Linoleic Acid vs Oleic Acid: What's the Difference?

What is Linoleic Acid?

Linoleic acid, whose name is derived from the Greek words "linon," which means "flax," and "oleic," which means "produced from oil," is an unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats are essential for encouraging cell regeneration and keeping skin smooth, elastic, and young-looking.

Linoleic acid can be used on all skin types, but those with dry or acne-prone skin may find it most beneficial. Acne patients have been demonstrated to have reduced linoleic acid levels in their skin surface lipids.

What is Oleic Acid?

Oleic acid is a mono-unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in various animal and vegetable sources. Oleic acid is considered to be highly stable to oxidation and also can enhance the activity of antioxidants and antipolymerization agents. (Source)

Difference Between Oleic Acid and Linoleic Acid

Linoleic Acid Vs Oleic Acid for Skin
Your ability to choose between the fatty acids will depend on your skin type. Linoleic acid-rich oils are thinner, but oleic acid-rich oils are thicker and provide deeper hydration.

Linoleic acid is lighter than oleic acid, making it easier for the skin to absorb. Linoleic acid can help with acne since people with acneic skin typically have lower quantities of linoleic than oleic acid in their sebum. As a result, oils with increased linoleic acid content are advantageous for managing acne.

It's a better choice for sensitive, oily, and acne-prone skin. Oleic acid, on the other hand, feels richer and thicker. That helps people whose skin is aged, dry, and dehydrated.

Linoleic Acid Vs Oleic Acid for Hair
Even though oleic acid and linoleic acid are different fatty acids but both are assets to our strands. Linoleic acid stimulates hair growth, maintains a healthy scalp conditions, and will control water loss in your hair. Oleic acid will also control water loss in your strands while softening your hair and make it more pliable.

Linoleic Acid and Oleic Acid Food Sources

Dietary sources of linoleic acid: vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, soybean, corn, and canola oils as well as nuts and seeds.

Dietary sources of oleic acid: macademia oil, olive oil, sunflower oil.


Best Oils High in Linoleic Acid

1. Naissance Organic Safflower Oil 

Naissance Organic Safflower Oil

Organic Safflower Oil is great for skincare. Thanks to its rich feeling on the skin, it is ideal for those with particularly dry, irritated mature skin. It works well as an all over moisturiser and it is an emollient which helps support the skin barrier function.

With its silky feeling on the skin, Safflower Oil is a gentle yet effective face and body moisturiser. It won’t block your pores and it suitable for all skin types. For rapid absorption and non-greasy feeling, applying a few drops of Safflower to your cleansed skin every day will leave it feeling nourished, soft and dewy.

I got this for a moisturizer for my face. But as a bonus I realized, it helps with the swelling and inflammation

2. Safflower Seed Oil Face Moisturizer 


- Nutrient Rich
Has one of the highest levels of Linoleic Acid of any carrier oils. Consists of 72.31 Linoleic Acid and 16 Oleic Acid. High in vitamin E for healthy skin.

- Non Comedogenic
Although noncomedogenic safflower oil can be used for different skin types it works especially well for those with oily acne prone skin. It has a comedogenic rating of zero to help prevent break outs from clogged pores. With a high Linoleic acid content it helps to keep the sebum, the skin's natural oil, levels balanced. Safflower oil act as a lubricant that prevents water from leaving the skin, thereby locking in the moisture for healthy, glowing skin.

- Other Uses
Hair conditioner and moisturizer adds shine to hair while moisturizing the scalp to prevent dryness. Promotes Skin Elasticity for supple skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles for an anti aging toner. Use it as a base oil for your own DIY soap making. The oil is capable of softening up dry areas smooth rough patches and even improve both the texture and tone of your skin when used as a daily anti-aging facial moisturizer.

- Packaging
Packaged in Dark Amber Glass Bottle for longevity. Protects light sensitive oils from oxidation.

I have a combination & acne prone & sensitive skin, and where I live is very dry. Because I have a very severe adult acne, I tried to avoid harmful chemicals and satisfy my skin with a single aloe gel. However, my U zone was only getting drier along with the climate change. Although I was very skeptical about face oil as I had had some bad experiences before, this time was totally different! Unlike other heavy feeling oils (like argan, hemp seed, rosehip, tamanu, grapeseed, etc), this one feels more like watery(!) but still moisturizes my skin so perfectly!! I am glad I finally found the right oil for me.

3. Mayan's Secret USDA Certified Organic Safflower Seed Oil for Anti-aging Skin


- Guaranteed Highest Quality, USDA Certified Organic Safflower Seed Oil
Unparalleled purity and concentration. Natural, with no adulterants or dilution, with Mayan’s Secret oils you get the maximum benefit possible and are uncompromising. Mayan’s Secret is a trusted certified organic facility where we adhere to strict regulations therefore you can trust that our oils are top quality truly genuine never diluted or compromised in any way. Certified by QAI to ensure the absence of harmful products as well as the proper handling of the oil in all stages of production.

