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Is Your Acne-Prone Skin Crying Out For Linoleic Acid?

PhenomenalMAG Staff  |  Skin Care

Although oiliness and acne-prone skin frequently coexist, you may not be aware that there is a significant distinction between the two associated skin issues.

Both acne-prone and oily skin types create too much sebum (also known as the oil your skin naturally produces), but according to board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., of New York City, those who also break out frequently have "lower than normal levels of linoleic acid in the sebum."

This is due to the fact that the lack of linoleic acid in sebum results in low amounts of ceramides, which disrupts the skin barrier and can lead to outbreaks. The answer? Simple enough: include linoleic acid-containing skin care products in your skin care routine.

Find out everything there is to know about this miraculous substance and whether it is worthwhile to keep it in your beauty supply.

How Does Linoleic Acid Work?

Dr. Zeichner says that linoleic acid is simply a fancy name for a type of fatty acid that is present in the oil on your skin. Specifically, says Liia Ramachandra, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and the creator of Epilynx, it's an omega 6-fatty acid also known as vitamin F. The majority of vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds, according to her, are good sources of vitamin F.

Sebum contains it naturally as well. Sebum is a key indicator of skin health, according to Dr. Ramachandra. "Your body may overproduce sebum and result in oily skin if the balance of linoleic acid in your skin is off. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid that sebaceous glands utilize to produce sebum normally. Linoleic acid actually soothes the skin and follicles, which soothes acne."

Breakouts or dry skin may be signs that your skin is not creating enough linoleic acid. Fortunately, it may also be found in cosmetics and personal care items where it serves as a "emollient or thickening agent," according to Nkem Ugonabo, M.D., a dermatologist who has attained board certification and is the co-chair of the Skin of Color Society's technology and media committee. Emollients are compounds that keep moisture in and shield the skin from irritants, according to study.

Skin Benefits of Linoleic Acid

Linoleic acid has moisturizing, softening, and protecting advantages because of its emollient qualities, according to Dr. Zeichner. Dr. Ramachandra continues, "Linoleic acid is truly a miraculous substance for your skin. It offers moisturization and plumpness.”

Dr. Ugonabo notes that linoleic acid, or vitamin F, has many advantages for skin, including its capacity to maintain and fortify the skin barrier. This benefit outweighs an increase in moisture. To recap, according to the Indian Journal of Medical Research, the skin barrier is the top layer of skin responsible for keeping the good things (like moisture) in and the bad ones (like pollution or allergens) out.

Dr. Zeichner states that "ceramides are [helpful] natural lipids that fill in holes in the outer skin layer and maintain a healthy skin barrier [and linoleic acid] is a precursor for the creation of ceramides."

The greatest discovery may be that no adverse side effects of the substance have been recorded by research or experts.

Skin Types That Linoleic Acid Would Be Most Beneficial For

Dr. Zeichner says that linoleic acid is non-irritating and suitable for use as a topical agent on all skin types. However, those with dry or blemish-prone skin may find it particularly beneficial.

Linoleic acid can increase moisture, reduce inflammation, and possibly even help to enhance the general function of the skin barrier for people with irritated, inflamed, or dry skin.

According to Dr. Ramachandra, the substance is still helpful for acne-prone skin even if the source of your breakouts isn't low levels of linoleic acid because it contains anti-inflammatory characteristics that help reduce acne.

How to Add Linoleic Acid to Your Daily Routine

If the advantages of linoleic acid sound appealing, you'll be glad to hear that the ingredient can be found in many cleansers, serums, and facial moisturizers. Dr. Ugonabo advises using it as needed, up to twice daily.

“To ensure sure you are not allergic to linoleic acid or any other compounds in the product, I would start with a patch test," Dr. Ugonabo recommends. Apply a small bit of a skin-care product to an unnoticeable area of the face for roughly 48 hours. This will allow you to observe any irritation or reactions.

Additionally, the chemical may be found in acne treatments like the Jori Acne & Oil Control Primer, which Dr. Zeichner says does double duty by both treating and preventing outbreaks while also lowering shine and minimizing pore size. It won't irritate the skin when applied alone or under makeup every day.

In the end, linoleic acid may be the underutilized super component you've been omitting from your skin-care regimen. It is best to speak with a dermatologist if you have any queries or concerns about the effects of linoleic acid on your skin in order to receive advice tailored to your skin type.

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