Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Skin Are PUFAs harmful to skin?


  • Are PUFAs harmful to skin?

    Posted by Kixie on June 21, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Hi, I’m Kixie from Cambridge, MA and I’ve been studying cosmetic chemistry (autodidactically) and making my own products for about 10 years. Long time follower of Perry and Chemists Corner, first time posting.

    I recently came across this blog post: https://beautyeditor.ca/2017/02/22/squalane

    The author, a beauty “expert,” claims that polyunsaturated plant oils age/harm the skin because they’re unstable and “oxidizing like crazy on your skin,” and warns that the use of skin care oils should be restricted to saturated fats like coconut and squalane.

    It all sounded like baloney to me so I Googled and came up with similar blog posts as well as sources claiming the exact opposite. I’m hoping someone here can shed some light or point me in the direction of reliable resources on the topic.


    Kixie replied 6 years, 3 months ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies

    June 21, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as squalene, present in sebum are highly comedogenic as are fatty acids with conjugated double bonds such as linolenic acid.Peroxidation of the latter in the presence of light and oxygen is rapid.

  • Belassi

    June 21, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    It’s known that oleic acid, a monounsaturated oil, encourages the growth of malesezzia fungus on the scalp. I would not use it in skin products.

  • Microformulation

    June 21, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I would do better and more credible research before accepting conclusions. You are citing an article with no Journal articles in support or footnotes, written by a Journalist.

  • Kixie

    June 22, 2017 at 10:47 am

    I have not (and do not) accept conclusions from articles/blog posts with no credible references. That was the point of my question and I was in the process of researching the topic when I decided to see if experts here had any information or resources they could share. 

    DRBOB, thank you for sharing that study. It has led me to others. 

    Since posting, I came across this episode of the Beauty Brains where Perry discusses EFAs and skin: http://thebeautybrains.com/2014/07/are-omega-3-essential-fatty-acids-bad-for-skin-the-beauty-brains-show-episode-41/

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