What do you do when you know that avocados spell miracle for your skin but you are opposed to the idea of smearing yourself with the fruit pulp and skulking from sight?
You invest in a bottle of avocado oil, not the yellow, odorless variety, but the green one with a nutty flavor. The green one is unrefined, and because it is cold-pressed, it retains all the nutrients and flavors of the fruit, which are otherwise lost in the heat of the extraction process.
What Nutrients, You Ask?
It has many nutrients, but the ones good for your skin are:
- Healthy monounsaturated fats, like oleic acid, which makes up 63 percent of the fat content
- Lecithin, a kind of fat molecule
- Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols or PFA, which are unique lipid molecules found in the fruit
- Pro-vitamin A carotenoids and vitamins B3, B5, B6, B9, C, D, E, and K, of which C and E are antioxidants
Avocado Oil For Your Skin
Prevents Sun Damage
Dallying with the sun, or sun lamps, or tanning beds is fun, but all of these emit UV rays and make you prone to premature aging of the skin, or photo aging, and skin cancer by DNA damage. Scientists and cosmetic companies are constantly on the lookout for substances you could apply on your skin to protect it from such damage. These substances are called photoprotective agents.
A 2011 study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research reveals that PFA from avocados can reduce UV rays-induced skin damage and inflammation. When PFA was introduced to skin cells before they were exposed to UVB rays:
- The skin cells showed increased ability to recover.
- The secretion of inflammation-inducing chemicals was decreased.
- DNA repair was enhanced.
Moreover, it was seen that when human skin cells isolated from a tissue and kept in a nutrient medium were treated with PFA, there was a reduction in UV-induced damage at the cellular level.
But it’s not just the PFA that makes avocado oil a great sun-protective agent. Vitamins C and E, the two potent antioxidants, are great for fighting UVB and UVA rays, respectively. Vitamin E is especially good in reversing photo damage.
Keeps You Looking Younger
But not just photo-aging. What about the signs of aging your skin starts showing right after you hit 25? What about the fine lines, the crow’s feet, the laughter lines, and the lax skin? The answer is, again, avocado oil.
- The vitamins, the folate (vit. B9), and the lecithin in avocado boost the collagen in the skin, giving it firmness.
- The antioxidant vitamins C and E and carotenoids prevent inflammation and keep the wrinkles from showing on the skin.
- The fatty acids in avocado oil penetrate into the dermis or the second layer of the skin and not just the outermost layer or the epidermis, moisturizing it well and preventing aging-related dryness and wrinkles.
Just dab some cold-pressed organic avocado oil on your face at night and wake up to hydrated and smooth skin in the morning.
Tip: Mix 2 tsps of avocado oil with 1/2 tsp castor oil for cleaning away makeup. This is a safe and gentle alternative to the harsh alcohol-based makeup cleansers that disturb the acidic balance of the skin.
[Read: Castor Oil For Skin]
Removes Pigmentation And Age Spots
Avocado oil contains both vitamins niacin (B3) and panthothenic acid (B5), a combination of which was found to reduce pigmentation of the skin in a study on Indian women of the 30–60 age group suffering from epidermal hyperpigmentation, which includes spots, tanning, melasma, or discoloration of the skin in the epidermis. A face lotion containing derivatives of vitamins B3 and B5 could reduce the appearance of these spots or discolorations, brighten the skin, even out the skin tone, and improve the skin texture within six weeks.2
Its vitamin C also is known to lighten blemishes and age spots, which are actually caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. Topical application of vitamin C, alone or in combination with other compounds, may result in more photo-protection than oral supplementation because of its direct absorption in the skin, crossing the epidermis and reaching the dermal layers.3
Removes Dark Circles
You can’t use just any cream for your under-eye nourishment, can you? The skin is delicate and prone to irritation. So are the fine line and the dark circles here to stay? Not if you use avocado oil.
While the mainstream under-eye creams are not able to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, avocado oil’s ability of deep penetration and absorption, yet again, is a boon for the extra-soft skin around the eyes.
A 2004 study found that a gel containing 2 percent vitamin K1, 0.1 percent retinol (a form of vitamin A), 0.1 percent vitamin C, and 0.1 percent vitamin E could effectively reduce dark circles and even under-eye wrinkles.4 Rather than looking for a cream for each of vitamins, why not use avocado oil, which contains all of these?
Heals Skin Diseases And Wounds
You can prevent and cure acne by using avocado oil.
- This oil keeps the skin hydrated without leaving it too oily, which reduces the risk of acne.
- Its linoleic acid boosts the linoleate content in the sebum-producing skin cells. The lack of this acid is linked to acne.5
- Its anti-inflammatory vitamin C removes acne scars.
