Phospholipids are a type of lipid, a fatty molecule, which plays a fundamental role in the structure and function of the cell membranes of living organisms. They are composed of a hydrophilic polar head and two hydrophobic tails. This dual structure allows them to form a lipid bilayer that forms the basis of cell membranes, providing a semi-permeable barrier that regulates the passage of substances in and out of the cell.

In the context of aesthetic medicine, phospholipids are often used as ingredients in topical products and procedures to improve the appearance of the skin. These products may contain phospholipids to help hydrate and strengthen the skin barrier, which can result in smoother, healthier-looking skin.

Phospholipid functions

Phospholipids are found in all cells of the body, including skin cells. To maintain healthy skin, it is important to ensure that sufficient phospholipids are available, either through diet or through topical products containing skin-friendly ingredients, such as phospholipids, to help maintain the skin barrier and proper hydration.

  1. Phospholipids form the basic structure of cell membranes and help maintain their integrity and fluidity. This is vital for regulating the passage of nutrients and wastes, as well as protecting the cell from the surrounding environment.
  2. In the skin, phospholipids are crucial for the formation of the skin barrier. This barrier helps retain moisture, prevents transepidermal water loss and protects the skin from external agents such as bacteria and irritants.
  3. Phospholipids are also involved in lipid transport in the body. They participate in the transport of fats through the bloodstream and in the absorption of lipids in the intestine.
  4. Some phospholipids, such as phosphatidylinositol, play an important role in cell signaling pathways, transmitting signals that regulate various cellular functions, including response to growth factors and regulation of metabolism.

Phospholipids are synthesized mainly in the liver, although they are also produced in other cells of the body. Its synthesis involves several steps and requires a series of precursors and specific enzymes.

Fatty acids are essential for the synthesis of phospholipids and are obtained from the diet or produced in the body. When there is a diet deficient in essential fatty acids, it can lead to a decrease in the production of phospholipids. This can occur if a person does not consume enough foods rich in healthy fats, such as vegetable oils, fatty fish or nuts.

There are other cases in which a decrease in the level of phospholipids in the body can occur, such as with liver and metabolic diseases; medications that can affect phospholipid metabolism and aging, since as we grow older our body loses the ability to synthesize phospholipids and other lipids, which can lead to changes in the skin, such as loss of elasticity and dryness.

Phospholipids in esthetics

Phospholipids are used in cosmetics and aesthetic medicine to improve the health and appearance of the skin. They are commonly used in different aesthetic treatments and procedures:

  • Topical skin products containing phospholipids as active ingredients have been developed. These products can help strengthen the skin barrier, improve hydration and soothe the skin. They can be useful for people with dry, sensitive or aging skin.
  • Some aesthetic medicine procedures use dermal fillers containing phospholipids. These fillers can be injected under the skin to provide volume and improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Facial mesotherapy is a treatment in which small amounts of a solution containing essential nutrients such as amino acids, vitamins and phospholipids are introduced into the facial skin. This can help revitalize the skin, improve its elasticity and give it a healthier appearance.
  • Some skin resurfacing procedures, such as laser and dermapen, can be combined with serums containing phospholipids to improve results and speed up skin recovery after treatment. Phospholipids can help soothe the skin, reduce inflammation and accelerate the healing process.

Phospholipids used in cosmetic formulations, such as creams, serums, lotions and other skin care products, are generally obtained from natural sources, such as plants or marine sources.

Commitment to quality

This text on phospholipid has been prepared by professional editors. In addition, we have relied on experts in medicine, engineering and aesthetics as a source of information, as well as specific studies to maintain the quality of what we publish.

At Sisneo Bioscience we are committed to publish truthful and contrasted information. And to update or correct it as soon as new knowledge becomes available.

Among others, we have used the following sources:

  • Drakou K, Tsianni A, Vrani F, Kefala V, Rallis E. «Revealing the correlation between altered skin lipids composition and skin disorders» en Cosmetics. 2021; 8(3):88.
  • Sophie Knox, Niamh M. O’Boyle. «Skin lipids in health and disease: A review» en Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, vol. 236, 2021, 105055,