- High in Linoeic Acid
Thanks to its high level of linoleic acid, it's excellent for helping to balance the sebum levels in the skin. And with its light, non-greasy consistency, Mayan’s Secret organic safflower oil is absorbed quickly into the skin, making it an excellent moisturizing facial oil suitable for all skin types.

- Other Uses
Hair conditioner and moisturizer adds shine to hair while moisturizing the scalp to prevent dryness. Promotes Skin Elasticity for supple skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles for an anti aging toner. Use it as a base oil for your own DIY soap making. The oil is capable of softening up dry areas smooth rough patches and even improve both the texture and tone of your skin when used as a daily anti-aging facial moisturizer.

- Nothing Added or Taken Away 
Large 4oz Dark amber Glass bottle with glass dropper extends shelf life as oils are light sensitive & must be stored in dark amber bottles to protect from oxidation. Unlike plastic containers, glass will not leach chemicals into the oil. Please keep bottle in a dark cabinet. Refrigeration can help to extend the normal shelf life of two years.

4. Safflower Oil 16 oz Cold Pressed 100% Pure Natural Carrier

Safflower Oil 16 oz Cold Pressed 100% Pure Natural Carrier


Safflower Oil is obtained from ripe seeds taken from the Carthamus tinctorius. Safflower is a highly moisturizing oil that is deeply soothing and one of the first choices among manufacturers for cosmetics requiring a moisturizing oil. It is also very popular in massage blends as it is easily absorbed, and can be washed from sheets without heavy staining. 

- highly moisturizing oil 
- often used in cosmetics 
- popular in massage blends

I completely stopped using soap on my face, and wash my face with this oil instead. I used to get acne all the time, now I only get hormonal zits a couple of days before my period. Bonus my skin is softer and my fine lines are less noticeable! I bought some for my mom and sister also. Why did it take me 33 years to do this???

5. Life-flo Pure Safflower Oil


- Moisturize
Natural moisturizer for skin and hair or a base for creams, lotions and hair care products

- Soften
Helps soften dryness and soothe skin while acting as a protective barrier

- Massage
One of the most popular bases for massage oils due to its emollient feel and absorbability

Ratings
4.7 out of 5 - more than 1,300 global ratings

Wow!! I am soooo happy that I have finally found a clean product that my hair and skin both love! This oil is not to thick or to thin. It is just right. I have tried many oils on my quest to getting back to the basics. I have tried everything from almond oil, castor oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, sesame seed oil, and coconut oil. This is the only oil that complements my hair and skin. It makes my curly hair look well moisturized without that "heavy" feeling or look from other oils. This oil has been gentle enough that I use it on my face for oil cleansing. Once you find a oil that your hair and skin love its an amazing feeling.


Best Oils High in Oleic Acid

1. US Organic Macadamia Nut Oil Unrefined Virgin

US Organic Macadamia Nut Oil Unrefined Virgin

This USDA certified organic Macadamia nut oil is clear to a lighter golden/yellowish color with a mild characteristic odor. With a higher concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, primarily palmitoleic and oleic, macadamia nut oil has a higher resistance to oxidation as well as a relatively higher smoke point.

Can I use this oil on my lip balm, face cream, DIY projects or etc? Yes. But dilute properly.

No Fillers, No Dilutions, No Paraben, No Alcohol, No Fragrance, No Additives or Chemicals. Cruelty Free Product, Not Tested on Animals- Leaping Bunny Program Certifie. Manufactured in US Organic’s own Clean, GMP-certified and USDA certified facility where meets or exceed all municipal and government standards.

Ratings
4.6 out of 5 - more than 11,200 global ratings

I've been putting it directly on my face twice a day (once right when I get out of the shower in the morning and then at night after I take my makeup off), rubbing it all over my face and neck. I love it. It isn't greasy and absorbs pretty quickly. I no longer feel dry and my skin/scalp are always smooth. Dandruff is gone. My face is glowing. I haven't tried other brands, so I don't know how it compares to others, but I'm completely happy, so I don't feel the need to try another brand.

2. Naissance Macadamia Nut Oil 32 fl oz


Our Macadamia Nut Oil is manufactured to the highest safety standards. It is an excellent emollient, it is easily absorbed by the skin without feeling greasy. It can help lock in moisture, keeping skin hydrated and nourished.

- Massage
Macadamia Nut Oil can be used as a substitute for Almond Sweet or Grapeseed Oil for massage as it is easily absorbed by the skin without leaving it greasy.

