These days, we’re quick to trust any old product when we’re facing skincare concerns, from dryness to fine lines, wrinkles, and acne.
But with so many mixed results, it’s hard not to stop and wonder, “What’s in this?” Well, that’s for another article. In this article, let’s get straight to an incredible all-natural fix: organic avocado oil for skin.
Using avocado oil for your skin is a great natural option, and you can use it for your hair and scalp, too! And we’ll show you how. But first, let’s not repeat the mistakes of our past. Let’s explore what’s in avocado oil first.
What Is Avocado Oil and Why Should I Put it on My Skin?
Avocado oil originates from–you guessed it–avocados. The skin and seed of the avocado fruit are removed, leaving the luscious, soft green texture we know and love. The meat of the avocado fruit is then gathered and mashed until smooth.
The next step is the mechanical extraction of the oil. There are different types of avocado oil, including refined, unrefined, and cold-pressed, versus a heated extraction method.
There are a variety of uses for avocado oil; each type serves a purpose. For example, chefs may choose to cook with refined avocado oil to reduce the strong avocado taste, as unrefined avocado retains its soft fruity scent and flavor.
When using avocado oil for skin, choose cold-pressed, unrefined avocado oil. Heated extraction methods cook off powerful skin-loving nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin E. These vitamins are also lost during the refining process. When it comes to avocados, you want the total effect of the fruit without having to use a full-blown avocado mask.
You can use avocado oil on its own, but it’s often used as an ingredient in the clean cosmetics industry today. Thanks to its rich, unique nutrient profile, avocado oil is helpful for a number of skincare issues.
5 Benefits of Avocado Oil for Skin and Hair
The avocado oil skin benefits and hair benefits are numerous. Avocado oil is jam-packed with vital nutrients that can make a difference to your skin and hair health, whether you’re using it for dry skin, anti-aging, or dandruff. Here are 5 benefits of avocado oil.
1. Contains Skin-Loving Nutrients
Avocado oil packs a skin-healthy punch as it’s loaded with beneficial nutrients. When you use avocado oil for skin, the following nutrients will benefit you:
- Fatty acids, such as omega-3, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and oleic acid, keep skin cell membranes healthy and intact.
- Vitamin A supports your skin’s immune system and may help speed up healing.
- Vitamin D, a vitamin often absorbed through the skin, aids skin protection.
- Vitamin E, which is perhaps the most important vitamin for your skin, because it’s a natural and powerful antioxidant that fights UV damage and reduces wrinkle-causing free radicals.
2. Moisturizing Properties
As with any oil, there are moisturizing properties. Avocado oil acts as a barrier to the skin, locking the skin’s own moisture in, according to Cheshana Kindred, MD, MBA, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist. Because of this, she says avocado oil is great for damaged, chapped, or dry skin. The effects are enhanced if the oil is applied directly to clean, wet skin. Plus, these moisturizing properties are beneficial for hair and scalp, too!
3. Increases Collagen Production
One of the amazing benefits of avocado oil for skin is that it increases collagen production.
This is beneficial because as you age, less collagen is produced. Plus, damage from sun exposure and overall oxidative stress lead to wrinkles and sagging skin, Kindred says. Therefore, extra collagen production can help to reverse the effects of wrinkles and sagging, and avocado oil can be a part of your anti-aging regimen.
Avocados and avocado oil contain antioxidants, which is one of the best avocado oil skin benefits. This is because antioxidants are able to protect cells from damage, particularly free-radical damage.
“Stress, sunlight, and more lead to the release of free radicals, chemicals in the body that damage DNA. DNA damage triggers early cell death,” says Kindred. “Antioxidants, on the other hand, protect cells from DNA damage, thus stunting and reversing signs of aging.”
5. Anti-inflammatory Effects
According to Kindred, avocado oil is a natural anti-inflammatory. This is due to the linoleic fatty acids found in the avocado oil. “The anti-inflammatory effect and skin barrier repair result in the prevention and reduction of the skin aging process,” said Kindred.
