Thursday, May 1, 2014

Chemistry Thursday: Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids

I continue to see oils listed as having essential fatty acids or containing omega 3, 6, or 9. What does this all mean?

An omega 3, 6, or 9 bond means the fatty acid contains a double bond between carbon atoms that is 3, 6, or 9 atoms from the end of the molecule, as you can see from the picture above. When the bond is 3 atoms from the end of the chain, it's an omega 3. If it's 6 atoms away from the end of the chain, it's an omega 6. If it's 9 atoms away from the end of the chain, it's an omega 9.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids, which is to say they are essential for human life. Omega 9 is not an essential fatty acid.


Devaughny said...

I've been to your site so much over the last few weeks that my HTC One (cellphone) updates my Google Now app whenever you post something! I love your blog! I just bought everything that I think I'll need to start (with your help of course) crafting last night. I got everything I needef for about $280, which included: products like behenyl alcohol, BTMS 50, Argan Oil, a scale, some silicone spatulas, pipettes, stirs, pH strips, beakers, etc. I can not wait for it all to get here. It's an expensive hobby to start up, but it looks like such a fun one. Thank you for inspiring me!

Devaughny said...

And by inspiration, I mean thank you for making me feel like I can do it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan!
I didn't know where to share my wonderings, but read that we should not hesitate to post our questions wherever so here I am :
A lot of suppliers (French ones) claim that some active ingredients make the skin softer. But there are really different ingredients so I can't understand what exactly in them smooth the skin.
I searched for "softener" on your blog and found that oleic acid, stearic acid, vitamin E are skin softener. So I guess that oils, texture agents and emulsifiers containing them actually make the skin softer.
I find that conditioning agents make the skin (and hair) softer too. Could it have to do with the film they're forming?
And some of the ingredients mentioned above aren't oily, like hydrolysed silk proteins, inulin, honey, kaolin, glycerin...
So I guess my wondering is really : chemistry wise, how do our ingredients make our skin and hair soft? What processes are involved?
Thanks in advance ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,
Another unrelated qn here :) hope u don't mind!

I was wondering if the cool down phase gets incorporated even into the alrdy-formed-emulsification? What happens if you had a high % of cool down phase (say 15%) which includes oils? Since they were not heat and held together with the rest of the product, are they going to stay stable in the emulsification? A lot of our active ingredients would go into the cool down phase, so thought it was rather important to know this.

Sorry if it's a stupid qn