Ceramides are a type of sphingolipid that can differ in structure depending on what fatty acid their sphingosine base is linked to. They make up one third of the epidermal intercellular matrix, which is composed of equal amounts of cholesterol, free fatty acids and ceramides. Epidermal ( Skin ) ceramides are linoleic acid ester linked omega-6 hydroxylated ceramides and are essential to the structure of the stratum corneum ( outer skin layer ) and it’s ability to regulate epidermal moisture retention ( skin hydration levels ). Ceramides also play a role in regulating the life cycle of epidermal cells and other biological functions that impact skin processes including wound healing and disease development. Ceramide levels in psoriatic skin and similar conditions are often outside of normal ranges indicating some correlation between ceramide presence and skin health.
Linoleic Acid is a polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acid that is found mostly in plant oils. LIA is not produced by the human body, however it is essential to many processes including the biosynthesis of prostaglandins and cell membranes. Linoleic Acid also plays a vital role in essential structural components of epidermal ceramides as well as its oxidation within sebaceous cells being a biological signaling tool impacting the biosynthesis of wax esters that provide protection and support to the epidermis. Topical application of essential fatty acids has been found to be effective at maintaining skin elasticity & hydration in the absence or limitation of dietary supplementation.
TLDR; Linoleic Acid is an essential building block for the building blocks ( ceramides ) that create a healthy epidermal barrier, one that maintains proper hydration and defends against environmental assault. Linoleic Acid is not produced in the human body and must be supplemented through diet or topical application.
Linoleic Acid is just one example of the advantages that plant based skincare provides you over traditional, synthetic products. At Ogg Supply Co all of our butters and oils are rich in Linoleic Acid and many other fatty acids essential to skin health and repair.