Oleic Acid (Also known as Omega-9 fatty acid)

Oleic Acid (Also known as Omega-9 fatty acid)


CAS #: 112-80-1 | EC #: 204-007-1
Chemical/IUPAC Name: 9-Octadecenoic Acid (9Z)-

Quick Facts

  • One of the most commonly used fatty acids
  • Derived from olive oil, but is also found in avocado, macadamia and marula oils
  • Its structure is thicker and heavier than other plant oils
  • Considered suitable and very beneficial for dry and mature skin types

Who can use it?

All skin types can use oleic acid, however those with oily or blemish-prone skin types should avoid using it. 

What is Oleic Acid?

With its name meaning “olive oil” you won’t be surprised to hear this popular fatty acid is derived from olive oil and offers the nourishing and moisturising effects that are often associated with other omega ingredients. The difference being its chemical structure is monounsaturated meaning it has one double bond and has an overall thicker and heavier texture than other ingredients. With its thick consistency oleic acid has emollient results giving the skin a soft and smooth appearance with any extra ingredients applied quickly and effectively absorbed into the skin thanks to OA also being a penetration enhancer. One downside would be the fact it is considered comedogenic making it likely to clog pores, those with acne-prone skin should avoid it all together. 

Side effects of Oleic Acid

Oleic acid is an ingredient that has been well researched with regular formulation in all variety of cosmetic products so establishing if your skin will be happy with it being added to your routine.

Scientific Evidence

  • Naik, Aarti, et al. "Mechanism of oleic acid-induced skin penetration enhancement in vivo in humans." Journal of controlled release 37.3 (1995): 299-306.
  • Motoyoshi, K. "Enhanced comedo formation in rabbit ear skin by squalene and oleic acid peroxides." British Journal of Dermatology 109.2 (1983): 191-198.
  • Cardoso, C. R., et al. "Oleic acid modulation of the immune response in wound healing: a new approach for skin repair." Immunobiology 216.3 (2011): 409-415.
  • Mack Correa, Mary Catherine, et al. "Molecular interactions of plant oil components with stratum corneum lipids correlate with clinical measures of skin barrier function." Experimental dermatology 23.1 (2014): 39-44.


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