The anti-inflammatory effects can be beneficial for situations where your skin is red, inflamed, and irritated. This extends to those of us with acne-prone skin. Often, acne is worsened by the irritation it causes. Inflammation further prevents bacteria from discharging from clogged pores.
Fortunately, avocado oil is relatively low on the comedogenic scale at a 3, meaning it’s less likely to cause clogged pores. 100% organic coconut oil, on the other hand, is a 5 while jojoba oil is a 0. In other words, if your skin is naturally oily, opt for a product that is lower on the comedogenic scale.
Kindred says avocado also may be beneficial for certain skin conditions. For example, researchers are looking into avocado oil for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (eczema).
How to Use Avocado Oil for Skincare
It’s easy to use avocado oil for skin and hair. Just follow these dermatologist-approved tips for the best results.
How to Apply Avocado Oil to Your Body
A little goes a long way with avocado oil for skin. Kindred says that it’s best to apply avocado oil directly after bathing to reap the most benefits. “In general, moisturizers and oils help dry skin best if applied just after showering in a thin layer,” she tells us. “With water still on the skin, apply a thin layer of moisturizer or oil to the skin. It should only take a couple of minutes for most of the water to absorb.”
If you need even more moisture after this method, you can add a little bit of avocado oil to a moisturizer or all natural lotion to make the lotion more hydrating if you have extra dry skin.
Applying Avocado Oil to Your Face
You can also use this oil as an all-natural avocado face oil. Again, a little goes a long way here. Kindred recommends applying a thin layer of avocado oil to your clean skin.
However, if your face skin type is already very oily, you may want to avoid doing this. Alternatively, you can create an avocado oil face moisturizer by adding a few drops of avocado oil into your existing all natural facial moisturizer to boost its hydrating powers and thoroughly moisturize your dry skin.
Depending on your other skincare concerns, you could also make DIY face masks with avocado oil and other natural ingredients you have in your home. For example, you can mix honey, avocado oil, and 100% organic aloe vera gel to create a mask that will moisturize and fight acne.
How to Use Avocado Oil on Your Hair and Scalp
There are various ways to use avocado oil for hair and scalp. If you are suffering from dandruff, you can use avocado oil as a scalp massage. Massaging avocado oil into the scalp will help moisturize a dry, flaky scalp, thereby reducing dandruff. You can also mix avocado oil with essential oils such as tea tree oil or rosemary oil since they have dandruff-fighting properties, themselves.
If you want to use avocado oil for your strands, you can use avocado oil as a hair mask or warm oil treatment. Simply leave the oil in for about 15 to 20 minutes and then wash it out.
Bonus: 4 Surprising Ways to Use Avocado Oil for Skin Health
Aside from what we’ve already mentioned, there are still some other ways that you can use avocado oil for skin and overall health! Here are just a few ideas to get your gears turning.
1. Cook with It
Use avocado oil as a substitute for other oils such as olive oil or vegetable oil when you cook or bake so you can consume the nutrients. Ingesting the nutrients orally will benefit your overall health and skin health.
2. Consume It Fresh
Use avocado oil in other ways in the kitchen, such as in salad dressings or in smoothies.
3. Find It In Skincare Products
Look for clean beauty products such as moisturizers that contain avocado oil as an ingredient. Just be on the lookout for other harmful ingredients.
4. The Oil Cleansing Method
The oil cleansing method has its origin in the burgeoning Korean Beauty scene. The idea is that “like dissolves like.” In other words, applying oil and then using a warm, wet cotton hand towel to cleanse your face will help draw out oil from clogged pores. By wiping the oil away with the warm towel, you’re receiving all the nutritious benefits of the oil without risking a breakout.
Remember: Always Patch Test New Skincare Products First
If you have acne-prone skin and are afraid that avocado oil will make you break out, try using an extremely thin layer of oil on your cheek for a day or two and note how your skin responds.
Overall, avocado oil is a great choice for skincare if you’re looking for something that’s natural, cost-effective, and uber-hydrating.
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