Natural emollient, emulsifier, thickener, antioxidant and spreading agent.

Its safe, natural and really versatile.

Just a few of this ingredients awesome benefits.


The word Lecithin is Greek is pronounced Lekithos and means egg yolk.

But don’t worry, you’ll be happy to know you won’t end up with egg on your face if you see this listed on the inci list of your skin care products.

Traditionally in skin care the lecithin used is extracted from soya beans.

It is a thick waxy substance that has a number of interesting properties:

  • B vitamins in very small amounts
  • Natural phospholipids 60%
  • Soy bean oil 30%
  • Ethanolamine
  • Glycerol
  • Biotin
  • Choline

So why is Lecithin used in personal care products?

Many skin care formulas are oil in water and because of this, they require emulsifiers to help bind small amounts of oil into large amounts of water.

Lecithin, is often used in skin care as an emulsifier, it works by preventing water hating (hydrophobic) and water loving (hydrophilic) substances, such as oil and water from separating.

When you try to get a little water in a lot of oil, you need to utilise an emulsifier that favours the oil phase, one that has a HLB at the low end of the scale.

This can be anywhere between three to five, which is where Soya Lecithin comes into its own.

I use soya lecithin in my lip and body balms, they contain Manuka honey which is a sugar and water mix and tends to sit on top of oils.

What happens if you don’t add a little bit of chemical diplomacy? Well, the formula will separate of course.

Properties and Uses:

Let’s look at some of the benefits of this interesting ingredient:

Active Additive: It helps to soften and moisturise the skin.
Penetration Enhancer: It alters the skin structure allowing other substances to penetrate deeper.
Emulsifier: Soya lecithin helps emulsify oil and water products, making formulas more stable.
Antioxidant: It helps to repair free radical damage, soothing inflamed, irritated skin.
Hydrophilic ingredient: It attracts water to the skin, working to prevent moisture loss from deep within the skin tissues.
Thickener: Soya lecithin can add thickness to a formula.
Moisturising: It is very moisturising, which is due to its high levels of oleic and linoleic acid.

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