Health Benefits of Plant Oils for The Skin
Plant oils are lipids or fatty substances that are extracted from the seeds of plants. Each plant contributes its own inherent properties to the oils from which it is derived. This allows different plant oils to contribute various benefits to the skin when artfully combined with other oils or butters. Some plant oils can be solid due to a higher amount of fatty acids with saturated bonds such as coconut oil and shea butter. Whereas avocado, olive, and sunflower are in liquid form as they are mostly composed of fatty acids that have unsaturated bonds. It makes sense that the more solid the oil, the more occlusive it is, meaning it helps create a barrier to prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) from the skin. So, when combining liquid and solid oils, you get the great properties of both.
Let’s take a look at the fatty acid breakdown of plant oils we use in some of our products.
Note the difference between the fatty acid profiles of the liquid oils and butter. Shea Butter has much higher stearic acid which has saturated bonds and contributes to its solidity and provides occlusive and protective properties. Not to undermine the other oils as they have their own great benefits, including anti-inflammatory and improved skin barrier recovery. Plant oils not only contain fatty acids but various other substances that benefit the skin such as phytosterols, waxes, phospholipids, terpenoids, oil soluble vitamins and more.
When formulating a new product for Lathering Lotus, I always work around the plant oils and butters that will provide nourishment to the skin and give our customers the best products possible.
Reference for Fatty Acid Profiles: