Super Moisturizing Lecithin is a perfect conditioning emulsifier for your skin


Super Moisturizing Lecithin is a perfect conditioning emulsifier for your skin


Now I want to introduce you to one of the safest and most useful ingredients in cosmetics. Lecithin is rarely talked about in connection with home cosmetics. However, it is an ingredient used in many commercial cosmetic products. Lecithin is a very useful ingredient as it is very natural and suitable for almost everyone’s skin. Perhaps you are familiar with the health benefits of lecithin?  In skin care, lecithin is usually not mentioned. Now we are focusing on the properties of lecithin in skin and hair care. How can you use nourishing, protective and moisturizing lecithin in your cosmetics?

Lecithin creme

What is Lecithin?

Lecithin consists mainly of fatty substances called phospholipids. Phospholipids are building material of cell membranes that are particularly rich in choline for humans.

Lecithin is found naturally from many sources like eggs, soy and sunflower seeds. Lecithin is a thick, waxy substance that is soluble in water but also in fat. Lecithin contains, in addition to choline, linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, glycerol and small amounts of biotin. Lecithin is used as a food supplement as it is believed to lower cholesterol level in blood. That’s why it is very easy to find soy lecithin on the shelves of supermarkets.

Lecithin is a very common ingredient in many industrial products

You can easily find lecithin as an ingredient in both cosmetics and foods. Sometimes lecithin may also be called as phosphatidylcholine. Lecithin acts as a thickener and emulsifier in foods. Not so many people are aware that for instance chocolate, is an emulsion in which lecithin is the emulsifier. In mayonnaise, lecithin is an essential ingredient. Humans are not generally allergic to lecithin. Naturally some may be. That is why it is so commonly used by food industry.

Lecithin is used in many cosmetic products precisely because of its emulsifying ability. However, lecithin is also rich in skin care properties. However, the utility of lecithin is rarely highlighted. Lecithin is at its best in creams with high percentage of oils. It is widely used in combination with other emulsifiers and thickeners.  More steady emulsion is obtained by combining other emulsifiers and thickeners with lecithin.

How is Lecithin Made?

Lecithin granules available in shops are usually are made from soy. There is also lecithin made from sunflower seeds, which is sold in liquid and powder forms. Sunflower lecithin is significantly less common than soybean lecithin. Many people prefer liquid sunflower lecithin in cosmetics because it is easy to use. Also, sunflower lecithin is not GMO modified as soy products often are. The soy lecithin I use is GMO free. Sunflower lecithin is extracted much gentler than soybean lecithin. Its production does not require any toxic chemicals.

Use of lecithin as an emulsifier in cosmetics

Lecithin is not a very easy emulsifier. The problems are its slow dissolution in both water and oil. Grinding of lecithin granules helps a little the dissolution. Liquid lecithin is ready for use immediately. If you find some, just buy it.

Dissolve lecithin, preferably in oil

Although lecithin is soluble in both oil and water, I personally prefer dissolving it in oil. I have tested different methods of preparing lecithin creams. It is much easier to get the result you want by dissolving lecithin in oil first and then add the liquid to it. The emulsion requires particularly strong whipping. I recommend the use of an (electric) mixer.

Pure water is the safest liquid in lecithin emulsion

Boiled water is the safe choice for Lecithin emulsified creams. Lecithin is a delicate emulsifier that does not like all ingredients. I managed to dissolve the emulsion simply by adding a few drops of preservative to it.  I will study making of lecithin creams more carefully in the future. I want to find suitable liquids and preservatives for the lecithin emulsion.

Lecithin cream is challenging but worth the effort


One weakness of lecithin is its slow absorption. The skin remains sticky for a long time. That’s why I recommend making lecithin cream as night cream. Allow it to absorb slowly. I do understand well why lecithin as an emulsifier has not been very popular in commercial creams. It is also quite a challenging ingredient in home cosmetics. Despite all of these problems, I am fond of lecithin cream. It makes the skin feel very comfortable, soft and moisturized. There is no any other type of ointment that can deeply moisturize dry winter skin in the same way.

Lecithin is a skin nurturant ingredient

In this article, I’d like to emphasize the skin care properties of lecithin. Because lecithin is generally used as emulsifier, its effects on the skin has not been notified. By using lecithin, you can make a simple lotion and many other products with all the nurturant ingredients.

