Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Rupali Goswami (Beauty Expert) on 19th Mar 2021

The Uses and Benefits of Oleic Acid for Skin 

Benefits of Oleic Acid for Skin

How acids can help you!

The term "acid" must remind you of those hair-raising chemicals in the test tubes which might burn your skin. Yes! Acids can be harmful if used in the wrong way, but at the same time, they can provide some fantastic benefits to your skin if used in the right amount of concentration.  

Acids in Skincare 

Acids have become a trendy ingredient in the skincare world.

You'll see ingredients like vitamin E, C, aloe vera, and apple cider vinegar on the skincare products you use. Some have more scientific-sounding names like Benzoyl Peroxide, Hyaluronic Acid, Kojic Acid, and Alpha Arbutin

How acids can help with skin issues

Acids are a magical tool to help you treat acne, pigmentation, blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, age spots, and scarring. There are many facial acids out there, and each has its benefits that might be useful for your skin concerns. Before deciding anything, always keep in mind your skin's requirements and what type of ingredient would give you the desired results.

Before you get overwhelmed with all that information, let's take one step at a time and learn about a Godsent ingredient known as Oleic acid. 

Did You Know:

The human body does not produce essential fatty acids naturally, so they must be introduced in your skincare routine or should be ingested in some form.

However, non-essential acids are nasturally produced by the human body and can also be found in our surroundings to use some fantastic beneficial properties for your skin.

What is Oleic Acid? 

Oleic acid, also known as an omega-9 fatty acid, means the human body naturally generates it.

It can also be found in many plant oils (like sea buckthorn, grapeseed, and olive oil), animals, and vegetable fats. The natural properties of oleic acid are that it is odorless and colorless. Oleic acid is believed to be a great ingredient to avoid or repair dry and aging skin.  

What is Oleic Acid?

From a more chemical perspective, these acids are monounsaturated fatty acids that mean it creates a single, double bond, making this acid richer and thicker than its siblings, known as linoleic acid. Research has shown that mixing oleic acid with other fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, has shown some surprising benefits in keeping the skin calm, nourished, and moisturized.

Oleic acid is considered the more stable form of fatty acids. That's why it is also included in many cosmetic products to enhance the texture and shield some other delicate ingredients like antioxidants from too much light and air exposure.

Using oleic acid topically on its own or in the form of olive oil can be harmful to your skin as it can lead to disturbance in your skin's barrier.  

Did You Know:

Oils rich in oleic acid are vibrant, velvety, and plump to the touch.

Benefits of Oleic acid: 

1. Oleic acid works as an excellent moisturizer:

Some oils rich in oleic acids like olive oil, avocado oil, almond oil, and others work as a tremendous moisturizing seal on your skin but can be risky for non-dry skin people. It replenishes lost moisture, which naturally happens with age.

If our skin lacks moisturization, it can lead to dullness, flakiness, worsen your acne, and remove the protective layer. Moisturized skin is less likely to dry-up, cause irritation, sensitivity, itchiness, breakouts, and can't cause any further damage to your skin.

If you desire that flawless base for your makeup looks, then it is the only best way you can go for. 

2. Fights free radicals: 

Free radicals can accelerate the process of aging by causing damage to your skin's DNA cells. The damage can further provoke skin complexion changes, skin texture, broken blood vessels, and dark spots.

It also messes up with the collagen and elastin level leaving the skin baggy and loose. Our skin will lose its elasticity and firmness, resulting in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Oleic acid is a popular ingredient that helps treat dry and mature skin from deep within. It is also helpful in managing existing aging signs. By continuous usage of oleic acid, you can help delay the process of aging. 

3. Anti-inflammatory and healing properties: 

As it is already evident, oleic acid helps repair, balance, calm, and acts as a natural protective barrier to the skin. It's not only an excellent ingredient to lock in the moisture, but it also protects the skin against all the external factors like climate, pollution, sun exposure, environmental damage, etc. Oleic acid is also known for strengthening the integrity of cell membranes to help the skin recover from stressful situations.


Oleic acid can also help calm extreme skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.  

