Potent Ingredients: Avocado Oil Benefits for Skin
Avocado is a real beauty fruit, with many benefits for your skin, hair and health. Its flesh is often used in DIY face and hair masks, because of its high nutrient content and thick, creamy texture that is easy to spread on skin.
But the real magic hides in the avocado oil, which has all the same benefits and nutrients as the fresh avocado flesh, but at a more concentrated rate.
What Is Avocado Oil?
Avocado oil is a medium-to-thick weight dark green liquid extracted from the pulp of the fruit. It has a characteristic aroma of avocados, which some people don’t like, but the scent is pretty mild and it can easily be masked in a product. Avocado oil is a non-greasy, fast absorbing oil that easily sinks into both skin and hair, which is one of the reasons it became so popular in the cosmetic world.
The thick, smooth texture of avocado oil comes from its high content of oleic acid (avocado oil contains 75 – 80% of oleic acid). And plant oils rich in this nourishing fatty acid are especially suitable for dry, aging or damaged skin and hair, so you can often find avocado oil in formulations created to treat these problems.
How Has Avocado Oil Been Used Historically?
The origins of avocado can be tracked back to between the years of 7,000 and 5,000 B.C, and it was cultivated in Central and South America, Mexico and other areas where the Aztec culture was established. It was used primarily for food, but also to improve the health of the digestive system. It was also believed that avocado is a “fertility fruit”, so it was consumed as a sexual stimulant.
Even back then, people recognized the benefits of topical applications of avocado flesh to skin and hair. For a very long time, only fresh avocados were sold and used. The avocado oil started to be extracted because of the need to make use of the fruits that could not be sold on the market.
What Are The Compounds Of Avocado Oil That Make It So Beneficial For The Skin?
- Oleic acid is one of the best cures for extremely dry, damaged or aging skin. It gives the oils a thick but fast absorbing texture, helps them to easily sink deep into the skin and provide all layers with necessary moisture and nutrients. It also has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. Oleic acid can also help you nourish your hair, make it strong and thick and improve the condition of your scalp.
- Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid that our body doesn’t naturally synthetize, so we need external sources of it, such as avocado oil. It can help reinforce the skin’s lipid barrier, nourish dry skin and rejuvenate aging skin. However, it is mostly appreciated for its ability to balance out the sebum, make it thinner and less comedogenic and that way reduce acne breakouts.
- Palmitic acid is an emollient that softens the skin and maintains it optimally hydrated. It is also often used in cosmetic products as a surfactant and emulsifier, as well as to make clear products more opaque.
- Stearic acid, as all fatty acids, has moisturizing and protective effects on the skin. However, in cosmetic products, it is especially appreciated for its skin cleansing, emulsifying and texture-enhancing properties.
- Tocopherol (0r vitamin E) is one of the best natural antioxidants. It protects the skin against free radicals and prevents the premature formation of wrinkles and fine lines. It strengthens the skin and helps soothe irritations. Anecdotal evidence also says that applying pure vitamin E oil might help fade scars, but more research is needed to confirm this claim. In cosmetic products, vitamin E acts as a preservative and prevents rancidity of the oils.
- Phytosterols are cholesterol-like plant derived compounds that are often used as emollients in skin and hair care products. They maintain the structure of the cell membranes, replenish the skin’s protective barrier and help maintain the skin soft, smooth and well-moisturized. Phytosterols promote the skin regeneration process, reduce photo-aging, soothe irritations and help the skin recover from the environmental damage.
- Vitamin A promotes the production of new, healthy skin cells and stimulates the skin renewal process. There are also strong indications it can stimulate the collagen production, reduce fine lines and dark aging spots. Vitamin A is also often used to reduce and control acne breakouts.
- Vitamin D, or the “sunshine vitamin”, has many positive impacts on our health, well-being and, of course, the skin. It can help delay the formation of aging signs. Topical application of products or oils rich in vitamin D can also help soothe extremely dry skin, eczema or psoriasis.
What Are The Avocado Oil Benefits For Skin?
Just to sum up everything, here are the main beauty benefits of avocado oil:
- Avocado oil is a great natural moisturizer and one of the best oils you can use to replenish dry skin.
- It is also an amazing soothing agent, helping the skin to heal and reducing itching and redness.
- You can even use it to nourish extremely dry skin, eczema, contact dermatitis and psoriasis.
- Its high content of oleic acid and vitamin E makes it perfect for preventing premature aging signs and reducing the existing wrinkles and fine lines.
- Avocado oil can also help you treat acne. However, for acne prone skin, it is better to use it as a part of the double cleansing method than as a leave-on treatment.
- Like the rest of your skin, avocado oil can help you nourish and replenish your scalp. That way, it also promotes the health of your hair and improves hair growth.