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 the fat-soluble vitamins D, K, A, and E. Avocados contain high levels of antioxidants as well, including lutein and zeaxanthin, same as vitamin E.

Avocado oil has captured the attention of the cosmetics and food industries because of its lipid content consisting of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are linked to reduced inflammation and better cardiovascular health. It has been found to help with certain skin conditions, too, 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 40–60 minutes at 113 F–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 its high levels of chlorophyll and carotenoids. It also has a smoky-butter or mushroom flavor and aroma.  

Avocado oil has a fatty acid profile that’s high in oleic acid and palmitic acid, 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, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts. Other fatty acids found in an avocado include linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and docosadienoic acid, among others. 

Benefits of Avocado Oil for Skin

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

  • Dry skin that has a low level of sebum (an oily, waxy substance produced by glands)
  • Chapped skin that has a rough texture and a tendency to crack
  • Psoriasis symptoms, like itchy skin and raised skin lesions, when combined with vitamin B12 (although more research is required to back early studies)
  • Facial damage due to frequent exposure to ultraviolet rays like those from the sun or tanning beds
  • Wound healing by boosting collagen metabolism and reducing inflammation, as detected in tests performed on rats using either natural avocado oil or avocado oil combined with other formulations

How to Use It

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

  • As a topical moisturizer for both body and face: Apply a few drops of avocado oil mixed with a fragrant essential oil, if desired, to your skin.
  • As a hair and scalp mask to add moisture: Saturate your hair with either the oil or mashed flesh. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap or use a disposable shower cap. Leave on for 15–30 minutes, depending on how damaged and dry your hair may be. Afterwards, rinse well, shampoo, and condition.
  • As a bath treatment: 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 you bathe.

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

Side Effects of Avocado Oil

Although allergic reactions to avocado oil are rare, to be on the side of safety, always do a patch test. Apply the oil to a small area of your skin and wait 24–48 hours to see if there is an adverse reaction before using avocado oil or a cosmetic product that contains it. 

Some people who have an allergic reaction to natural rubber latex may be susceptible to latex-fruit syndrome. Several fruit sources such as avocados, bananas, chestnuts, kiwis, peaches, tomatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers are linked to this syndrome.

Symptoms may include hives, itching, a stuffy or runny nose, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, can occur. Skin allergies may include contact dermatitis, a red, itchy rash caused by coming into contact with a substance you are allergic to.

If you have an allergy to avocados, check with your healthcare provider 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. Used topically, avocado oil has several properties that can benefit your skin beyond just moisturizing it. When combined with fragrant essential oils, avocado oil can replace a number of skincare products inexpensively. However, like all products that you apply to your skin, be sure to do a patch test before using.

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