Avocado Oil Benefits for Your Skin

Avocado, known for its healthy fat content, is a nutritionally rich fruit that is high in fiber and potassium and helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins D, K, A, and E. Avocados contain high levels of other antioxidants as well, besides vitamins A and E, such as lutein and zeaxanthin

Avocado oil has captured the attention of the cosmetic and food industries because of its lipid content consisting of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are linked to better cardiovascular health, and its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been found to help with certain skin conditions and issues, including psoriasis, wrinkles, and stretch marks. 

Half of avocado and glass jug of avocado oil on wooden board

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What Is Avocado Oil?

The process of mechanically pulling oil from an avocado is similar to cold-pressed olive oil extraction. After the skin and pit are removed, the flesh, which is composed of 30% oil, is turned into a paste, and then slowly churned for 40 to 60 minutes at 113-122°F. The drippings of water and oil from the churning process are then separated using a high-speed centrifuge. 

This extracted extra-virgin avocado oil is emerald green because of high levels of chlorophylls and carotenoids. It also has a smoky butter or mushroom palate and aroma.  

Avocado oil has a fatty acid profile that’s high in oleic and palmitic acids, along with a high concentration of polyphenols—micronutrients that are high in antioxidants—such as tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol. In terms of fat content, 60% of an avocado consists of monounsaturated fatty acids, similar to olive oil, hazelnut, and macadamia nuts. Other fatty acids found in an avocado include linoleic, docosadienoic, and linolenic, among others. 

Benefits of Avocado Oil for Skin

Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties, avocado oil can help moisturize, relieve, and soothe many skin conditions, including: 

  • Dry skin that has a low sebum level
  • Chapped skin that has a rough texture and the tendency to crack
  • Although more research is required, some studies have shown that an ointment with both avocado oil and vitamin B12 may reduce psoriasis symptoms like itchy skin and raised skin lesions
  • Facial damage due to frequent exposure to ultraviolet rays like those from the sun or a tanning bed
  • In some tests with rats, avocado oil, either used topically in its natural form or combined in pharmaceutical formulations, helped increase collagen metabolism and reduce inflammatory cells during the healing process

How to Use It

There are several ways you can use avocado oil to moisturize your skin:

  • As a topical moisturizer for both body and face, apply of few drops of avocado oil mixed with an essential oil that has a fragrance you like and apply to your body or face.
  • Both the oil or the avocado’s flesh can be used as a hair and scalp mask to add moisture. Saturate your hair with either the oil or mashed flesh. Wrap your hair in Saran wrap or use a disposable shower cap. Leave on for 15 to 30 minutes depending on how damaged and dry your hair may be. Afterwards, rinse well, shampoo, and condition.
  • A few drops of avocado oil combined with a fragrant essential oil can be applied to bath water, added to shower gel, or applied to damp skin to lock in moisture after your bath

You can find avocado oil at your local supermarket or a health food store. For proper storage, keep avocado oil out of direct sunlight and store it in a cabinet. If you prefer to keep avocado oil in the refrigerator, an opened bottle will keep for approximately eight months. 

Side Effects of Avocado Oil

Although allergic reactions to avocado oil is rare, to be on the side of safety, always do a patch test (apply it to a small area of your skin) and wait 24 to 48 hours before you use avocado oil or a cosmetic product that contains avocado oil. 

Some people who have an allergic reaction to natural rubber latex may be susceptible to latex-fruit syndrome. Several fruit sources such as avocado, banana, chestnut, kiwi, peach, tomato, potato, and bell peppers are linked to this syndrome. Symptoms may include hives, itching, stuffy or runny nose, and shortness of breath, and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Skin allergies may include contact dermatitis

If you have an allergy to avocados, check with your doctor before you apply avocado oil to your skin to make sure it's safe to use.

A Word From Verywell

Avocado oil, similar to its cousin olive oil, is made up of nutrient-rich elements that can provide many health benefits. As a moisturizer, avocado oil has several properties that can benefit the skin beyond retaining moisture. Combined with fragrant essential oils, you can replace a number of skincare products inexpensively. However, like all topical products that you apply to your skin, make sure to do a patch test before using.

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