fatty acids from this post...
Then, I look at other fatty acids in each of the oils and additional confusion sets in, with the function, or mechanism of other fatty acids contained in those oils.
Another example, coconut oil. It contains a lot of lauric acid (47.5%) But, so what? (not to sound cheeky) What does that mean other than the fact that lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid, C12, so it's a medium chain fatty acid, no double bonds, which offers a long shelf life. What is the effect, or benefit of lauric acid? What can I expect from the lauric acid in coconut oil?
And, coconut oil also contains unsaturated fats with "18.1% myristic acid (C14), 8.8% palmitic acid (C16), and a titch of stearic, oleic, linoleic, and arachidic acids. Because of this saturation, this is a very long lasting oil." C16 palmitic acid and C18 stearic acid are also saturated fatty acids, as well as myristic acid (C14)
Stearic acid - helps with moisture retention, flexibility of skin and skin repair (saturated C18), it also provides thickening properties - how? why? is it because it's a saturated fat?
And myristic acid (C14), which is much like stearic acid, but it's considered a penetration enhancer - why is this considered a penetration enhancer when it's similar to stearic acid which works as a co-emulsifier and thickener.
GLA - helps with inflamed skin, and helps restore barrier function (polyunsaturated - omega 6 - C18:3)
I'm not trying to be a chemist. I just would like some basic understanding so that when I look at the fatty acid profile of an oil I can say, oh, hey, this has lots of myristic acid, so I can expect __________ from this oil because myristic acid does __________________ by way of __________________ (in an easy to understand way) :-)
If you're just joining us, I suggest reading part one and part two of this post from earlier this week?
What does stearic acid offer to our skin? Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid that has reported anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as thickening properties. Adding stearic acid or a butter containing it will be thicker than those without. This thickening power is thanks to the structure of the molecule in that it lies straight, meaning that more molecules can pack into a smaller space, making it thicker. (Check out this post...) As well, it can make our skin feel slightly colder than using a product without it.
What does lauric acid offer to our skin? Lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid that has reported anti-microbial properties that could be used as treatment for acne issues. It will help to thicken the products we make containing it.
What does myristic acid offer to our skin? It is a saturated fatty acid that will help to thicken the products we make containing it and it will offer moisturizing to our skin. I could not find anything indicating it was a penetration enhancer.
What does palmitic acid offer to our skin? It is a saturated fatty acid that will help to thicken the products we making containing it and will offer moisturizing to our skin.
I'm afraid I can't find much on lauric, myristic, or palmitic acid on the 'net or in my textbooks. I am presenting what I have found. Please send me anything you might have from reputable sources about these acids if you have them! I'd be thrilled to read them!
You could say that stearic acid will offer moisturizing because it's found in this or that butter, that it will thicken the product in which we use it thanks to the structure of its molecule and high melting point.
I'm afraid I can't offer much in the way of information on the other fatty acids as there just isn't any great information out there.
Linus Pauling Institute
Anti-microbial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes
Topical application of docanosol or stearic acid containing creams reduces the severity of phenol wounds in mice