Oil Basics: Oleic Acid and Linoleic Acid

Beauty TipsHealth & Beauty

Oil Basics: Oleic Acid and Linoleic Acid


With the cooler weather coming, face oils are a good addition to skincare routines. But with so many different types of oils and blends lining Sephora’s shelves, it’s hard to choose the best oil.

Chemical compositions are useful to keep in mind when shopping for an oil. Whether an oil contains more oleic and linoleic acid determines its consistency and moisturizing properties. Oils higher in oleic acid are thick and seal in moisture, while oils higher in linoleic acid are thinner and absorb more readily.

For dry skin, the more oleic acid, the better. Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum, Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil are good options. Otherwise, look for oils containing avocado, sea buckthorn, olive, and coconut oils.

Normal skin fare well with relatively balanced oils such as RMS Beauty Oil, Ila Face Oil For Glowing Radiance, and Kahina Giving Beauty 100% Organic Argan Oil. Look for oils with argan and jojoba oil.

Oilier skin benefits from oils higher in linoleic acid. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend and Tarte Maracuja Oil are light and absorb quickly. When looking at ingredient lists, keep in mind that rosehip seed, grape seed, sesame seed, and maracuja oils have more linoleic acid.

While Whole Foods and natural beauty stores (such as CAP beauty) carry single origin oils, Sephora and other retailers usually carry blended oils that contain both oils higher in oleic acids and oils higher in linoleic acids. Just keep in mind that just like for food products, ingredient lists are ordered by proportion when deciphering the ingredients!

-Zoe Shan

Image courtesy of: totalbeauty.com

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