Naturally occurring, cholesterol-like molecule found in all plant foods; the highest concentrations are found in vegetable oils such as canola, peanut, safflower, and sesame. Overall, nuts, seeds, and legumes are excellent sources of phytosterols, both for the body and for skin. Applied to skin, research has shown that phytosterols can stop the formation of substances in skin that break down collagen. These degrading substances are more prevalent in sun-damaged skin, so phytosterols can be a good addition to skincare when the goal is to reduce signs of sun damage. Soy phytosterols can help repair a damaged skin barrier, while a common type of phytosterol known as beta-sitosterol has been shown to reduce symptoms of atopic dermatitis. [1,2,3]
- Han N, Kim H, Jeong H. The ß-sitosterol attenuates atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions through down-regulation of TSLP. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2014;239(4):454-64.
- Grether-Beck S, Muhlberg K, Brenden H, Krutmann J. Topische Applikation von Vitaminen; Phytosterolen und Ceramiden. Der Hautarzt. 2008;59(7):557-562.
- Puglia C, Bonina F. In vivo spectrophotometric evaluation of skin barrier recovery after topical application of soybean phytosterols. J Cosmet Sci. 2008;59(3):217-24.