The barrier function of skin depends on the stratum corneum extracellular lipid matrix, which includes ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids. Smaller amounts of cholesterol sulfate and cholesteryl oleate may be present. Cholesterol in cosmetics can help maintain the skin’s normal function. It is also a stabilizer, emollient, and water-binding agent (Source: Journal of Structural Biology
, June 2007, pages 386–400).
natural moisturizing factor (NMF)