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What is linalool in skin care?

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When it comes to your skin care products, are you an avid reader of the back of the packaging? If you’re not, it’s a good idea to try to be. Keeping tabs on what’s in your skin care products can help you decide which ones truly are right for your skin. 

Some skin care ingredients can be harsh on the skin. If you have particularly irritable or sensitive skin, you could be making it worse by using a product that contains something like mineral oil, which can add to inflammation and redness, and even be responsible for acne spots and breakouts.

And it isn’t just the ingredients in new products (that you may never have used before) that we should all be interested in. Sometimes, our old favourites go through a change in product formulation, and manufacturers don’t always shout loudly about this. 

You might have chosen a skin care product or brand specifically because of what it does for your skin. But over time, the manufacturer might have added an ingredient or taken one away, that means that old faithful product no longer supports the needs of your skin. This could then mean that you suffer breakouts and can’t work out why. 

It might not just be ingredients that you choose or avoid that you know are good or bad for your skin either. Sometimes we make considered purchases based on our lifestyles and beliefs. 

For example, we might choose to avoid certain animal derived products such as lanolin (from the wool of lambs) or shellac (from crushed up female beetles). It’s unlikely, but product formulations can change, and we could be unwittingly buying something that doesn’t align with our eco credentials any longer. 

On your label reading adventures, you may have come across an ingredient called linalool and wondered what it was. So we’re here to tell you all about linalool, what it does and why we add it to some of our skin care products. 

What is linalool?

Linalool might sound like it’s made for the laundry department of our kitchen cupboards (or is made using the wool of a sheep, but that might just be me) but actually, it’s an entirely natural, plant derived product. 

There are around 200 species of plant that contain linalool. They’re mainly from a few families of plants including the herb family of mint and thyme, the tree family of laurels and rosewoods and the citrus fruit family of plants.

In fact, if you were to break down many of the common essential oils, you’d find linalool in them. Lemon, tangerine, rose, and ylang ylang essential oils all contain linalool compounds in them. As do the essential oils of cinnamon, cypress and spearmint, showing that it has a diverse fragrance profile. 

Linalool itself is a type of ‘terpene alcohol’ which, despite sounding like a harsh chemical you’d find in a lab, is instead a naturally occurring substance found in these families of plants. 

It’s used in many different industries from detergents to soaps and skin care products to add it’s floral scent (that also has a hint of spiciness) to the mix. Linalool is often described as having a scent similar to that of French lavender and bergamot oil. 

When used in skin care products, linalool adds a delicate fragrance. We’ve added linalool to ourClean Slate Cream Cleanser as we love it! It’s a colourless liquid, so it doesn’t affect the colour of the products it’s added to, just the fragrance. 

What are the benefits of linalool in skin care?

Linalool is present in thyme essential oil, and there is evidence that thyme oil can be effective at reducing the skin bacteria that can cause acne, calledpropionibacterium acnes. Studies show that eliminating this bacteria, or at least reducing it, canmanage the formation of acne spots and pustules. These studies suggest that this is down to the action of the linalool in the thyme oil. 

We’ve spoken extensively aboutacne caused by a buildup of bacteria. When the pores of the skin become blocked by dirt, old makeup, dead skin cells and excess sebum (the wax like oily substance naturally produced by the skin to keep it supple and moisturised), it can trap this bacteria inside. A buildup of this bacteria then contributes to acne breakouts. 

There is also evidence that linalool can have ananti-inflammatory effect on the skin. Inflammation can also lead to acne and other skin conditions such as psoriasis and rosacea. So eliminating inflammation is good news if you have skin that acts a little contrary at times. 

Sönd skin care

So not only does linalool have a beautiful fragrance, it also helps to support and calm acne prone or non conformist, stressed out skin. And that’s why we think it’s worthy of being added to our creamy cleanser. 

All of ourskin care products have been designed to support the needs of all skin types. It’s especially good for those who have acne prone skin or skin that’s particularly oily or dry. So try us today, it could be the best thing you ever did for your skin! 


Hannah de Gruchy BSc(Hons)

About Author

Hannah de Gruchy is a freelancer writer who specialises in health and wellness. She has a keen interest in the biology of skin and loves using her words to help separate the real science of skincare from the pseudoscience of some skincare brands. Hannah has a degree in Human Biology and many years’ experience working in laboratories around London. Using this experience, Hannah enjoys turning complex science into interesting, engaging and easy to digest pieces to read. In her spare time, Hannah runs, practices yoga and loves cooking plant based foods.

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