Is your skincare just pretty smells?

Is your skincare just pretty smells? Essential Linoleic acid vs Essential oils

Is your skincare just pretty smells?

Confusingly essential oils are not essential. However, Linoleic acid is essential.

The biochemistry definition of essential is; a substance that is required for normal function but cannot be synthesised by the body.

The naming of essential oils (tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil) refers to the essence of the source plant’s fragrance. Basically, the chemicals that contribute to a plants aroma and can be from the leaves, flowers, roots, or stems. They are also known as volatile oils as you can smell them at room temperature. Use of essential oils topically can cause harm and damage to your skin, including allergic reactions, sensitisation, inflammation, irritation, increase UV damage known as phototoxicity and the production of free radicals resulting in oxidative stress. Essential oils are used for fragrance and dermal limits as low as 0.001% apply in skincare.

Essential oils are not essential at all. In fact, they can cause harm to you and do cause harm to the planet. Monoculture, pesticide use, over-harvesting of endangered plant species, diversion of food resources are some of the issues of essential oil manufacturing. Ask yourself, if essential oils aren’t essential and being added for aroma what smells are they masking? Petrochemical? Plastic? Rancidity? Chemical? Medicinal? Are you buying smells that do nothing or worse damage your skin function and balance? Scent is a leading purchasing decision attribute in personal care products and marketers know the evocative and emotive response to aroma and its link to memory. There is scent marketing and scent branding, you are being manipulated and conditioned to expect products to smell in a particular way at the potential expense of your skin health and the environment.

Think of essential oils as volatile oils. Aromas that you can smell that are unnaturally concentrated that can and do cause damage to skin function.

Essential oils can be photosensitive and when exposed to UV light, produce free radicals and cause oxidative stress that damages skin lipids, proteins and cell membranes.

Water and oxygen are essential for biological activity.
Linoleic acid is also essential as it needs to be supplied to the body. Our body cannot produce Linoleic acid. It is a nutrient which has an indispensable (essential) role in skin function. Skin function is directly linked to skin appearance. It is the predominate unsaturated fatty acid found in the epidermis.This essential fatty acid must be supplied to the body.

Linoleic acid is of particular importance to skin function, as it contributes to the formation of ceramides critical for the structure of the skin barrier. The absence of Linoleic acid containing ceramides in the stratum corneum results in barrier permeability problems including, increased trans epidermal water loss resulting in dry, dehydrated, flaky, inflamed, red, irritated, sensitive and reactive skin.

Our skin barrier functions of physical, chemical, microbiological, immunological and the sensory neuronal system are all inter dependent and when we cause disruption or unbalance to one of these functions it compromises skin homeostasis and results in unhealthy appearing skin.

This is why it is critical to be mindful of what you are applying to your skin. The interdependence of skin barrier functions is highly complex and even today are not fully understood. So simple, natural, essential components that support the entire skin barrier without disrupting or unbalancing one of the functions is necessary.

Grapeseed oil is one of nature’s highest sources of Linoleic acid and is a foundational ingredient in Vitis V Face TonIQ. Our tonIQ uses only cold pressed, unrefined, unfiltered, unfermented grape seed oil. It doesn't contain water, so preservatives aren't required. It doesn't disrupt the pH of the skin or dilute or remove our natural moisturising factors. Our acid mantle is maintained, which is crucial to the symbiotic relationship of our microbiome and skin function. There is a complex interdependence of all the skin barrier functions with regulation and cross talk between all functions to maintain homeostasis.

Vitis V Face TonIQ contributes Linoleic acid to the skin which directly supports the skin barrier function. It supplies precursors for ceramide production without disruption to the other skin functions. It is Linoleic acid in its natural and unprocessed state with all the skin beneficial phytonutrient entourage. Its unprocessed chemical structure ensures that is cell recognisable and bio-available.

Linoleic acid is essential as it is required by skin to function optimally by directly supporting ceramide production and therefore maintaining and strengthening the skin barrier function.

We understand that aroma and smells are evocative and emotive but the compounds that produce these aromas are harmful and disruptive to skin function and balance.

Vitis V is unscented and fragrance free. It has a unadulterated grapey, toasty, nutty aroma.

Vitis V Face TonIQ is your essential daily dose of nature's luxury because it is essential for skin function. It doesn't disrupt or compromise the other skin barrier functions, so that you can achieve your most radiant and nourished skin

Lefèvre-Utile A, Braun C, Haftek M, Aubin F. Five Functional Aspects of the Epidermal Barrier. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 28;22(21):11676. doi: 10.3390/ijms222111676. PMID: 34769105; PMCID: PMC8583944