Monday, February 3, 2014

Question: Is there any point in using expensive oils in our products? And a quick review of our skin

In this post, Simplifying a recipe: The oil phase of a body butter, Rosi asked: We know that not many ingredients will penetrate our hair, coconut oil has an affinity for hair. Now, what about our skin does oil penetrate our skin and does it benefits our skin?

To which I answered: No, it won't penetrate our skin because the fatty acids are just too large. (As a note, very few oils penetrate our skin as the fatty acids are just too large!)

Then Rosi asked: So, there is no reason to add expensive oils to our creations since it won't penetrate neither the hair nor the skin?

I started answering this question and then I realized that we needed to review and learn a bunch of stuff to be able to answer this question. What is an oil? What's in an oil that could penetrate our skin? Why can some things penetrate our skin and others can't? What does it mean to talk about "skin"? And so on! (How exciting!)

May I suggest a few posts on skin biology and chemistry from the skin chemistry and types section of the blog before we move on to tomorrow's post on oil chemistry?

Chemistry of our skin: A revised overview
Chemistry of our skin: Stratum corneum lipids
Chemistry of our skin: Transepidermal water loss (TEWL)

These will give you a nice idea of the stuff we'll be discussing over the next week or so!

Join me tomorrow as we take a look at some things we can find in our oils like triglycerides and fatty acids!


Elizabeth W. said...


What the few oils that penetrate the skin?


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

That's the point of this series. To learn which ones will penetrate our skin and how! So you'll have to stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan
Just read the links that go with your post today and holy smokes is this ever interesting stuff. I find I need to keep reviewing all your fascinating posts but I simply can't retain it all the first time. Thank you for providing links when you write a post. I would simply be lost without them. They help re-fresh my aging memory.
Beth D.

AMJ said...

Hi Susan, I am formulating a body oil. I read about a highly rated body oil that included jojoba oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, evening primrose oil, rosehip and peach kernel oil (plus vitamin E). This sounded like a great mix but expensive to make. I'm thinking that jojoba+coconut+macadamia and then an exotic oil that adds something to the mix could make a luxurious body oil. I wonder if the exotic oil is worth the expense, or it is just marketing? I will try out some versions and see how I like it.