While nutritionists across the world haven’t stopped raving about the benefits of avocado for overall health and weight loss, the succulent fruit’s goodness for the skin has just started gaining ground. The nutrients – the healthy monounsaturated fats like oleic and linoleic acids, A, B, C and E vitamins, and minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium – that contribute to the myriad health benefits of avocado are the ones that make it good for the skin as well. Here are 7 benefits of avocado for the skin.
1. Moisturizes Your Skin
The healthy fats in avocado are great for moisturizing your skin. Coconut oil is considered a good moisturizer because of its 5–10% oleic acid content. Well, avocado flesh contains 63% oleic acid. Medical anthropologist John Heinerman, in his book, Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Healing Juices, mentions that when avocado is regularly consumed, the sebaceous glands secrete the oily semi-fluid natural sebum that keeps the skin hydrated and also helps the muscles and joints stay agile.1
In fact, your skin will love it if you rub it with the fleshy side of the peel after you scoop out this delicious fruit. You can also mash up a ripe avocado and add a little lemon juice and an egg white – both of which have astringent properties and can tighten pores – for beautiful, smooth skin.2 Combining the pulp of an avocado with some honey, yogurt, and olive oil can work as a wonderful face mask too. Honey and olive oil are both really good moisturizers while yogurt is a natural cleanser that can soften skin and tighten pores.3
2. Smooths Out Wrinkles
Aging can change your skin, giving you fine lines and wrinkles. But avocados can turn the clock back. On the one hand, avocado antioxidants like vitamins C and E can fight free radicals which damage the skin. On the other, some other chemicals in avocado oil stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin fibers. Collagen and elastin are proteins responsible for maintaining the structure and elasticity of your skin. Plus, oleic acid in avocado can reach the second layer of the skin and nourish it well to prevent wrinkles triggered by dryness.
So to give your skin a new lease of life, have half an avocado daily and apply some avocado oil.4
3. Protects Your Skin From The Sun
When your skin is exposed to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, it may undergo DNA damage (which can lead to skin cancer) and inflammation. But according to research, polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols, a kind of fat found in avocados, can reduce both radiation-induced cellular damage and skin inflammation. In fact, applying avocado pulp or oil topically enhances DNA repair of the skin after sun exposure, protecting it from malignancy.5
Moreover, vitamins C and E present in avocado also protect the skin against UV damage, with vitamin C fighting UVA damage and vitamin E fighting the DNA-altering UVB rays.6
However, do keep in mind that avocado can’t act as a sunscreen. So remember to also use a sunscreen to protect your skin, and when you come back from the sun, apply some avocado pulp or the extra-virgin variety of avocado oil.7
4. Prevents And Treats Acne
Are unsightly pimples causing you distress? Applying some mashed up avocado could help you out. One study found that a cream containing avocado extracts significantly reduced the number of papules and pustules in people who had acne. This cream inhibited an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase which is involved in making your skin excessively oily and making it acne-prone.8 Avocado oil also has linoleic acid, the lack of which in the sebaceous glands on the skin is linked to acne. So a regular avocado oil massage can prevent acne too.9
5. Removes Sun Tan
Avocado may hold the key to getting rid of your tan. It contains an antioxidant component known as glutathione which can lower melanin (the skin-darkening pigment) levels by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in its production. Both topical application and consumption of glutathione can be effective. So applying some creamy avocado to your face or adding some to your salad could help you get rid of sun tan.10
6. Heals Wounds
Did you know that avocados can help heal cuts and nicks? One study found that applying or consuming an avocado extract led to quicker growth of new skin cells and helped wounds heal faster in rats. So if you apply some avocado to chapped lips, it doesn’t just moisturize them, it helps them heal too!11
7. Helps With Psoriasis
Psoriasis can cause flaky, red, crusty skin. And if you’re looking for a treatment for this condition, avocado oil might be able to help. One study found that a vitamin B12 ointment containing avocado oil was effective at reducing the severity of the skin irritation caused by psoriasis. However, the researchers have cautioned that they were not able to determine whether avocado oil alone would have this effect. But the combination of vitamin B12 and avocado oil works.12
How To Use Avocado For The Skin
“Avocado pulp face mask
- Puree the avocado pulp after removing the seed.
- Mix it with yogurt or sour cream and apply on your face and neck.
- Let it stay for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Gently rinse it off with water.”
The best way to use avocado for your skin is to, of course, apply the extra-virgin variety of avocado oil. If that isn’t handy, use the avocado pulp. The avocado pulp mask will do wonders for dry and sensitive skin. You can even use it on elbows, knees, and heels to rid them of the dryness. You can also eat the fruit to derive many other benefits for your overall health. However, if you have an avocado allergy, stay away from applying the fruit pulp. It can cause skin irritation.
Thanks to the many wonderful benefits of avocado on the skin listed here, getting camera-ready skin just got easier. Try it and let us know.
|↑1||Heinerman, John. Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Healing Juices. Penguin, 1994.|
|↑2||Handa, Parvesh. Herbal beauty care. Orient Paperbacks, 2005.|
|↑3||Hughes, Joanna. The Numbers Book: A Girl’s Guide, 9 Rules to A Healthy, Happy and Beautiful Life. AuthorHouse, 2010.|
|↑4||Danhof, Ivan E. “Potential reversal of chronological and photo‐aging of the skin by topical application of natural substances.” Phytotherapy Research 7, no. 7 (1993).|
|↑5, ↑7||Rosenblat, Gennady, Shai Meretski, Joseph Segal, Mark Tarshis, Avi Schroeder, Alexandra Zanin-Zhorov, Gilead Lion, Arieh Ingber, and Malka Hochberg. “Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells.” Archives of dermatological research 303, no. 4 (2011): 239-246.|
|↑6||Eberlein-König, Bernadette, Marianne Placzek, and Bernhard Przybilla. “Protective effect against sunburn of combined systemic ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and d-α-tocopherol (vitamin E).” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 38, no. 1 (1998): 45-48.|
|↑8||Sharquie, Khalifa E., Hayder R. Al-Hamamy, Adil A. Noaimi, and Ali F. Tahir. “Treatment of Acne Vulgaris with 5-Alpha Avocuta Cream 2% in Comparison with Tretinion Cream 0.025%(Single Blind Comparative Study).” Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications 2, no. 03 (2012): 179.|
|↑9||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.|
|↑10||Sonthalia, Sidharth, Deepashree Daulatabad, and Rashmi Sarkar. “Glutathione as a skin whitening agent: Facts, myths, evidence and controversies.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology 82, no. 3 (2016): 262.|
|↑11||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).|
|↑12||Stücker, Markus, Ulrike Memmel, Matthias Hoffmann, Joachim Hartung, and Peter Altmeyer. Vitamin B12 ointment containing avocado oil in the therapy of plaque psoriasis. No. 2001, 27. Technical Report, SFB 475: Komplexitätsreduktion in Multivariaten Datenstrukturen, Universität Dortmund, 2001.|