Structural formula of Isomers of oleic acid


What is it?

“In chemistry, particularly in biochemistry, a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid with a long aliphatic chain, which is either saturated or unsaturated. Most naturally occurring fatty acids have an unbranched chain of an even number of carbon atoms, from 4 to 28.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

This is a group of different ingredients. To see which ones are affecting which areas – continue reading. Curious Chloride’s scanner highlights and marks them according to their differences. 

Fatty acids are substances that can be found both in plant and animal fats.

Arachidonic acid

An fatty acid of the omega-6 group that can be found in animal liver, brain, glands, fat, fish oils, and lards. But it can also be derived from plant sources or be made synthetically.

The European Chemical Agency has identified that arachidonic acid “causes serious eye irritation, is harmful if swallowed, is harmful in contact with skin, is harmful if inhaled, causes skin irritation and may cause respiratory irritation.”

Arachidonic acid is an oily liquid reportedly used as a conditioning agent in cosmetics, foremost in skin care products. It can also be found in companion animal food.

Caprylic acid

Caprylic acid be found naturally in milk, commonly derived from cows or goats, but can also be vegan from palm or coconut oil.

ECHA writes that “this substance causes severe skin burns and eye damage and is harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects.”

Caprylic acid is used in the manufacture of dyes, as a pesticide and disinfectant, and in cosmetics such as perfumes and skin creams.

Cerebrosides (Ceramide )

Cerebrosides are sugar and fatty acids found in animal muscles, nerve cell membranes and brain tissue. It can also be derived from plants or be made synthetically.

This ingredient is marketed as working anti-aging but is most likely only functioning moisturizing in various skin products


Formed from glycerol and fatty acids, can be derived from vegetable oils and animal fats.

Glycerides be found as an emulsifier in soaps; enables removal of dirt-oil with water. Can also be found in other washing and cleaning products.

Myristic Acid  

Myristic acid is commonly derived from vegetable nut oils, but can be found also in animal fats.

ECHA has classified this substance as “causes serious eye irritation and causes skin irritation. At least one company has indicated that the substance classification is affected by impurities or additives.”

Myristic acid can be found in cosmetics as shampoos and creams.

Oleic Acid 

A fatty acid that can be derived from vegetable or animal fats and oils.

ECHA classifies that “this substance causes serious eye irritation, causes skin irritation and may cause respiratory irritation. At least one company has indicated that the substance classification is affected by impurities or additives.”

Oleic acid can be found in all kinds of cosmetics as a surface active ingredient, for example in skin and hair products.

Omega−3 fatty acids

There are three types; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are most commonly obtained from fish oil while α-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in plant oils. ALA will not be highlighted by Curious Chloride’s scanner.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in lots of foods, nutritional supplements, and in cosmetics. Most commonly in skin care products as it is believed to generally benefit the skin.

Palmitic Acid

As the name suggests, this substance is normally derived from palm oil but can also be obtained from animals; found in meats, cheese and dairy products.

Palmitic acid can found in all kinds of food and also in cosmetics such as shampoos, shaving soaps and creams.

Stearic Acid

A fatty acid that can be obtained from animal fat or vegetable fat, for example shea and coconut butter. PETA writes that stearic acid is “a fat from cows, pigs, and sheep and from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters”

Used in household products such as detergents and soaps, and in cosmetics like shampoos and shaving creams.

How is it used?

Fatty acids is used in all kinds of products; cosmetics, detergents, vitamins, and food.  See above for details.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

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