components it needs to function at its best. The first thing people do is slather on a facial oil in hopes of re-attaining moisturized, youthfully resilient skin. But for true, lasting effects that can be felt and touched, you must pay attention to the structural composition of the oil you use.
There are two unsung heroes when it comes to reviving and revitalizing dry, aging skin: oleic acid and linoleic acid. The two fatty acids, which are found in Marula oil, are extraordinary elements for mature and sensitive skin, but the secret to healing is in their percentages—and this is why not all oils are equal. Let’s explore first the difference between the two:
You may have heard of omega-9 fatty acids and not oleic acid, but the two are the same thing: a fat that your body produces. (In fact, it’s even found in human sebum.) Olive oil is probably the most popular oil abundant in oleic acid, but there’s another oil that contains even more—and that’s marula. Marula oil contains up to 78% oleic acid… but why does that matter when it comes to skin care?
Locks in Intense, Rich Moisture
Oleic acid is a godsend for dry, aging skin since it penetrates easily and deeply into the skin’s surface, replenishing lost moisture that naturally comes with age. It also helps the moisture from evaporating. Remember: Without oil, your skin becomes dry, meaning it becomes that much more vulnerable to fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and losing its bounciness. Oleic acid can restore this oil—without clogging pores.
Boasts Antioxidant Powers to Fight Off Wrinkles
Oleic acid comprises antioxidant compounds that help fight free radical damage caused by environmental aggressors like UV rays, the top trigger of premature aging. By minimizing free radicals in skin, so too is the manifestation of wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, sagging and other unwanted features.
Promotes Healing and Repairing
As an anti-inflammatory substance that stimulates wound healing, oleic acid can also help calm, balance and help repair skin, even those with damaged conditions like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. Oleic acid also contains compounds that reinforce the integrity of cell membranes.
Linoleic acid, also known as omega-6, is not produced by our own bodies, but it plays also plays a role in healthy skin. It’s a fat that helps promote healthy cell activity.
Marula oil contains between 4-7% linoleic acid, sometimes even more. Like oleic acid, linoleic acid is anti-inflammatory and helps stimulate cell regeneration—but the major difference when it comes skin care? It’s not quite as rich as oleic acid.
WHAT’S THE PERFECT PERCENTAGE?
Together, oleic and linoleic acids deliver and lock in intense moisture into the layers of skin that need it most, while soothing, healing and protecting skin from harsh elements that expedite aging.
If you have dry, mature skin that requires richer moisture, consider a facial oil with a higher percentage of oleic acid, such as Marula oil. However, if you prefer something more lightweight and have an oilier or more acne-prone skin type, look for an oil with higher linoleic acid.
This is precisely why marula is the best facial oil for dry, sensitive or aging skin—and the heart of our Marula Hydrating Serum and Marula Hydrating Pre Cleanser.
What’s your experience with Marula oil? Show us on Instagram @luxebotanics
Naturally Yours, The LUXE Botanics Team
Luxe Botanics —
Hi Kara. Thank you so much for your comments. We’d love to look into this for you. Is there a link to any research behind this article as this is just an opinion piece?
Kara Walter —
Actually in studies, oleic acid has been shown to impair skin barrier function and cause irritation. Linoleic acid increases barrier function, skin moisture and reduces TEWL.