Avocado oil is not a recent fad. Apparently, even the Aztecs knew about the fruit’s abundant oil content and used it abundantly.
Unlike many other oils, avocado oil is pressed from the fruit pulp (not the seed) that is rich in nutrients such as monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and vitamins B6, C, and E. You could use it as cooking oil or as salad dressing. As the culinary use hasn’t gained tremendous popularity yet, the main use of avocado oil is in the cosmetic industry—to make creams, lotions, and haircare products.
4 Benefits Of Avocado Oil For Skin
Have you noticed that many of your natural beauty products contain avocado oil? That’s because avocado oil, applied topically, has only good news for your skin.
1. As A Moisturizer
With a high rate of skin penetration, avocado oil is easily absorbed into the skin and has a softening and soothing effect on it.1 Rich in nutrient waxes, proteins, and minerals, as well as vitamins A, D, and E, avocado oil can heal dry, damaged, or chapped skin,2 which makes it a great ingredient in moisturizers, cleansing creams, bath oils, massage creams, and lipsticks.
2. As A Sunscreen
As a rich source of vitamins C, E, and other antioxidant flavonoids, which are helpful plant nutrients, avocado oil also makes an effective natural sunscreen. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the effects of sun exposure on the skin by fighting the UVB rays that cause damage to the DNA and, eventually, skin cancer. Vitamin C, on the other hand, is capable of fighting UVA-related damage. As it fights free radicals that bring about premature aging, vitamin E also reduces the appearance of wrinkles.3
3. As An Antidote To Skin Conditions
Inflammation And Wounds
Avocado oil promotes the synthesis of collagen, which is the main structural protein in our body and gives firmness to our skin. Since collagen brings the number of inflammatory cells down during the wound-healing process, avocado oil can be used in treating skin wounds.4 Moreover, the oleic acid in it hastens cell regeneration and wound healing and helps eliminate microbial infections.
Psoriasis is a condition where the dead cells of the skin build up into rough, dry, scaly patches that cause redness and itchiness. Medicinal creams with a combination of avocado oil and vitamin B12 are used for treating the dryness-related symptoms of psoriasis.7
4. As An Antidote To Dandruff
Since the oil fights dandruff, it is used in shampoos, conditioners, hair oils, and other haircare products.8
The Culinary Benefits Of Avocado Oil
The nutrients that make avocado oil great for your skin are pretty much the same nutrients that work wonders on your general health. Avocado oil also contains relatively high levels of pigments such as chlorophyll and carotenoids, which act as antioxidants. Monounsaturated fats and antioxidants are good for the body as they reduce cholesterol and aid in weight loss.
The oil quality is found to be very similar to that of olive oil, with approximately 75 percent monounsaturated, 15 percent saturated, and 10 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-6).9
- It is light and has a non-intrusive flavor that does not suppress the flavor of the food being cooked in it.
- It has a high “smoke point” of about 255 ºC (490 F), which is much higher than that of olive oil. This means that it withstands high cooking temperature before breaking down.10
- It’s one oil that can make your deeply fried food healthy, thanks to its healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
How Is Avocado Oil Extracted?
In the cold-press method, first, the avocado is skinned, and the stone is removed. The pulp is then ground to a paste, which is kneaded for 40–60 minutes at 45–50°C to release the oil. The oil and the water are separated from the pulp using a high-speed decanting centrifuge. Then, the oil is separated from the water in the final polishing centrifuges.11
How To Identify The Best Avocado Oil
You can make this oil at home, using your regular utensils, but whether you are using the oil in your cooking or to apply on your skin or hair, it is better to buy the cold-pressed extra-virgin or the virgin variety, which contain the most nutrients as they are made from the best-quality avocados without excessive refinement, using chemicals. They also contain the right amount of free fatty acids, with the extra-virgin variety containing less than 0.5% and the virgin variety containing about 0.8 to 1%.12 While avocado contains helpful fatty acids, excessive amounts of free fatty acids in the oil can make it acidic and prone to oxidation.
The oil is thick, with its color ranging from dark green to light yellow, depending on the extent of refining it has undergone. An extra-virgin avocado oil has a deep emerald green color because of the high chlorophyll content.
The flavor differs with the avocado type. While cold-pressed Hass avocado has a typical avocado flavor, with a hint of buttery flavor, the Fuerte variety has a mushroom flavor. The unrefined oil also has a pleasant nutty smell to it.
So scoot to the market and pick a bottle now! And tell us if you have any delicious avocado oil recipes up your sleeve.
|↑1||Bergh, Bob. “The Avocado and Human Nutrition. I. Some Human Health Aspects of the Avocado.” In Proc. of Second World Avocado Congress, pp. 25-35. 1992.|
|↑2||Nayak, B. S., S. S. Raju, and A. V. Rao. “Wound healing activity of Persea americana (avocado) fruit: a preclinical study on rats.” Journal of Wound Care 17, no. 3 (2008).|
|↑3||Adams, Mike. “The top five nutrients for healthy skin.” (2007).|
|↑4||de Oliveira, Ana Paula, Eryvelton de Souza Franco, Rafaella Rodrigues Barreto, Daniele Pires Cordeiro, Rebeca Gonçalves de Melo, Camila Maria Ferreira de Aquino, Paloma Lys de Medeiros, Teresinha Gonçalves da Silva, Alexandre José da Silva Góes, and Maria Bernadete de Sousa Maia. “Effect of semisolid formulation of Persea americana Mill (avocado) oil on wound healing in rats.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).|
|↑5||Downing, Donald T., Mary Ellen Stewart, Philip W. Wertz, and John S. Strauss. “Essential fatty acids and acne.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 14, no. 2 (1986): 221-225.|
|↑6||Kanlayavattanakul, M., and N. Lourith. “Therapeutic agents and herbs in topical application for acne treatment.” International journal of cosmetic science 33, no. 4 (2011): 289-297.|
|↑7||Stücker, Markus, Ulrike Memmel, Matthias Hoffmann, Joachim Hartung, and Peter Altmeyer. “Vitamin B12 cream containing avocado oil in the therapy of plaque psoriasis.” Dermatology 203, no. 2 (2001): 141-147|
|↑8||Malmgren, Janice K., and Sonya K. Moreno. “Conditioner that provides skin like an angel.” U.S. Patent 6,544,534, issued April 8, 2003.|
|↑9||Allan B. Woolf, Anne White, Mary Lu Arpaia, et al. Avocado|
|↑10||Bergh, Bob. “The Avocado and Human Nutrition. I. Some Human Health Aspects of the Avocado.” In Proc. of Second World Avocado Congress, pp. 25-35. 1992.|
|↑11||Wong, Marie, Cecilia Requejo-Jackman, and A. B. Woolf. “What is unrefined, extra virgin cold-pressed avocado oil.” J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc 87 (2010): 1099.|
|↑12||Wong, Marie, Cecilia Requejo-Jackman, and A. B. Woolf. “What is unrefined, extra virgin cold-pressed avocado oil.” J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc 87 (2010): 1099.|