A Super Important Ingredient Your Skin's Probably Not Getting Enough Of

In the world of skin care, there’s always something new. And the latest “it” ingredient that we are hearing about is cholesterol. The same type of cholesterol that’s naturally found in your skin (different from cholesterol levels that rise and fall due to diet) can now be found in skin care products.

New York dermatologist Anne Chapas, MD, explains that cholesterol is one of the most important fats in the skin because it creates a vital barrier in its outermost layer. That barrier between our skin and the environment is crucial—without it the skin starts to become damaged, dry and essentially broken down.

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“We lose cholesterol in the skin after age 40, which is why you get a lot of dryness and crepiness. Once the composition of the fatty acids changes, the texture of your skin changes, too.”

Products like SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 ($125) add cholesterol back into the skin to improve its surface. “It seems to really help the 40-plus patient who says they are constantly dry. We want to improve the skin barrier to retain moisture and better the surface texture, and this ingredient tends to do that,” says Dr. Chapas. Moisture is crucial, especially in aging skin, because without it, any imperfections like wrinkles and fine lines can become more pronounced and make your complexion look aged and weathered.