Can cholesterol in skin care products penetrate skin and enter blood stream?

Can cholesterol in skin care products penetrate skin and enter blood stream? I have recently noticed that products from CeraVe often contain cholesterol. I remember listening to one or your AMAZING PODCASTS  and learned that cholesterol is often added to enhance ceramide benefits.  As someone with high cholesterol, I am curious if products from CeraVe can influence cholesterol  blood levels.

Ingredient list from CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Purified water, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglycerides, niacinamide, behentrimonium methosulfate and cetearyl alcohol, ceteareth-20 and cetearyl alcohol, ceramide 3, ceramide 6-11, ceramide 1, phytosphingosine, hyaluronic acid, cholesterol, dimethicone, polyglyceryl-3 diisostearate, potassium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, sodium lauroyl lactylate, disodium EDTA, methylparaben, propylparaben, carbomer, xanthan gum.

Thanks so much for any and all help,



  • I have seen some technical publications which indicate cholesterol can increase skin penetration of other ingredients. I have not seen data indicating that cholesterol itself penetrates to any extent. 

    But for the sake of discussion let's assume it does penetrate. The amount of cholesterol used in products is very low to start with so I don't see how this would present a problem in terms of elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood. If you're really worried about it, it's easy enough to skin cholesterol-containing skin lotions but I really doubt there's much to worry about. 
  • Randy,

    Thanks for info about cholesterol. I like the CeraVe product line, it doesn't irritate my psoriasis. Plus it has ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid...all good for skin. I will continue to use on face but may look into other options for body lotions to reduce any possible cholesterol absorption. I had the thought that if cholesterol in skin care products can be absorbed by skin would there have to be some type of warning??

  • No, there's nothing like that required. 
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