Every day, your skin is exposed to stressors like wind, sun, and chemicals. The skin protects itself from these elements with phospholipids. Phospholipids keep the skin supple and healthy by locking in moisture. However, despite the body’s natural defenses against dryness, phospholipids can’t always fully protect the skin. To combat this problem, researchers try find ways to mimic natural phospholipids with skin care products. One of the substances that plays this role is Phosphatidyl-E.

Phosphatidyl-E, or Phos-E, is a patented formula by Dr. Perricone to help moisturize skin. Phosphatidyl-E was developed to act like the lipids found naturally in the skin to protect and replenish the moisture it needs to look, feel, and perform its best.

This article will discuss how:

How phospholipids benefit the skin

The skin has natural phospholipids that lock in moisture. Phospholipids are part of the epidermis, and are found in the stratum corneum, the cells closest to the surface. However, the top layer of phospholipids can be stripped away by damaging environmental factors like sunlight, pollution, and wind. Also, many ingredients in cleansers can remove the top layer of phospholipids.

In addition to being naturally synthesized by your skin, phospholipids are now included in some skin care products. Moisturizing with phospholipids is a good way to replace the natural protective layer that the skin loses in its interactions with the environment.

Phospholipids are:

  • Hygroscopic. They pull moisture in from the air.
  • Non occlusive. They don’t create a film to stop water loss. When this film is created it halts cellular function.

These two qualities ensure skin is well hydrated while also maintaining normal cellular function.

Moisture is locked in the skin because of the unique arrangement of the lipid layers in the epidermis. First, fatty acids and ceramides, another type of lipid, fuse together to create the lamellar lipid bilayer. This name is derived from the fact that the fatty acids and ceramides are released from a structure called the lamellar bodies.

In addition to the lamellar lipid bilayer, there is a layer of lipids on the cell envelope, the term for the membranes that encompass the cell. Both of these lipid layers repel water, and their arrangement traps water between the outer cell membrane and the lamellar lipid bilayer. By trapping moisture between these layers, moisture is held at the surface of the skin instead of penetrating to deeper layers of the epidermis.

The lipid layers also help maintain the natural moisturizing factor (NMF), which is a group of water-soluble compounds that are only found in the stratum corneum. NMF has its own water content, but it also absorbs water from the atmosphere. With two of these moisturizing sources working together, the NMF is usually an adequate defense against damaging and drying elements.

However, because the components of NMF are water-soluble, their moisture content can be leached by other cells when they come into contact with water. Because of this, repeated exposure to water actually dries the skin since it allows more water to be taken from the natural moisturizers.

Where do lipids come into the picture? They surround cells that contain NMF, keeping excess water out and NMF in, allowing natural moisture to be maintained.

How Phosphatidyl-E benefits the skin

Although there is an extensive system of lipid layers and NMF to maintain its natural moisture, skin can still dry out. Whether this dryness is due to the environment or products that come in contact with the skin, the lipid layers that retain essential moisture are often stripped away, leaving the skin without its natural protective layer. This leads to drying and cracking.

This is why Dr. Perricone developed a compound that acts like the lipids in skin and helps to replace and maintain the vital moisture that keeps skin healthy. The compound is called Phosphatidyl-E. According to Perricone MD, Phosphatidyl-E does a number of things:

  • Repairs
  • Hydrates
  • Mimics the lipids found naturally in skin, allowing for quick absorption

By mimicking the natural lipid defense system the skin uses, Phosphatidyl-E replenishes the mechanism by which moisture is retained. This additional defense system is especially helpful if the top layer of protective lipids has been damaged. Phosphatidyl-E provides extra hydration and repairs damages by supporting and replacing the way skin moisturizes itself.

Whether it is found in a moisturizer or another face skin care product, Phosphatidyl-E gives the extra boost skin needs to stay hydrated and moisturized.


The Doctor is "in" on Facebook.

5 Comments • Please comment below


  1. [...] prevents aging by toning and refining skin texture. Formulated with high levels of DMAE and Phopholipids, Serum Prep will hydrate and repair mild to moderately damaged skin. Serum prep is ideal for those [...]

  2. How can I use your phosphatidyl-e with tocotrienols and Vectical to cure mild to moderate plaque psoriasis on my right foot? It may be that the phosphatidyl-e is responsible for clearing it up entirely on my left foot years ago.

  3. It may be that your phosphatidyl-e with tocotrienols which I got years ago clears up areas where my psoriasis is spreading or beginning. After I treated some psoriasis on my left foot many years ago, it never came back and I am controlling the patch with mild to moderate plaque on my right foot with Vectical. How can I use the two together to cure it? Since I am a dialysis patient, do you know if it would increase phosphorus?
    Thanks, Pam

  4. I as well have oily yet dry skin mainly due to cleansers and creams that I use for other problem like wrinkles or clogged pores, I would love to see a product that truly hydrated my badly robbed skin.

  5. Wow this product sounds like exactly what I need!! I thought I was the only person with oily – yet dry skin!! All other moisturizers I have tried weigh down my skin. I have to admit the name of this threw me – so I had to goggle it!! Can’t wait to try it!!