Whether you're an avocado lover or you side with the people who are annoyed by avocado lovers, you can't deny that we live in the biggest avocado mania the world has ever seen. You can find avocado on everything and for everything - and that's including your skin and hair.
Because avocado fruit is filled with healthy fats, it's commonly used to produce oil. The oil, in turn, is used by the beauty industry in skin care products designed to take advantage of its highly nutritious profile. You can find it in facial masks, creams, body lotions, cleansers, overnight facial treatments, and so much more.
Is this obsession justified? Well, sorry to disappoint the fault-finders, but even if you dislike the taste, you won't find many arguments against using avocado oil for your skin.
Still, let's look at the benefits and uses of avocado oil for your skin. Then you can decide if it's really worth it.
Avocado oil is an edible oil extracted from the fruit of the "Persea Americana" - the fancy name for avocado.
Even though it's commonly used in cooking, the original purpose of extracting oil from avocado was for its cosmetic use. The very high degree of penetration and rapid absorption is the reason behind this practice.
The cosmetic industry gets avocado oil by extracting it with solvents at elevated temperatures, after which the oil is refined. The "cold-pressed" method is another way to get avocado oil and is usually considered to be of better quality.
Although the numbers and concentration of the nutritive profile vary depending on its extraction process, typical hass avocado composition is made up of 70-80% oleic and palmitoleic acids, around 10% linoleic and linolenic acids, and 10% palmitic and stearic acids.
Oleic acid (omega-9) is considered a godsend for dry, mature, and chapped skin. It can penetrate the skin easily and replenish lost moisture. It also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and discoloration.
Linoleic acid (omega 6) is anti-inflammatory and helps to relieve redness and irritation in the skin. It helps stimulate cell regeneration and heals the skin barrier.
Palmitic and stearic acids have strong antimicrobial and hydrating properties that create an occlusive barrier on the skin and are responsible for the moderate comedogenic rating of avocados.
The most notable carotenoid present in the oil is lutein. Lutein is found in the skin, and it's believed to help protect the skin against light-induced skin damage, especially ultraviolet sun rays.
We've written about the benefits of using avocado for acne, so there's no doubt this fruit has all the nutrients to help your skin fight off acne. Homemade facial packs with avocados are good for oily skin. Still, it's totally valid to question whether we can say the same thing about the oil.
Doesn't oil clog the pores and irritate the skin even further?
If you're a skeptic or confused, don't worry. The oil skincare trend has everyone on edge. But not every oil used in skincare is good for every skin type, or more importantly, not every oil is recommended for oily skin. It really depends on the comedogenic rating, the irritability rating, the fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients, and the essential fatty acids (EFAs) from which the oil is composed.
There's a rating system for the comedogenic level of practically every oil out there. Yep, that's right. You can google "comedogenic ratings of facial oils," and you'll see the cheat sheet that gives each oil a value from 0 to 5 (where 0 is "will not clog pores," and 5 is "high likelihood of clogging pores").
Avocado oil falls right in the middle with a comedogenic rating of 3. In some cheat sheets, the value is 2. So, when we're talking about avocado oil, there's no easy answer to this question.
For example, you probably shouldn't use coconut oil for acne-prone skin since its comedogenic rating is 4. But you can definitely use argan and neem oil on this skin type since their comedogenic rating is 0.
Another reason people with acne should try avocado oil is that it's loaded with oleic acid, which is incredibly beneficial in the battle against acne.
The takeaway from all this is that people with acne should use avocado oil more carefully and less frequently, depending on how their skin reacts.
For example, if you suffer from acne breakouts, always wash or cleanse your face after treating it with an oil product. At the end of the day, the ratings are just practical guidelines - not the law. Every skin is different, and yours might love it.
When it comes to wound healing, avocado oil may be able to help. Animal studies have shown promising results, proving that avocado can increase collagen synthesis and decrease inflammatory cells during the healing process. This supports the idea that avocado can help with skin healing.
Furthermore, the results from one human study also showed that avocado can help in the treatment of some serious skin conditions and ailments. In a small clinical trial, vitamin B12 cream containing avocado was proven to be beneficial for treating psoriasis.
When it comes to dry skin, avocado oil is a great moisturizer. This is because of its high vitamin E content along with potassium, lecithin, and many other nutrients that nourish, hydrate, and moisturize the skin. On top of this, being one of the richest sources of beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid, avocado oil is extremely good at hydrating and softening your skin.
Avocado oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help soothe irritation, redness, itching, and swelling. This can help reduce the appearance of your inflamed pimples and prevent them from becoming more severe. Meanwhile, the antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and lutein will scavenge free radicals caused by oxidative stress and prevent new acne breakouts in the future.
To get the best results, apply avocado oil that's cold-pressed.
