If you’ve ever bought a drink from places like Jamba Juice, you’ve undoubtedly been asked the question, “would you like a boost?” In other words, they were asking you if you wanted some vitamin or mineral supplementation in your beverage. In this article, we’ll learn about several types of highly nutritive oils that can be added to a carrier oil blend to enhance certain properties.
Nutritive oils tend to pack more beneficial constituents than most other carrier oils, and for this reason, tend to be more expensive, and are added to an oil blend at a relatively low percentage.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil
Red Raspberry seed oil contains 83% essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are necessary for proper skin function. Increasing the levels of key EFAs increases cell membrane fluidity, enhances barrier function and repair, decreases water loss, improves moisturization, cell immunity, and anti-inflammatory activity. Red raspberry seed oil also contains Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage. Free radicals speed up the aging process by causing wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and age spots. (1)
This oil also contains polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants. Green tea, red wine, and olives are also rich in polyphenols. Studies have shown that polyphenols protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation and enhance skin cell regeneration, improving tone and elasticity. In fact, a study done in 2000 claimed that raspberry seed oil is reportedly similar to titanium dioxide in terms of protection against UVB rays with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 28-50, and an SPF protection factor of 6.75 – 7.5 for UVA rays. UVB rays cause sunburn, while UVA rays contribute to aging and skin cancer. (2), (3)
While these are impressive numbers, it’s important to understand that red raspberry seed oil is not intended as a replacement for a broad-spectrum sunblock, but rather as a supplement to a sun protection regimen using tested and reliable sunscreen/sunblock preparations.
According to aromatherapist Leslie Moldenauer, “non-volatile oils carry an SPF of approximately 2 – 8.” The year 2000 study mentioned in the previous paragraph did not offer any proof of the range (28 – 50) of SPF protection claimed for raspberry seed oil, at least for UVB rays. (4) The claimed 6.75 to 7.5 SPF for UVA rays does fall within the 2 to 8 SPF for non-volatile oils. Red raspberry seed oil is a non-volatile oil. I also understand that the raspberry seed oil in the 2000 study had been adulterated, casting further suspicion on the SPF findings.
Other benefits offered by red raspberry seed oil include: (5)
- Carotenoids, which are strong antioxidants that inhibit UV damage and stimulate cell repair
- EFAs including Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties, protect the skin from sun damage, promote wound healing (vulnerary), retain moisture, and promote cellular regeneration
- Ellagic acid, which has been shown to reduce the destruction of collagen as well as protecting against ultraviolet damage from the sun, and
- Phytosterols – promote new collagen production, prevent skin damage, and encourage healthy skin growth
Sea Buckthorn Oil
Sea Buckthorn Oil exists in two forms: Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil and Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil. The seed oil comes from the tiny dark seeds of the fruit. The fruit oil comes from the pulp of the small, nutrient-rich, yellow-orange berries. Sea Buckhorn offers skin benefits such as: (6)
- Over 190 nutrients and phytonutrients
- Nutrients such as carotenoids, tocotrienols, and tocopherols
- Antioxidants like phenols, terpenes, and glucosides
- High in Vitamins A, C & E, and beta-carotene
- Trace elements such as copper, iron, selenium, and manganese
- Superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that helps prevent free radical damage
- Sea Buckthorn is the only plant source that contains omega-3, 6, 7 and 9 fatty acids
Sea Buckthorn is a mild analgesic (pain reliever), which discourages people from scratching and picking their wounds/lesions, which spreads bacteria and irritates the skin. It is also anti-microbial, which makes this oil an effective treatment for acne. (7)
How does the seed oil differ from the berry oil? The seed oil contains near equal amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as Omega-9. The fruit oil contains Omega-3, Omega-6, and the highly sought-after Omega-7 fatty acid, which supports and soothes the skin and mucous membranes, and also assists in skin repair and cell regeneration. The fruit oil also contains Pro-vitamin A, which converts to vitamin A, the most potent anti-aging vitamin known. (8) By combining the seed oil and the fruit oil, it is possible to obtain all of the available EFAs.
Black Cumin Seed Oil (a/k/a Black Seed Oil)
Black Cumin Seed Oil, also known as Black Seed Oil, Black Coriander Oil, or Nigella Sativa, is an oil with a long and storied history. Historical accounts of Black Seed date back as far as the era of King Tut in Ancient Egypt. Cleopatra reportedly used black cumin seed oil for her hair and skin and Hippocrates used it for digestive issues. (9)
Black seed oil contains crystalline nigellone and thymoquinone, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, proteins and vitamins B1, B2, B3, calcium, folate, iron, copper, zinc and phosphorous. (10)
As far as skincare applications go, black seed oil is used for skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. It helps soothe inflammation and improve the speed at which skin heals, and it is also helpful in battling candida and fungal infections in the digestive system and on the skin. (11)
Black seed oil can naturally soften, strengthen and firm the skin and help increase hair growth. It contains antioxidants, beneficial acids, and B-vitamins and supports the immune system. Some studies have suggested that this oil may be a remedy against scars and preventing scar formation on wounds. (12)
Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip seed oil is made from rose bush seeds that are most commonly found in Chile. This oil is high in antioxidants, which fight against free-radicals. Rosehip oil can, therefore, be used to reverse skin aging. The oil is commonly used on the face because it penetrates deep into the skin for protection. (13)
Rosehip seed oil is a natural source of the antioxidant lycopene (also found in tomatoes), which improves the texture of skin and protects against premature aging. This oil also contains beta-carotene to reduce the appearance of skin aging by eliminating free-radical damage. Rosehip oil is also high in vitamin C, a natural skin anti-aging agent, which is also needed to produce collagen, a naturally occurring protein found in the body that supports elasticity and flexibility of the skin. (14)
Finally, Rosehip oil also contains vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Over-exposure to the sun is one of the top 10 causes of premature aging of your face. This makes Rosehip oil an excellent choice for preventing as well as reducing skin damage caused by sun exposure. (15)
There are many more highly nutritive skin oils, too many to discuss in one article so I will mention them briefly: Pomegranate Seed Oil, Blueberry Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Blackberry Seed Oil (not the same as Black Cumin Seed Oil), and others.
Since the oils mentioned in this article tend to cost more than your typical carrier oils (coconut, apricot, avocado, etc.), they are used at a lower percentage in blends and formulations.
Today we’ve learned about four different powerhouse nutrient carrier oils for the skin. They supply vitamins, minerals, nutrients and can help mitigate irritation and damage to the skin caused by sun exposure, as well as skin problems like eczema, acne, and psoriasis. Some of these oils will be used as ingredients for my upcoming product, aromatherapeutic balm, which will be on the market later this year.
A question I have for my readers is, if you have a skin condition like acne, psoriasis, eczema, etc., what types of products have you been using to treat it? Are you dissatisfied with commercially-prepared products? Would you be interested in a more natural solution? Feel free to comment in the form below.
Thank you for your time and support,
(6), (7), (8) Benefits of Sea Buckthorn Oil for the Skin
(9), (10), (11), (12) Black Seed Oil Uses & Benefits
(13), (14), (15) How to Use Rosehip Oil for Your Face, Skin and Hair