How to properly understand the oils that make up your cosmetics?

Oils are a major ingredient in our cosmetics, but they are not all created equally and the difference is significant! They can be of mineral or plant origin. Mineral oils, derived from petroleum, are used for the quality of the textures they provide to skin care. They are essentially inert and are a recourse for those looking for low cost prices. They are obviously devoid of everything nutrient unlike a vegetable oil extracted from fruits or oleaginous seeds. But for this vegetable oil to offer your skin suppleness, firmness, hydration and any other benefit, you must be careful to choose the extraction method that allows you to preserve its biological richness as much as possible! In this article, we propose to enlighten you on the biochemical composition of vegetable oils, to allow you to decode them in the INCI list of your care and to understand the cosmetic interest of a virgin oil for your skin.

Hydrogenated oil

Hydrogenated oil is a vegetable oil extracted at very high temperature by a hydrogenation reaction thus modifying its biochemical structure for a more or less solid product that is insensitive to any oxidation. It is cheaper because the hydrogenation operation gives a high yield, but the "oil" obtained has no benefit for the skin. It should be noted that this type of oil is also used in industrial food preparations (pastries, ready meals, margarine, etc.) but the processing operation generates a bad type of fatty acids - trans fatty acids - which brought about ANSES to set a limit on their intake in our food. In cosmetic care, you can easily spot them in the INCI list because their name includes the term "Hydrogenated". For example, a hydrogenated olive oil is referred to as Hydrogenated Olive Oil. These oils are accepted by the standard COSMOS therefore for the organic label.

Esterified oil

Esterified oil is a vegetable oil, often palm or coconut oil, whose molecules have been broken down by chemical reaction to be associateds to another ingredient, usually natural or synthetic fatty alcohols. This transformation operation gives rise to a denatured “oil” which offers greater stability to the formulas. Its cost is, in fact, lower than the cost of vegetable oil. It has an emollient action and gives the treatment a pleasant texture that is sometimes more penetrating, but there is a loss of active ingredients compared to the original vegetable oil.

It can be obtained according to the principles of green chemistry and is accepted by the standard COSMOS. It is completely biodegradable. Here are some examples of the name of esterified oil that you can find in the INCI list ingredients of your care: Caprylic Capric Triglycerides, Isopropyl Palmitate, Coco Caprylate Caprate, Oleyl Linoleate... 

 Virgin or refined vegetable oil

A vegetable oil is made up, for the most part, of two major biochemical families, namely the triglycerides present around 98% and the unsaponifiables present around 2%.

Triglycerides are lipids made up of various fatty acids that provide energy to our body. Unsaponifiables, referred to as the component of the oil that does not turn into soap, are extremely valuable components for the skin. It contains vitamins, sterols, carotenoids, polyphenols, squalene, etc. These components are essential for cell metabolism: They replenish the intercellular cement, hydrate the skin, repair our small cells and delay the skin aging.

But the presence and content of these components will be different depending on how the oil is extracted. Indeed, there are two modes of extraction. Extraction by mechanical pressure which preserves all the biological richness and gives a pure oil qualified as virgin oil. Solvent extraction which aims to remove reactive substances - minerals, vitamins, fibers, etc. - to allow long storage without alteration and which gives a cheaper oil called refined oil. But these subtracted reactive substances are a gold mine for our skin. Thus a refined oil is depleted of its essential fatty acids and its unsaponifiable components which are powerful active ingredients at the origin of firm, hydrated, plumped, dense and vigorous skin. Even if formulators avoid virgin oils because they are difficult to stabilize over time, we remain among the few formulators and brands to have succeeded in formulating care based on virgin oils as an active substance to offer the best to your skin. This bet is reflected in particular in the unavoidable choice of dark packaging away from light or even vacuum under inert gas for some in order to preserve intact the benefits and the quality of the virgin oils composing our treatments. 

The vegetable oils present in a cosmetic treatment are referred to in its INCI list by their Latin name. You will find for example the jojoba oil by this name "SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS SEED OIL" but unfortunately the name does not distinguish the virgin or refined quality of the oil.

In addition, it is good to know that there are comedogenic vegetable oils, that is to say, capable of causing comedones, thus promoting the appearance of blackheads and pimples. There is an index which classifies their comedogenic power from 0 to 5. Frequent use of an oil with an index level above 3 for oily skin and above 4 for skin should generally be avoided. dry. The vegetable oils we use have a low comedogenicity index with a level of 0 for prickly pear seed oil, of jojoba and sunflower and a level equal to 2 for the sweet almond oil, of apricot kernels, of desert date palm, macadamia, moringa and olive.

Coconut or wheat germ oil are oils with an index of 5, so avoid or consume sparingly even if they have other virtues. You will not find them at L’ODAÏTÈS. However, it is difficult to give a general rule for a treatment containing such oils because it must be appreciated in its entirety and take into account the specificity of the skin as well as the quality of the ingredients and the formula. It is also up to the cosmetic formulator to balance his formula.

Since there are so many vegetable oils out there, we'll share more specific advice with you in a future article on what type of oil to use for each skin type. That said, the richer a vegetable oil is in unsaponifiables, the more your skin will benefit from it. Finally, note that jojoba oil, which is not really an oil but a wax, is ideal for all skin types. You will find it in our intense cream, in our redensifying serum, in our body cream and in our nourishing balm.

Want to benefit from the benefits of our virgin oils? Discover the treatments below!

Découvrez Ange Sensationnel, crème visage anti-rides naturelle Découvrez Elixir Bonheur, sérum redensifiant, anti-rides et naturel
Découvrez Fine Fleur, crème corps clean et naturelle Découvrez Secret Nomade, baume SOS peau sèche, nourrissant et naturel