Any proven beauty or health benefits of applying vegetable oils on the skin, besides reducing TEWL?

It looks like olive oil is a big no-no
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pde.13621

Coconut oil looks like the best bet
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pde.13621
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411017300871

Do coconut (or any other vegetable oil) really do much better than petrolatum or silicones in the long run?

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    No.

    Studies like these always seem to take shortcuts to get results that prove a hypothesis the authors want to prove.  Or they prove something that isn't of commercial interest.

    For example, when testing to see if a natural oil will reduce TEWL they compare it to no treatment. They should be comparing it to mineral oil and petrolatum.

    Or when they do a study to demonstrate it's anti-inflammatory effect, they do it directly on skin cell cultures instead of testing it as a topical treatment.

    Or they do small, non-blinded studies which aren't replicated & could easily be the result of chance.

    I think it would be great if plant oils were superior to petrolatum or mineral oil. Where's the evidence?
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    edited September 12
    They do feed the skin microbiota ;) . The problem which arises is, that we neither know and nor can predict which ones (good or bad microbes) and we often don't even know which microbes are good on (and in) person X and why they aren't on (in) person Y. My wife never had worse skin (acne etc.) than when using natural cosmetics and cosmetics rich in "healthy" (i.e. polyunsaturated) oils. Her microbiota tips to a very non-symbiotic composition with the use of such oils. It's a bit like probiotics and digestion, where we know that they are important/effective but can neither understand how exactly they affect intestinal microbiota nor how we can calculate/predict which one helps whom or against which disease. Maybe one day, we're getting there but for now it's trial and error. 10 years ago we thought that probiotics are just another hype ;) .
  • Whats fascinating about the trend of using plant oils is the idea typically is to simplify skincare,make it more pure and closer to nature - 'a pure oil like olive oil is so basic and comes from nature'. Plant oils are not pure substances, they are mixtures of fatty acids, sterols, tocopherols, phenolic compounds etc., not very simple.  One of the articles even says "monounsaturated FFAs such as oleic acid, may disrupt skin barrier and act as permeability enhancers for other compounds present in plant oils". Sure you could see this as a benefit... but to me its a drawback of using such ingredients.
    Cosmetic Product Development
    Sussex Research Laboratories Inc.
    www.sussex-research.com
  • Esters and silicones are so much better anyway. I don't understand why people over complicate their life.
  • Thank you guys for your valuable insight.

    @Perry so spot on.
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