Why Avoid Hydrogenated Oils in Natural Cosmetics

Written on 03.Jul.13 by Anne-Marie - Updated on 02.Dec.20

Why Avoid Hydrogenated Oils in Cosmetics

Oils are a essential component of a cosmetic formula of the type cream. Among these, we saw that the most common oils are of petrochemical origin and that other oils ubiquitous in our creams are esterified oils, generally all derived from palm oil.

Today we are looking at hydrogenated oils. Better known in the food industry where they are the subject of debate, little is known about the fact that they are also very numerous in our cosmetics...

Why are hydrogenated oils used?

The vast majority of oils(vegetable or synthetic) are liquid at room temperature. However, manufacturers often need more viscous fats to produce their products. A stroke of luck! By extracting vegetable oils at high temperatures to increase yields - at the expense of quality - manufacturers realized that the resulting oils were less liquid.

This change is due to a reaction called hydrogenation. From a liquid at room temperature, an oil becomes (semi-)solid once hydrogenated. This is exactly the principle on which margarine is made, which is thus a kind of solidified vegetable oil. The hydrogenation can be complete or not, resulting in a hydrogenated (solid consistency) or partially hydrogenated (semi-solid) oil.

Just like esterified oils, hydrogenated oils have 2 major advantages for industrialists: they are much cheaper than vegetable oils and more stable with respect to oxidation.

In the end, hydrogenation is a godsend for industrialists... but less for our health!

Hydrogenated oils in our diet, what are the risks?

The partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils leads to the formation of trans fatty acids. Naturally present in small quantities in meat and dairy products, they are involved, together with saturated fatty acids, in the occurrence of cardiovascular pathologies. Trans fatty acids cause an increase in bad cholesterol (LDL). and the reduction of good cholesterol (HDL). More recently, it has also been established that trans fatty acids are implicated in the increase of breast cancer. In short, hydrogenated oils have nothing to please!

[Tweet "Hydrogenated oils = trans fatty acids! Cheap but useless as #cosmetics"]

However, at present in France, there is no obligation for manufacturers to indicate trans fatty acids in their products, and the labels just read "hydrogenated fats". This even though trans fatty acids are already banned in Denmark, Canada, California and New York!

Hydrogenated oils in our cosmetics

Any adverse effects on the skin?

No studies to date have been conducted to investigate the effects of hydrogenated oils on the skin. Nevertheless, a very interesting study conducted at Harvard University has shown thata high intake of trans fatty acids is correlated with signs of inflammation throughout the body. With dozens of studies having shown that certain fatty acids (omega 3) have powerful anti-inflammatory properties for the skin, shouldn't we also question the pro-inflammatory effects of trans fatty acids contained in hydrogenated oils? In fact, it would be very surprising if an anti-inflammatory effect detected on the whole organism were not verified on the skin...

This type of study could determine whether or not cosmetics that are very rich in hydrogenated oils promote an inflammatory state of the skin? This data would be very interesting because inflammation, by leading to the production of free radicals, causes accelerated ageing of the areas where it occurs. Hydrogenated oil and wrinkles could therefore very well form a very...solid couple!

How to spot hydrogenated oils?

Hundreds of different hydrogenated oils are used in cosmetics, so it is impossible to list them all here. In the list of ingredients, you can nevertheless mark them with words such as: HYDROGENATED or DIHYDROGENATED or BIS-DIHYDROGENATED or PEG (number)-HYDROGENATED or SQUALANE (= hydrogenated SQUALENE).

Choosing organic cosmetics: a guarantee?

The restrictions put in place for hydrogenated oils by organic labels are currently totally non-existent. We therefore hope that this will soon change!

So, hydrogenated oils, do we keep them or not?

In the absence of studies on the effects of hydrogenated oils, it cannot be said that they are bad for the skin. However, we have seen that at the body level, these oils have a real harmful effect because they promote inflammation. As a precaution, at oOlution we therefore totally exclude hydrogenated oils from our formulas!

For us, moreover, they have no place in cosmetics because they are useless to the skin. Moreover, with mineral and esterified oils, they are considered as filling ingredients that serve no other purpose than to reduce the cost of formulas...

Instead in oOlution formulas, we use ONLY pure vegetable oils because they have multiple virtues for the skin. All our vegetable oils come from Organic Farming or Sustainable Forest Harvesting, and are exclusively obtained from first cold pressure. They all have different virtues nourishing...protective, restorative, plumpers there are even some that play a calming role .

In a word: mineral oils, esterified or hydrogenated, out of the broom!!!! Viva la calidad ! Long live organic vegetable oils:)