Cosmetic Benefits of Egg Yolk Components
Egg yolks components can be divided into 2 major categories (aside from water) – lipids (phospholipids, cholesterol, and free fatty acids) and proteins (lipovitellins, phosvitins, livetins). Alongside these lipids and proteins are tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Ecovatec fractions egg yolk on a commercial scale to produce functional ingredients from combinations of these components.
For example, egg oil contains just free fatty acids and cholesterol whereas our powdered egg oil (OvaPure™) contains phospholipids, peptides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids. The summary chart below shows the different topical effects of egg yolk lipids on the skin and scalp. The ratio of fatty acid types in eggs is unique, which is why it’s oil is often extracted for traditional medicine.
In cosmetics, egg yolk lipids, are: anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, acne fighting, healing, moisturizing, penetration enhancers, promoting of skin elasticity and plumpness, protective against damage and bacteria, and soothing for itchy skin conditions.
The proteins from egg yolk have incredible cosmetic effects too! When broken into peptides, phosvitin protein is known to be a strong antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer, and metal chelating agent. This is due to the high number of serine amino acids present in phosvitin which are phosphorylated. In peptide form these are called phosphopeptides. Lipovitellins also have antioxidant activity, though they have not been as extensively studied. Check out our white paper on the applications of peptides in cosmetics for more information and scientific evidence.
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are excellent antioxidants with cosmetic benefits. By reducing the oxidative stress of skin and scalp cells, they fight signs of ageing such as wrinkles and premature greying. They also help reverse environmental damage due to pollution and sunlight.
Functional Uses in Cosmetics
Different lipids in egg yolk also serve functional purposes in cosmetics, such as emulsification. In general, fatty acids are used as thickeners/emulsifiers, emollients, texture enhancers, and skin-replenishing agents. Cholesterol is a stabilizer, emollient, and water-binding agent. While all types of peptides are skin-restoring and often soothing, each type of peptide has unique effects.
Which Products Do You Recommend?
Ultimately, the right ingredient for your formulation depends on what you’re looking to achieve:
- Egg oil is a pure oil and easy to work with. Its has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. But it has an egg odor that needs to be masked with essential oils and other ingredients (such as in a face serum/oil)
- OvaPure™ (powdered egg oil) is less well known. It contains all the benefits of egg oil, and is an excellent emulsifier. It has a less distinct odor and the advantage of phospholipids. It can be used in “oil only” formulations (like body balm) as well as in o/w and w/o emulsions (like lotions).
- PL-40 and 50 have higher amounts of phospholipids, but PL-40 has more peptides whereas PL-50 has more fats.
- YPP contains about 25% phosvitin phosphopeptides, so has all PVP’s functionality but at a lower cost, since it includes lipovitellin and livetin peptides. Both products dissolve easily in water and work well in creams and lotions.
- Pure PVP is more expensive but can be used in extremely small quantities for large effects. It has specifically been studied for treating conditions where a phosphate acceptor peptide is needed to improve the skin barrier (eczema, psoriasis).
We don’t make any medical claims about our ingredients, as we have not performed any clinical studies. However, we have found an abundance of peer-reviewed scientific papers that show evidence for the properties mentioned here. We have summarized these in white papers that you can find as downloads on our product pages.