In the always evolving realm of 'natural' and 'clean' beauty, one toxic-lipid has been lurking in your skincare for far too long, and Tropicós Girl is committed to bringing light to it on our mission of ‘Island Skin’.
You may know that natural oils are good for your skin, and that organic oils are even better, but something hidden in them, in plain sight to the natural skincare community, is posing a danger that you may not know of which are: polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAS).
Noteable dangers include skin effects like aging prematurely, uneven skin-tone, melasma / sun spots / sun burns / freckles may develop more rapidly, less collagen production, less elastin firmness/tightness, and a compromised skin barrier. And because we what goes on, goes in — applying PUFAS on your skin is simply detrimental to your overall, whole-body wellness.
So, let’s explore more, shall we? It’s time we make an informed decision regarding if this lipid has a place in your daily arsenal of skin nourishment.
The Current Fat-Scape:
When it comes to the oils in your skincare bottles, you encounter a trio of fatty acid types: saturated (SFA) present in animal-derived fats and coconuts, monounsaturated (MUFA) present in olives and avocados, and polyunsaturated (PUFA) present in nuts, seeds, and some fruit-derived oils. PUFAs have become a widely used staple in every processed food product and now lurk in the 'natural' skincare space. Common high PUFA oils include sunflower, safflower, soy, grapeseed, canola, linseed (flax), hemp, rosehip, argan, borage, evening primrose, almond, and pomegranate.
The problem with polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) is that they pose a unique challenge due to their inherent instability. This instability is attributed to an unpredictable hydrogen bond and makes them highly susceptible to oxidation, a process notorious for producing free radicals and accelerating cellular aging. The extraction process for these high-PUFA oils also involves a complex industrial method employing hydraulic presses, high heat, and extreme pressure to cheap seeds - all factors that promote oxidation (we must note, though, that even if high-PUFA oils are gently processed to avoid oxidation, our bodies maintain a consistently warm environment, which promises some level of oxidation).
The Dangers of PUFAs Are Threefold:
- LIPOFUSCIN: Imagine applying a 'natural' skincare product with sunflower oil to your skin, believing it's a step towards more radiant beauty, only to see that the sun has other plans. Sunlight triggers the oxidation of these oils rich in polyunsaturated fats. It causes them to react with minerals like iron abundant in your skin and cause a chemical reaction called lipofuscin. Lipofuscin happens when those notorious age spots or brown liver spots pop up on the skin.
- INFLAMMATION: Skin cells metabolize PUFAs into an inflammatory fatty acid called arachidonic acid. This inflammatory fatty acid gives rise to prostaglandins and leukotrienes, two powerful families of inflammatory mediators implicated in various chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular ailments, and even Alzheimer's. It's alarming to realize that the presence of PUFAs drives a significant portion of skin inflammation.
- AGING: The influence of PUFAs on skin aging is strikingly evident. Telomeres, those protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that naturally shorten with age, are particularly vulnerable to excessive PUFAs, which can lead to an accelerated shortening of telomeres, ultimately hastening cellular aging and its associated health issues.
Scientific research confirms that our cells absorb and metabolize whatever we apply externally to our skin. Using skincare that contains PUFA-rich oils harms your external + internal in the same ways.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Skin From PUFAs?
When selecting what you apply to your skin, we like to draw a parallel between it and our culinary choices. Think of it as deciding between cooking with PAM (a cooking spray) or wholesome coconut oil, grass-fed butter, or pure olive oil from Italy. Always choose the pure low PUFA oils in your skincare purchases, makeup buys, and diet. Say goodbye to sunflower oil, and include animal derived fats, olive, coconut, and avocado oil. After all, you can find the secrets to healthy, glowing skin in the diets of some of the world's healthiest and longest-living communities, from Mediterranean to Greek and Italian cultures, who regularly cooked with and aplies these skin-loving lipids year-round.
Our Cherished Low PUFA Oils: A Brighter You!
We use MCT, 100% Pure Olive Oil, and Cholesterol NF, rich in Monounsaturated and Saturated fatty acids, offering a range of skin-related benefits. Notably, a study in Japan highlighted the potential advantages of Pentadecanoic Acid, one SFA. This 15-carbon saturated fatty acid stimulates hair growth and enhances cellular energy production by increasing ATP synthesis in skin cells. The more saturated fats infused into the skin, the less lipid peroxidation occurs, even when exposed to intense sunlight, thus mitigating a significant factor in skin aging.
Saturated fats, combined with pure topical cholesterol and vitamin E (the 3 pillars our ‘Essential Trio’ formula encapsulates), also raise cholesterol levels within skin cells, which is vital because decreasing free cholesterol is a tell-tale marker of aging in various cells throughout the body. We've talked about cholesterol a lot because it's a star of our formulas. Besides its role in synthesizing steroid hormone D for the skin, it provides protective stability against lipid peroxidation and harmful microparticulate matter, which can be a result of our skins vulnerabilities to modern city pollutants and sun exposure.
(TG AGING GRACEFULLY TIP: Studies have shown that applying skin-friendly steroids like progesterone, testosterone, and pregnenolone can also significantly reduce visible signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles and crow's feet)
Tropicos Girl Skin: Pioneering PUFA-aware
Tropicos Girl is proud to be one of the pioneers in low PUFA skin products in the luxury market. We are committed to providing products with low PUFA content, prioritizing saturated and monounsaturated fats, and formulating with a steadfast approach that ensures that none of our oils contains more than 10% polyunsaturated fats.
We refuse to contribute to skin damage and harm, especially in a world already grappling with environmental pollution, chronic stress, processed foods, and other modern challenges. This underlying philosophy explains why TG products categorically exclude seed oils, including trendy choices like rosehip and sea buckthorn, argan, and hemp.
While Tropicos Girl Skin products may come at a slightly higher price point, our unwavering commitment to maintaining the integrity of our offerings aligns with the values of health-conscious consumers. After all, it raises the question: why create cheaper products that directly oppose the very reasons you purchase them? From TG's perspective, the answer is unequivocal - you won't!
OUR COMMITMENT IS PUFA AWARE, HEALTHY SKINCARE SOLUTIONS AT TROPICÓS GIRL. WE ARE SUN-SAFE AND HELP YOU ACHIEVE CLEAR, HEALTHY, GLOWING, ISLAND SKIN WITH 100% ACTIVES, AND 0% BS.
Peat, Ray. Unsaturated Fatty Acids: Nutritionally Essential, or Toxic?, raypeat.com/articles/articles/unsaturatedfats.shtml. Accessed 10 Oct. 2023.
Sethi, Anisha, et al. “Moisturizers: The Slippery Road.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4885180/.
***Written by certified Integrative Health Practioner, Ashley Cox, for educational purposes only, not to substitute medical advice.