Although oiliness and acne-prone skin frequently coexist, you may not be aware that there is a significant distinction between the two associated skin issues. While both acne-prone and oily skin types create too much sebum (the oil that your skin naturally produces), individuals who also break out frequently have “lower than normal levels of linoleic acid in the sebum,” according to Joshua Zeichner, M.D. , a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
This is due to the fact that the lack of linoleic acid in sebum results in low amounts of ceramides, which disrupts the skin barrier and can lead to outbreaks. The answer? It’s simple to incorporate linoleic acid-containing skin care products into your skin care routine.
Find out everything there is to know about this miraculous substance and whether it is worthwhile to keep it in your beauty supply.
Dr. Zeichner says that linoleic acid is simply a fancy name for a type of fatty acid that is present in the oil on your skin. Specifically, says Liia Ramachandra, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and inventor of Epilynx , “it’s an omega 6-fatty acid also known as vitamin F.” The majority of vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds are good sources of vitamin F, according to her.
Sebum contains it naturally as well. Sebum is a key indicator of skin health, according to Dr. Ramachandra. “Your body may overproduce sebum, resulting in oily skin, if the balance of linoleic acid in your skin is off. Linoleic acid is a necessary fatty acid that sebaceous glands utilize to produce sebum normally. Linoleic acid really soothes the skin and follicles, which means it “may” soothe acne.” (Related: Here Are Some Benefits of Vitamin E for Your Skin)
Breakouts or dry skin may be signs that your skin is not creating enough linoleic acid. A board-certified dermatologist and co-chair of the Skin of Color Society’s technology and media committee, Nkem Ugonabo M.D. states that you can fortunately also find it in skin-care and personal items where it serves as a “emollient or thickening agent.” Emollients are chemicals that keep moisture in the air and shield the skin from irritants, ICYDK, research has shown .
LINOLEIC ACID’S BENEFITS FOR THE SKIN Linoleic acid has moisturizing, softening, and protecting advantages because of its emollient qualities, according to Dr. Zeichner. Dr. Ramachandra continues, “Linoleic acid is truly a miraculous substance for your skin. It offers moisturization and plumpness. Why Jojoba Oil Is the Only Oil You Should Use On Your Face is related.
Dr. Ugonabo notes that linoleic acid, or vitamin F, has many advantages for skin, including its capacity to maintain and fortify the skin barrier. This benefit outweighs an increase in moisture. To recap, the Indian Journal of Medical Research states that the skin barrier is the top layer of skin that is in charge of keeping good things like moisture in and bad ones like pollution or allergies out.
According to Dr. Zeichner, “ceramides are ‘helpful’ natural lipids that fill in holes in the outer skin layer and maintain a healthy skin barrier. Lineoleic acid is a precursor for the creation of ceramides.” What’s best? There have been no adverse side effects of the substance recorded by research or experts. Dr. Zeichner says that linoleic acid is non-irritating and suitable for use as a topical agent on all skin types.
SKIN TYPES THAT LINOLEIC ACID WOULD HELP THE MOST Linoleic acid is suitable for all skin types, although those with dry or blemish-prone skin may find it particularly beneficial. Linoleic acid can increase moisture, reduce inflammation, and possibly even help to enhance the general function of the skin barrier for people with irritated, inflamed, or dry skin.
According to Dr. Ramachandra, the substance is still helpful for acne-prone skin even if the source of your breakouts isn’t low levels of linoleic acid because it contains anti-inflammatory characteristics that help reduce acne.
According to Dr. Zeichner, linoleic acid can also help prevent breakouts by giving the skin the ceramides it needs for a strong skin barrier. Studies have revealed a link between worse acne and lower ceramide levels, the author claims. According to Dr. Ugonabo, additional data suggests that “a shortage in linoleic acid may contribute” to the emergence of acne.
HOW TO ADD LINOLEIC ACID TO YOUR DAILY LIFE If the advantages of linoleic acid sound appealing, you’ll be glad to hear that the ingredient can be found in many cleansers, serums, and facial moisturizers. Dr. Ugonabo advises using it as needed, up to twice daily. To ensure sure you are not allergic to linoleic acid or any other compounds in the product, “I would start with a patch test.” Applying a small bit of a skin-care product to an unnoticeable area of the face for roughly 48 hours allows you to check for any irritation or reactions.
Additionally, the chemical can be found in acne treatments like the Jori Acne andamp; Oil Control Primer , which, according to Dr. Zeichner, reduces shine and blurs pores in addition to doing double duty as an acne preventative and cure. It won’t irritate the skin when applied alone or under makeup every day.
In the end, linoleic acid may be the underutilized super component you’ve been omitting from your skin-care regimen. It is best to speak with a dermatologist if you have any queries or concerns about the effects of linoleic acid on your skin in order to receive advice tailored to your skin type.