Eczema And Psoriasis
Even if you are plagued by more serious problems like eczema and psoriasis, use avocado oil mixed with vitamin B12. A study published in the journal Dermatology found that while a vitamin E cream showed minimal benefits only for the first 4 weeks of the 12-week trial, a blend of vitamin B12 and avocado oil helped relieve the symptoms of psoriasis throughout the study period.6
An obstinate wound that doesn’t seem to heal? Use avocado oil. An animal study in the journal Evidence-based Alternative and Competitive Medicine found that this oil heals wounds better than petroleum jelly. The oil showed anti-inflammatory activity and increased the collagen density and tensile strength of the skin, which means that the skin became firm and stronger.7
Repairs The Skin At Night
Most night creams you find in supermarkets are strong moisturizers that may carry some peptides, vitamins like A or K, and organic acids like glycolic acid to boost skin repair, with no SPF or photoprotective agents.
You already know all about avocado oil’s high penetration capacity and oleic acid and lecithin content, which make it a strong moisturizer useful for all skin types but especially true for dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin types.
It also contains a moderate amount of vitamin K, which maintains skin elasticity, keeps off wrinkles and pigmentation, and heals bruises.8
And it contains the pro-vitamin A carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which enhance the skin’s antioxidative property when both applied on the skin and taken through the diet.9
While avocado oil does not contain glycolic acid, it scores over your regular store-bought night cream because it contains the photoprotective antioxidant vitamin E, which fights free radical activated by UV rays and reverses the damage caused by them.10
If you want to maximize the goodness of avocado oil for your skin, apply it when you go for your beauty sleep at night, which is when your skin starts repairing itself.
Tip: Use it after you cleanse your face and wash it off the morning after so as not to clog the skin pores.
Avocado Oil For Hair And Nail
Fights Hair Loss
Apart from its monounsaturated fats that moisturize the scalp, avocado oil has vitamin D, which is crucial for promoting hair health and preventing hair loss. A 2012 study published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine emphasized vitamin D’s potency as a hair vitamin for the creation of new hair follicles in those suffering from hair loss.11
Choose avocado oil–based hair conditioners and hair masks to help in hair growth and keep the tresses healthy and shiny.
Improves Nail Health
Beauty is not about just the skin and the face, though, and gnarled, spotted, yellow, or pitted nails can ruin your fashion statement altogether. Deficiency of vitamin C, vitamin B6, biotin (B7), and iron affects the health of nails leading to yellow nails and other conditions. Lack of iron can especially result in brittle nails.12
This is where avocado oil helps. Not just because it has all these nutrients but because unlike other oils or creams, it can penetrate deep into the inner layers of the nail cuticle to provide adequate hydration and nourishment.
So, for the sake of nail health, invest in good-quality cuticle oil made with avocado oil or just buy avocado oil and use it on your cuticles regularly to prevent dry and brittle cuticles and many nail problems like cracked nails, excessive dryness, fungal infections, and even ingrown nails.
Do you have your own beauty tricks using avocado oil? Let us know.
|↑1||Rosenblat, Meretski, and Segal. “Polyhyroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells.” Archives of Dermatological Research (Volume 303, Issue 4, p 239-246).|
|↑2||Jerajani HR, Mizoguchi H, Li j, Whittenbarger DJ and Marmor MJ. “The effects of a daily lotion containing vitamins B3 and pro-vitamin B5 on the facial skin of India women: a randomized, double-blind trial.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, venereology and Leprology (2010; 76: 20-6).|
|↑3||Vitamin C. Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center|
|↑4||Mitsuishi, T., T. Shimoda, Y. Mitsui, Y. Kuriyama, and S. Kawana. “The effects of topical application of phytonadione, retinol and vitamins C and E on infraorbital dark circles and wrinkles of the lower eyelids.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology 3, no. 2 (2004): 73-75.|
|↑5||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.|
|↑6||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.|
|↑7||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).|
|↑8||Lopes, Luciana B., Fernanda FF Speretta, and M. Vitória LB Bentley. “Enhancement of skin penetration of vitamin K using monoolein-based liquid crystalline systems.” European journal of pharmaceutical sciences 32, no. 3 (2007): 209-215.|
|↑9||Palombo, P., G. Fabrizi, V. Ruocco, E. Ruocco, J. Fluhr, R. Roberts, and P. Morganti. “Beneficial long-term effects of combined oral/topical antioxidant treatment with the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin on human skin: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Skin pharmacology and physiology 20, no. 4 (2007): 199-210.|
|↑10||Nachbar, F., and H. C. Korting. “The role of vitamin E in normal and damaged skin.” Journal of Molecular Medicine 73, no. 1 (1995): 7-17.|
|↑11||Aoi, Noriyuki, Keita Inoue, Toshihiro Chikanishi, Ryoji Fujiki, Hanako Yamamoto, Harunosuke Kato, Hitomi Eto et al. “1α, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 modulates the hair-inductive capacity of dermal papilla cells: therapeutic potential for hair regeneration.” Stem cells translational medicine 1, no. 8 (2012): 615-626.|
|↑12||Divya Seshadri and Dipankar De. “Nails in nutritional deficiencies.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venerology and Leprology (2012, Vol 78, Issue 3, page: 237-234).|