Because lipids in skincare relate to fats, some people may grow wary. Probably also due to the reason that it’s something they have been trying to reduce in their body for a lifetime. But fear not, because lipids in skincare is a totally different story.
Skincare experts always praise their benefits and stress the importance of using skincare products containing lipids.
So, let’s dive into the fundamental question – what are lipids in skincare?
What are lipids in skincare?
In skincare, lipids are compounds that include fats and fat-like substances. Lipids are natural fats that exist in our skin. Some lipids are also produced by our body, without them, the body’s normal functioning would be impossible.
Lipids are part of cells, they actively participate in the production of hormones. They help the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, K into the body.
These fats are the building materials for the nervous tissue. When this process gets disrupted, the hormonal balance is disturbed. As a result, hair, nails, the skin will suffer greatly.
What is the role of lipids in skincare? And 5 reasons your skin needs them to work:
#1. Ceramides, cholesterol, free fatty acids and phospholipids are all lipids that take part in the composition of your skin. All of us produce different amounts of lipids depending on gender, genetics and nutrition. The lipid composition of the skin is different for everyone, it is unique and inimitable – that is why for some of us oil based or thicker cream work best, while for others they only cause acne and irritation.
#2. Lipids play an important role in skin hydration. They lock the water, preventing it from evaporating.
#3. Lipids protect the skin barrier by blocking dirt or any external aggressors.
#4. They work together to stimulate healthy cellular development in the skin.
#5. Lipids help preserve younger looking skin.
When the skin suffers from lipid deficiency, it can lead to impaired barrier functions, increased skin sensitivity, and even skin diseases.
Why do you need to use skincare products with lipids?
When we are young, it is easy for the skin to be packed with new emerging lipids, as they tend to be abundant. As your age progresses, the production of lipids starts to decline. This leads to dry, rough skin that looks dull and lifeless as a result of broken skin barrier. (that is made of lipids, remember?)
Sun damage to the skin makes the matter even worse and contributes to the declining lipid tendency.
Recently, it has been proven that the skin can not only synthesize lipids. However, it also receives them from the outside, and then use them to repair its protective barrier. This is how skincare products with lipids appeared – in particular, with ceramides.
More than 300 of lipid varieties are known to modern science. In cosmetics, the three are most common – ceramide 1, ceramide 2 and ceramide 3. Among these, ceramide 1 is probably the most important. Just like a paper clip, it connects corneocytes (primary cell without nuclei) with matrix lipids. (which is located in the outermost layer of the skin to prevent excess water loss)
If your skin lacks lipids, the skin barrier loses its strength and is susceptible to damage, which provokes skin diseases – ichthyosis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and others.
In addition to ceramides, other lipids such as lecithin and squalane are used in creams and serums.
Their main sources are vegetable oils, primarily argan, amaranth, olive, shea butter and others.
How to make sure to keep a healthy lipid ratio of your skin?
There are several things you can do in order to keep your lipids in control.
Choose mild cleansers – too aggressive cleansing can destroy the natural lipid protection of the skin.
Make sure to use SPF everyday. (reapply it every 2 hours or so) Sun damage is the main factor causing decline in lipid balance.
Protect the skin from mechanical and chemical damage, DON’T use too many acids or over exfoliate that will put your skin at risk.
Look after your skin inside out: Follow a skin care friendly diet that is rich with essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6), regulate your fish oil intake.
Look for these skin ingredients that support protecting lipid barrier:
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Sodium PCA
- Centella Asiatica (Cica)
The final take
Keeping the healthy lipid balance of the skin is easier once you understand what it requires. Give your skin some rest, give it the best treatment it deserves, because you guys have got a long way too! 🙂
So, what are lipids so famous for? They are essential for skin survival. Simple as that!