- Skincare
This oil is great for skincare, use on its own or can be used to make your own skincare formulations. Create a soothing and moisturising facial serum by combining 50ml of Macadamia Nut Oil with 0.5ml (approx. 10 drops) of Lavender Essential Oil #102 and massage a few drops into your face and neck.

- Haircare
Combine 100ml of Macadamia Nut Oil with 0.25ml (approx. 5 drops) of Tea Tree #109 and 0.25ml (approx. 5 drops) Chamomile Oil #134 for a deep repair mask. Massage a small amount into your hair and scalp and leave to work for around 30 minutes. Wash as normal, you may need to wash twice.

Ratings
 4.5 out of 5 - more than 600 global ratings

I use this as a face and body moisturizer for my uber-dry skin and it works like a charm -my skin stays soft and moisturized and glowy all day :)

3. Carlyle Macadamia Nut Oil


- Virgin Macadamia Nut Oil
Cold-pressed from Macadamia Nuts, perfect for adding flavor to any dish!

- Vegetarian Formula
Designed for a vegetarian lifestyle, a natural source of Omega-9 fatty acids

- Rooted in Wellness
Carlyle provides premium, honest supplements in your pursuit to healthy living

- Carlyle Manufacturers
Laboratory Tested, Trusted Ingredients, Superior Quality, 100% Guaranteed!

- Safe Ingredient
Naturally free of Gluten, Wheat, Yeast, Lactose, Soy, Artificial Flavor, Preservatives & Non-GMO

Ratings
4.7 out of 5 - more than 800 global ratings

It dose moisture .i just added to my skin care formula

4. SVA Organics Macadamia Carrier Oil Organic Certified with Dropper 


- Premium Therapeutic Grade Macademia Oil, Organic
SVA ORGANICS Macadamia Oil is obtained by Cold Pressed extraction method of Macadamia integrifolia. It is 100% Pure, Natural and Authentic Carrier Oil. Our Macadamia Oil is Glass bottled in USA and is not tested on Animals. We care for you!

- 100% Pure & Natural Cold Pressed Macademia Oil
It has moisturizing properties and acts as a great everyday skin moisturizer for very dry skin. It helps improve the skin texture and make skin look young and rejuvenated. . It has been used in cosmetic formulations & beauty products like skin creams, lotions, soaps, hair shampoo, hair conditioners and more.

- Hair Care
SVA Organics Macadamia Oil hydrates the hair strands making them smooth and shiny. It is great for very dry, frizzy, tangled and dull hair as it helps softens them. It nourishes the scalp and helps retain its moisture without any greasy look by balancing the natural oil of the hair. It helps recover dull and brittle hair from daily environmental and pollution exposure.

- Experience Multiple Benefits of SVA Organic Macademia Oil
It is widely used in aromatherapy massage, bath and spa. Its deep conditioning properties nourish the body and give soft, supple and refreshed skin.

This oil smells wonderful. It’s a very faint scent. Very subtle but one that is very appealing. It absorbs well and moisturizes wonderfully. I like to make my own blends of different essential oils with carrier oils but this one I probably won’t be adding those. The scent is too nice to cover up. I may add some rosehip oil to a small amount. I for sure will be using some in my next batch of whipped body butter. This is one of my favorite brands for natural oils but this macadamia oil is my very favorite of theirs.

5. Best of Nature 100% Pure Olive Massage & Body Oil


Olive Body Oil attracts external moisture to the skin and allows the skin to properly release sweat, shed dead skin, release sebum and fights off the free-radical damage from sunlight and pollution. Great for inclusion in massage oil formulations to help sooth the inflamed skin. High in oleic acid, monounsaturated essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K, as well as common fatty acids such as palmitic acid, squalene and terpenes these act as emollients (a natural conditioner).

- 100% pure. Cold pressed. Pomace b grade. Long shelf life. No fragrance added.
- use for massage, skin care, as a bath oil.
- for skin: antioxidant, moisturizer, after sun, eye makeup remover, wrinkle treatment, scar oil.
- for hair: less dandruff, prevent split ends, strengthen shafts, increase shine, softens.

Ratings
4.6 out of 5 - more than 600 global ratings

I used almost half the bottle already because is so good!
I love the versatility of this product. Instead of having two different bottles one for hair and one for body, I can declutter and work with only one product that happens to be amazing.
It has helped me condition my hair and I feel is silky smooth. On the skins it feels wonderful. This oil is absorbed quickly so you dont stay feeling sticky and icky.
I love it for my hands the most, because I had very dry cuticles and now they look and feel like new.
I also use it to give my husband back massages and he loves it. He does the same, and it feels really good.

FAQ

a. Why Linoleic Acid is an Essential Fatty Acid?

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