Oleic acid is a cleaning agent, or "surfactant", and a type of fatty acid that occurs naturally in some foods. Others are stearic acid, lauric acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid. In cosmetics and personal care products, these fatty acids are used in cleansing creams, soaps and pastes. We use oleic acid in our products to remove dirt and deposits by surrounding dirt particles to loosen them from the surface they are attached to, so they can be rinsed away. In certain products, this ingredient works as a dispersant, dissolving certain kinds of dyes.