Watch: Lipids (Oils & Butters)

Source: The Institute Of Personal Care Science


What are lipids?

Lipids are a diverse group of molecules that play essential roles in our bodies. They are commonly known as fats and oils, but they encompass a wide range of compounds, including triglycerides, phospholipids, and sterols.

How are lipids different from other molecules?

Unlike carbohydrates and proteins, lipids are hydrophobic, meaning they do not dissolve in water. This property is due to their unique chemical structure, which consists of long hydrocarbon chains. Lipids are also more energy-dense than carbohydrates and proteins, making them an efficient source of fuel for the body.

What are the functions of lipids?

Lipids serve several important functions in the body. They are a major component of cell membranes, providing structure and regulating the movement of substances in and out of cells. Lipids also act as insulation, helping to maintain body temperature. Additionally, lipids are involved in hormone production, vitamin absorption, and energy storage.

Types of lipids

There are different types of lipids, each with its own unique structure and function. Triglycerides, the most common type of lipid, are used for long-term energy storage. Phospholipids are a crucial component of cell membranes, while sterols, such as cholesterol, play a role in hormone production and cell signaling.

How do lipids affect health?

While lipids are essential for our bodies to function properly, an imbalance in lipid levels can have negative health effects. High levels of cholesterol, for example, are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, certain types of lipids, such as omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to have beneficial effects on heart health.


Lipids are a diverse group of molecules that are essential for our bodies. They have unique properties that set them apart from other molecules, and they play important roles in various physiological processes. Understanding how lipids are different can help us appreciate their significance in maintaining our health.

Further reading

A Quick Guide To Carrier Oils & Butters

Formulating With Shea Butter

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