Using avocado oil may clog your pores. This oil is somewhat comedogenic, meaning you need to be careful how you're applying it and how you finish your skincare routine.
When you have acne, it's best to use it as a facial treatment. You can apply it directly on the skin and leave it for about thirty minutes to an hour. Afterward, you can wash and cleanse your face and apply a non-comedogenic and light moisturizer, such as the Wrinkle-Free All Day Moisturizer.
Can avocado oil help your skin look younger? The answer is yes! Avocado oil is great for preventing premature aging of the skin. Because of its potent antioxidant properties, avocado oil can fight off free radicals caused by oxidative stress when the skin is exposed to damaging UV light.
Sun damage causes changes in the DNA of the cells and they start to lose elastin. This leads to premature aging, sagging skin, wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots, and other damaging effects. Powerful antioxidants can prevent this by penetrating through skin cells and breaking up free radical chains. Also, the vitamin C in avocado oil has an active role in increasing collagen production which will help the healing process of the skin and repair the damage that's already done, making your face look younger and fresher.
This benefit is closely related to the above-mentioned anti-aging benefits. The antioxidative powers of avocado oil can not only prevent skin damage and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but they can also help soothe the symptoms of sunburned skin.
The anti-inflammatory properties can reduce redness, swelling, pain, and itching, while the antioxidants help the skin heal faster. Also, the high concentration of vitamin E, beta carotene, vitamin D, lecithin, and essential fatty acids in the oil will support healing and soothe the skin.
The unique mix of acids in avocado oil is ideal for deep skin moisturization. This ingredient can be a godsend, particularly if you have dry to normal skin. As mentioned previously, this oil is moderately comedogenic but highly nutritious, so people prone to acne can also benefit from it.
To use avocado oil as a facial moisturizer, buy a high-quality avocado oil-based product. This can also come combined with other ingredients, making it more or less suitable for oily skin. You can also add a few drops of the oil to your favorite moisturizer.
You could also dip a cotton ball in extra virgin avocado oil. Apply a small amount evenly to the face and let it act for 15 to 30 minutes. Cleanse your face afterward to ensure your pores are clean and unclogged.
If you're a fan of long, relaxing bubble baths, you might find adding a few tablespoons of avocado oil to the warm water can prevent your skin from drying out.
Long baths can strip the skin from its natural oils and remove dead skin cells, leaving your body vulnerable, dry, and susceptible to itchy skin. You can fix this easily by adding a little avocado oil to the bath. The water will feel more soft and gentle, and your skin will absorb all the benefits of the oil.
We recommend using organic avocado oil as a body moisturizer on damp skin after taking a bath. It makes the skin soft and smooth. Best of all, you can buy avocado oil mixed with other ingredients (such as essential oils) to really get the scent you want and calm and soothe the senses even more.
Avocado oil can help you gently remove makeup without irritating or damaging the skin. Moreover, it will nourish and hydrate the skin helping it maintain its moisture and softness.
Before using any ingredient or product on your face, it's important to do a patch test. These tests are a great way to test for an allergic reaction or prevent skin irritation.
To conduct a patch test, add the oil to a small patch of skin, and wait for 24 hours. If you don't experience an allergic reaction, feel free to start applying avocado oil all over your face. If you have redness, itchiness, flaky skin, or any other adverse reactions, you're better off going for a different carrier oil.
Make sure to conduct patch tests for all new ingredients and skincare products. Whether you're using shea butter, olive oil, cocoa butter, organic honey, or hyaluronic acid, a patch test will keep your skin healthy.
Avocado is a versatile ingredient that offers many skin and health benefits. Filled with minerals, fatty acids, carotenoids, vitamins, and antioxidants such as vitamins E and C, avocado oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and very high moisturizing properties.
All these characteristics give the oil its ability to reduce inflammation in acne and prevent further acne breakouts. Other avocado oil benefits include its ability to reduce anti-aging symptoms such as wrinkles, fine lines, saggy skin, and brown spots. But not only that - it will protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV sun rays and even help sunburned skin heal faster.
It's a potent natural moisturizer that's good for a range of skin conditions but especially beneficial for dry and aging skin. Unfortunately, the only downside to this oil is that it's borderline comedogenic. Still, due to its highly nutritious profile, people with oily or acne-prone skin can also try to incorporate avocado oil into their daily skincare routine and see how their skin reacts. You can mix it with other ingredients, such as your favorite essential oil.
You can use it as a face moisturizer, facial treatment, body lotion, or even a makeup remover.
Additionally, avocado oil has a similar nutritive profile to olive oil, but it's less comedogenic. This means you can use it as an alternative carrier oil when olive oil is out of the question —just one of the many other benefits of avocado oil.
If avocado oil is too "oily" for your skin type, there will always be other oils you can turn to, such as argan oil or neem oil.