4. Oleic acid as a Penetration enhancer: 

When applied topically, oleic acid can regulate the natural lipid barrier (also known as skin barrier or moisture barrier) of the skin, which consists of the layers of dead skin cells and natural fats. Damaged lipid barriers can cause irritation, sensitivity, dryness, breakouts, redness, and itchiness to the skin.


That signifies that all the antioxidants, hydration, and nutrients in the products can easily penetrate the skin layers. It can repair and nourish your skin from within, providing all the necessary balance and hydration into the skin and the youthful and healthy appearance leaving the skin soft, supple, smooth, and glowing. 

Did You Know?

People with dry skin can significantly benefit from oils rich in oleic acid, while people with oily skin will experience more benefits by using oils rich in linoleic acid. 

5. Anti-aging and antioxidant properties: 

As we talked about earlier, oleic acid quickly penetrates the skin layers deeper to retain the lost moisture. Without oils, our skin tends to become dry, which ultimately makes it vulnerable to fine lines, wrinkles, floppy, and loose skin. Oleic helps the skin to restore the oils without clogging your pores.

On the other hand, the antioxidant compounds in oleic acid can help protect the damage against free radicals to maintain youthfulness, smoothness, and firmness for a more extended time. It can also rescue your skin from further damage and can repair past damage. 

Oils that are rich in oleic acid 

1. Olive Oil:  

Olive oil is a popular ingredient present in cooking and used in different cosmetics, soaps, medicines, and other things. From 55 to 80 percent of olive oil is made from oleic acid. Like oleic acid, olive oil is also rich in antioxidants and contains monounsaturated fatty acids that protect the skin against damage.  

2. Avocado Oil:

Avocado oil almost consists of 70 percent of oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid. Avocado oil is used in skincare products and health care products due to its ability to produce oils and healthy fats. It is also helpful in moisturizing and protecting your skin from harmful free radicals and also helps increase collagen metabolism.  

3. Macadamia Oil:

Macadamia oil is also high in monounsaturated fatty acids or omega-9 fatty acids that have the advantages of regenerating, softening, and moisturizing the skin. It helps restore water loss from the skin and restore the lipid barrier with some fantastic anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammatory works against the inflammation, itchiness, and irritation that harms our skin. 

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4. Marula Oil: 

Marula oil is made up of 78 percent of oleic acid. It is rich in antioxidants that consist of fatty acids and amino acids. Marula oil is a well-known ingredient among skincare products due to the beneficial properties, which help with acne-prone skin, aging, oily and dry skin. It can even be found in many hair care products for soft and moisturizing effects. 

5. Emu Oil: 

Emu oil consists of 42 percent of oleic acid. It is best known for how it absorbs into the skin, and the best part is it carries other ingredients with it. Emu oil is used for many things such as repairing wounds, scars, sun damage, hair growth, nail growth, prevention of skin aging, moisturizing and decreasing inflammation. 

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Did You Know:

People who are deficient in linoleic acid will use oleic acid to compose the sebum to make it sticky, resulting in acne. 

Other health benefits of oleic acid: 

Olive oil that is considered rich in oleic acid, is beneficial for cardiovascular health, helping lower blood pressure. Oleic acid controls the membrane lipid structure in the body, which is responsible for G protein.

A diet rich in oleic acid lowers cholesterol's effects by maintaining the HDL cholesterol levels that can have some fantastic benefits on your health.


The central element for weight loss is considered a result of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Oleic acid is a significant element in controlling excess insulin that is essential for weight loss.


Oleic acid can also help in the treatment of Alzheimer's. Studies have shown that people who suffer from low levels of oleic acid have mild cognitive impairment. 

Side effects of Oleic oil: 

When applied topically oleic acid on its own or in the form of olive oil, it can disrupt the skin's barrier.

Take expert advice from your doctor if you face any sensitivity, irritation, itching, redness, or dullness issue on your skin.

Oleic acid is not generally suitable for people with hypersensitivity.

Usage of oleic acid supplements while using blood thinners can cause an increase in blood pressure and bleeding.

Despite all the beneficial aspects of oleic acid, it is essential to remember that oleic acid can irritate your skin if applied in a pure form. However, you can upgrade your skincare routine by incorporating plant oils that are rich in oleic acid.