  • Lecithin is one of the skin’s own, natural ingredients. Therefore, lecithin is particularly suitable for skin care.
  • Lecithin strengthens the skin’s own protection. It helps the skin to protect itself against external stimulus.
  • Lecithin is a humectant. It absorbs moisture and keeps the skin moisturized. Lecithin’s hydrophilic, water-attracting property effectively hydrates the skin.
  • Lecithin also helps skin retain moisture due to its linoleic acid content. It has both moisture-collecting and moisture-retaining properties.
  • Lecithin changes the structure of the skin by helping the active substances penetrate deeper into the skin. Indeed, lecithin is often used as a carrier to deliver medicine deeper into the skin.
  • Lecithin acts as an antioxidant on the skin by resisting the signs of aging

Lecithin also takes care of the hair

Lecithin is really good for hair care. Big haircare product manufacturers use commonly lecithin in their products. As a moisturizing ingredient, lecithin-containing products can be used to treat dry ends. The scalp also benefits from lecithin. Add lecithin to your hair masks.

How can lecithin be used in home cosmetics?

In home cosmetics, lecithin suits well to nourishing creams. Lecithin as an emulsifier is at its best in formulas with equal amounts of oil and water. A very light cream with lecithin cannot be made unless you use other emulsifiers. You can also combine beeswax or vegetable butter with lecithin. This naturally gives you more product stability without using any potentially toxic chemicals.

  • Lecithin emulsion cream is a good night cream because it protects and moisturizes the skin very effectively.
  • Lecithin can be used in hair products to treat dry and damaged hair.
  • Lecithin products have been used to treat skin problems such as acne and eczema
  • Lecithin creams are very suitable for baby care as they are natural and well tolerated.
  • Lecithin may be added to skin serums. Lecithin helps to deliver active ingredients deeper into the skin

You can add small amounts of lecithin to the facial lotions. It helps the facial lotions to soften the skin and create a matte, non-shiny finish on the skin. Please bear in mind that lecithin colours the facial water grey.

Learn how to use lecithin in your products

Soy Lecithin

Once you learn how to use lecithin, you will no longer want to give it up. I’ve used lecithin in my own products for a while now and I’m really excited. I always come up with new uses for lecithin.

I also find it great that I can easily purchase all the cosmetics ingredients I need from local store. Lecithin is a safe ingredient. It is a food that is intended as a supplement. Such cosmetic ingredients are the best. Cosmetics should not contain any toxic chemicals. Everything we apply to our skin is also absorbed by our body. Therefore, we should choose only really safe ingredients for our cosmetic products.

Have you used lecithin before?

4 kommenttia kirjoitukseen "Super Moisturizing Lecithin is a perfect conditioning emulsifier for your skin"

  1. Matilda | 3.5.2020

    Thank you so much for the information. . My question is can I use lecithin in the cold phase or hot phase ? It really a difficult emulsifier to use. I have tried several times to make a cream with liquid lecithin but all those times I have failed,

    Thank you

  2. Outi | 4.5.2020

    Hello Matilda
    First of all, thank you for reading my pages and testing my recipes.
    Your question is a very good one, making a cream using lecithin is a quite challenging task. I always use it in the cold phase only.
    Selecting the right oil is the key to success when you use lecithin as a raw material to a cream. Different oils do have different fatty acid profile. The best oil to use with lecithin is rice bran oil. The oil I am using is a cooking oil from Thailand. I tried a cold-pressed rice bran oil as well but it did not work, the result was a disappointment. Once you find the right oil, you will succeed for sure.
    Ordinary lecithin grains, available in grocery stores, are the best. I have never tried using liquid lecithin.
    Grind the grains and mix with the rice bran oil. Let the grains to dissolve overnight either on the table or in the fridge. Next day, mix it and filter using a strainer. Then add the liquid to the phase carefully, use a mixer. Do not hurry. I myself use only filtered water as a liquid. I do not add anything else.
    I hope you will manage to create this wonderful cream. It is really nice and it is suitable to everyone. It does not clog pores and it is really mild.

    Best Wishes,

  3. Jenna | 11.5.2020

    Is lecithin a good preservative for a moisturizer with water and oils? Does it have an effective shelf life?

  4. Outi | 12.5.2020

    Thank you Jenna for your interesting question.
    Lecithin is indeed a very effective preservative. It does not, however, prevent bacterial or microbial action. For example, lecithin is used in pastries to hold the structure firm. Lecithin holds the moisture in pastries and prevents them from drying and hardening.

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