Cholesteryl chloride is a chlorinated derivative of cholesterol. The benefits provided by cholesteryl chloride in cosmetics and personal care products come from the cholesterol component. Cholesterol can be classified as a sterol, a type of lipid molecule. It is a natural component of the stratum corneum, the skin’s outermost layer. The stratum corneum is often referred to as the skin’s natural barrier, which is also comprised of corneocytes, ceramides, and free fatty acids. A strong, intact barrier is important to keep moisture in and keep things like allergens, bacteria, and irritants out. When the barrier is weakened, these intruders can pass through the top layer of skin and cause damage that ultimately leads to common skin conditions such as acne, rashes, sensitive skin, and even signs of aging.
Since the skin’s natural barrier consists of cholesterol, this ingredient helps maintain proper barrier functioning by retaining moisture levels and regulating cell activity. It works to strengthen the outer structure of the skin and protect it from dehydration. Cholesteryl chloride also functions to repair skin that has been stripped of its natural lipids by things like exfoliating or applying an aggressive anti-aging treatment.