Skincare Oils and Free Fatty Acids: The Science | Lab Muffin Beauty Science

Skincare oils contain different fatty acids like linoleic, oleic and lauric acid, right? Well… kind of, but not really! Skincare oils contain triglycerides, which are made FROM fatty acids, but the actual acids have been reacted away.

But can the oils break down on your skin to produce the free fatty acids again? If so, then oleic-containing oils will disrupt your skin barrier, and lauric-containing oils will be more antibacterial than benzoyl peroxide!

This question doesn’t really have a definitive answer, but in this video I present the evidence that suggests that oils WON’T break down on your skin.

Strap in for some serious skincare nerdery!


Want smooth, glowing skin? Grab a copy of my (free) Essential Guide to Exfoliation!



* What is a fatty acid? What is a triglyceride?

* When can oils break down to free fatty acids?

* What do the studies tell us?

* What oils CAN’T do for your skin

* What oils CAN do for your skin

The info in this video looks straightforward but required me to buckle down for two weeks and skimread 400+ papers (T⌓T) to try to make sure I didn’t miss anything important – I went through the pain so you don’t have to!

More details in the blog post:


* Rosehip oil: – A linoleic-rich oil that’s great for oily skin and has small amounts of tretinoin in it

* Hempseed oil: – Also linoleic-rich, great for oily skin

* Sunflower oil: – Comes in both linoleic- and oleic-rich versions, more oleic usually means better for dry skin. Very budget-friendly!


* Why linoleic acid and rosehip oil might fix your skin:

* Are unsaturated oils bad for your skin?

* Why coconut oil is the best hair oil (and how to use it):

* Oils for oil cleansing:

* Do oils make your face less oily? The myth of rebound oil:


The Lab Muffin Guide to Basic Skincare is here! Find out more:






Background Music: Antti Luode

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