Lipids are the most important ingredient in skincare products as they offer protection to the skin from water loss, thereby aiding the skin’s barrier function. The main category of lipids is the triglyceride, also known as a triacylglycerol.
While they are naturally found in foods such as coconut, triglycerides may also be manufactured through industrial processes from the fatty acids found in coconut oil.
Commonly used in cosmetics and other personal care products such as face creams, foundation, sunscreen and moisturizer, triglycerides are stable, odorless, colorless, and tasteless.
Triglycerides as Moisturizing Ingredient
In moisturizers, triglycerides offer various useful properties for the formulation of cosmetics, and face creams in particular. The compound aids in the creation of a barrier on the surface of the skin, which decreases the amount of moisture that is lost through the skin.
This works in the prevention of skin dryness, as well as serving as an agent for the conditioning of skin. The use of triglycerides produces a slippery feeling, as well as promoting the dispersion of pigments in a variety of colored cosmetics. They also function as excellent emollients, improving both the product’s aesthetics, while also working to smoothen and soften the skin.
Triglycerides as Thinning Agent
Triglycerides also have a low viscosity, which enables them to alter the thickness of a cosmetic product. The addition of triglycerides to thick face creams, for example, helps to thin them out to the desired thickness of the manufacturer.
Triglycerides may also be used as inactive carriers of topical pharmaceutical agents due to their efficient solvency properties.