Here’s why you need fats in your skincare routine

Tap a healthy barrier, and therefore, glowing skin … with fats. 

If you’re swift to associate the term ‘fat’ with something bad, negative or menacing, you’re not alone. As a society, we’ve been conditioned to do that. While the word has been erroneously highlighted in a negative light for years now when it comes to one’s body shape and size, in the world of skincare, the term has rather been treated in an unprejudiced manner with a science-first approach. In case you’re living under a rock, there are good fats and bad fats. While the latter is the culprit that spawns into a myriad of health complications, the former is a key nutrient essential for the smooth functioning of the many organs in your body, including skin, the largest organ of our body. If you’ve been overlooking the benefits of fats for your skin, you’d want to get filled in on the wonders of the ingredient and why you should be including it in your regimen.

What are fats in skincare?

In skincare or not, essential fatty acids and lipids are what make up what is known as ‘fats’ by and large. Omega 3, 6 and 9, and lipids such as ceramides, squalane and olive oil are ingredients that essentially fall under the ‘skincare fats’ bucket. While essential fatty acids are usually obtained and replenished through the foods we consume, lipids like ceramides are naturally occurring substances in the body, to keep the skin well-protected. A slew of science-backed skincare brands across the globe have incorporated some sort of fat in their moisturisers and facial oils to elevate the nourishment that the product renders. In fact, Rihanna’s Fenty Skin has even launched a product dubbed “Fat Water”.  

Why does the skin need fats?

“Our skin needs fats because they form the lipid bilayer, and then also it helps form the skin barrier. Each cell forms the skin barrier and we need fats to fill in the brick and mortar. So it’s the mortar that holds everything together,” explains New Delhi-based celebrity dermatologist Dr Kiran Sethi. Though essential fatty acids do occur in the body, and thereby skin, naturally, with age, the adequate amount of fats required begins to deplete, leaving behind a deficiency of sorts, which manifests in the form of dryness, a damaged skin barrier, rashes, irritation, redness, itchiness and general dehydration. 

Enter: topical application. Honestly, there’s no paucity that topical skincare applications can’t resolve. “By applying fats topically, hopefully, we can absorb them into the skin, which in turn, helps improve the barrier as well as reduce trans-epidermal water loss,” begins Sethi, “So what happens is if your barrier is stronger, the water from inside the skin doesn't leave the skin, which ensures that your skin doesn’t get dehydrated. This practice benefits the most in the later stages of your life when fats deplete in the skin.” Is ingesting fats better … for this purpose? Not really. “When you ingest omega-6 [acids], most of it gets broken down by the liver so not as much makes it to your skin,” Dr Olga Bunimovich, a dermatologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, tells SELF. “But if you [apply it topically], you’ll get very good penetration [into the bloodstream].” If you want to bid adieu to flaky, patchy and rough skin, now you know what you need to do.

PS: Our Balance Face Cream features a potent complex of three uber-nourishing ingredients namely shea butter, cocoa butter and kokum butter, each with an impressive fatty acid profile. When combined in our moisturiser whipped to soothe and hydrate your skin weightlessly, the formula delivers a rich dose of nourishment to fortify your skin barrier, minimise trans-epidermal water loss and keep the plumpness of your skin intact. Due to the evident presence of antioxidants in these three ingredients, the skin also gains some anti-inflammatory and cell repair benefits. The best part? Your skin’s elasticity is maintained in the long run. You should know that ingredients like neem, hyaluronic acid, turmeric, saffron and ashwagandha make the cream a powerhouse of benefits including depigmentation and hydration. 

There’s more … our Multi-Correctional Face Oil, that makes for a powerhouse of omega fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins. The saffron-tinged facial oil is lightweight, and nourishes the skin like a warm hug. Natural oils such as grapeseed oil, rosehip oil and sea buckthorn are combined with ingredients like camellia seed (rich in omega -3-6-9 and vitamins A, B, D, and E), sacha inchi (rich in omega -3) to endow the skin with a boost of healthy essential fats topically. Healing turmeric, calming frankincense, youth-boosting bakuchiol and anti-acne rosemary make this elixir an even more valuable addition to your skincare cabinet.