How to distinguish a dry oil and a fatty oil

It can be quite confusing for the average person to know what exactly what a dry oil or fatty oil is? More importantly how to incorporate the two into a skincare routine to maximize results

  1. The dry oil

Mostly natural, and based on a single type of plant, (baobab, cotton, jojoba, macadamia, grape seeds, neem, sesame, etc.). Or, it can be a mixture of different oils.

In addition, dry oils are mainly composed of omega 3 and 6, which contribute to skin hydration and slow down the effects of skin aging. They are often very fluid, and have the particularity of penetrating very easily into the skin, without leaving the sensation of a greasy film on its surface. Also, they allow a “dry touch” finish, without shine, with a mattified skin.

the dry oil allows their faster diffusion to the heart of the skin, having a direct in-depth action.

Why are polyunsaturated fatty acids absorbed so well by the skin?

Quite simply because they are part of the composition of our stratum corneum. Normally, we provide our skin with the constituents it needs through our diet, which will allow it to regenerate.


  1.  The fatty oil

Unlike dry oil, it is mainly composed of omega 9, excellent antioxidants. It has a low penetration capacity, and is therefore ideal for staying on the skin’s surface (forms a protective shield, maintains self-hydration of the skin, heals patches of dryness, etc.). Their thick, even viscous texture allows it. As you will have understood, they then leave a greasy film on the skin, and leave it satiny. Here are some examples: wheat germ, organic castor oil

most often, for a fatty oil will be formulated into an emulsion to help with the sensory part and avoid the tackiness that comes with these oils’ types, however they are great for dry aging skin.

How do you know if an oil has a dry touch or not?

The oily or dry feeling is directly related to the fatty acid composition of the oil.

Fatty acids have a greater or lesser affinity with the skin. The more polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) the oil contains, the stronger the affinity for the skin will be and the faster it will penetrate the epidermis.

The 3 fatty acids that are quickly absorbed by the skin are Alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3), Linoleic acid (Omega 6) and Gamma-linolenic acid (from the Omega 6 family).

It is therefore vegetable oils mainly composed of omega 3 and omega 6 that are penetrating and qualified as dry oils.

If the sum of these 3 fatty acids exceeds 45%, the mixture will have a dry feel and will be absorbed very quickly.

Muscat Rose Oil is composed of:

  • 36% Omega 3
  • 46% Omega 6
  • 14% Omega 9
  • and 5% Saturated Fatty Acids

Its composition of Omega 3 and Omega 6 is equal to 82%, which means that it will penetrate very well into the skin and will have a dry touch.

Oils rich in monounsaturated fatty acids Omega 9 and saturated fatty acids (SFA) are fatty oils.

Here are some examples of vegetable oils with a dry or greasy feel:

  • Dry oils: Grape seed, Muscat rose, Inca in chi, Evening primrose, Starflower seed, Cameline, Flax, or Hemp.
  • Fatty oils: Avocado, Shea, Coconut, Tamanu, or Castor oil.

Note that the notion of dry or fatty oil is totally independent of the comedogenic index. Thus, a dry oil can quickly penetrate the skin and therefore be comedogenic, this is the case of Muscat Rose Oil for example. While a fatty oil like avocado is non-comedogenic. It will therefore also be necessary to take into account the comedogenicity of the oil if you apply it to your face and have skin prone to comedones, blackheads or imperfections.

We love dry oils as they can be by any skin type or any age

Here ‘s what to remember about Dry Oils:

These oils are particularly rich in Essential Fatty Acids and have excellent qualities for the skin. They have many advantages, since dry oils:

  • are easily and quickly absorbed by the skin
  • reduce the greasy feel of other oils
  • suitable for oily skin
  • help normalize dry or sensitive skin
  • are particularly effective for skin prone to eczema, psoriasis or acne.

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