Linoleic Acid Best Emollient Anti-Ageing Hydration Linoleic Acid at a glance Unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid found in corn, safflower, and sunflower oils The most abundant fatty acid found in skin’s upper layers Acts as an emollient and thickener Research shows it’s an antioxidant, restorative, calming, and discolouration-fighting ingredient Linoleic Acid description Linoleic acid is an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid found in corn, safflower, and sunflower oils. It is one of two essential fatty acids humans must obtain through diet. It is also the most abundant fatty acid found in skin’s epidermis. The body uses linoleic acid to make gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which plays a role in modulating inflammation. In cosmetics, it is used as an emollient and thickening agent. In addition, research shows it to be effective as a skin restorative, an antioxidant, and as a skin-soothing agent. There are even some studies demonstrating that it could have some discolouration fading properties due to its ability to inhibit excess melanin production. Since linoleic acid is a component of many edible oils, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ruled it safe as a direct and indirect food additive. In personal care products, it is used in amounts up to 21.8% in rinse-off cleansing products and 3.4% in leave-on products. The independent Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel deems it safe as used in cosmetics.