Since ancient times natural plant lipids have been used in the preparation of body care treatments due to their skin softening effects or emollience.
Olive oil, one of the most well known and oldest commercial oils, was used by Greek and Roman women to help soften the skin and was the base for many aromatic and herbal infusions, products which would today be considered part of the aromatherapy industry.
Over recent years, clinical studies have shown that different oils affect the skin in different ways and that this is largely a function of the Fatty Acids they contain.
Research carried out by Northstar has shown that oils rich in Omega 9 Oleic Acid are absorbed through the skin barrier more quickly than the more unsaturated oils; this makes them good natural emollients. In addition they are very useful carriers or base oils as they aid the transfer of other actives and skin nutrients into the lower skin layers.
Oils rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are absorbed more slowly and can be considered to be more protective. More crucially they have a key role in the tissue regeneration process and in the control of the body’s natural inflammatory response.(please see NorOmega PC369 dossier for more information).
Evening Primrose , Blackcurrant, Camelina and Echium oils, to name a few, have been shown to have a positive effect on dry and damaged skin conditions and should therefore be considered as key natural ingredients in formulations aimed at skin replenishing and anti ageing formulations. Moreover, Northstar have developed a special formulation, NorOmega PC369, which combines the best attributes of a selection of plant lipids to deliver an ideal balance of Fatty Acids which impart emollience, skin protection and nourishment all in one product.
The fact that the skin is one of the largest parts of the body for absorbing nutrients means that we should consider the application of oils onto the skin as another way of providing the body with some of the key elements of essential nutrition.