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Packed with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants, avocado oil can make your every meal healthy and lip-smacking. But did you know that it also offers a myriad of amazing skin benefits?
This article is meant for all of you avocado lovers – making you fall in love with it even more. So let's explore how using avocado oil can help your skin and how you can make your own avocado oil at home.
The Top 6 Skin Benefits of Avocado Oil
But first, we need to figure out the common dilemma – Is avocado a fruit or a veggie? Judging by its taste, which is neither salty nor sweet (but super tasty nevertheless), it could be either. However, since it's often used for preparing savory dishes, it leans more towards the latter – a vegetable.
But, avocados are, in fact, fruits growing on 20 meters (or approximately 60 feet) high trees which originate from the south and central Mexico. Avocado fruits are also called avocado pear and alligator pear, and it's essentially a giant pear-like berry.
Avocado oil is obtained from the avocado fruit pulp, which must be dried first. It has a mild taste reminiscent of butter and has a similar chemical composition to olive oil, containing an abundance of oleic acid.
However, avocado oil is perhaps not as popular as almond, olive, or coconut oil. Still, it's recently being added to more and more cosmetic and skincare products due to the variety of its skin-loving benefits:
#1: It's Moisturizing and Nourishing.
Thanks to the high content of oleic acid and vitamin E, avocado oil is excellent at moisturizing the skin and repairing its natural barrier [source]. Besides, it's chock-full of other nutrients, such as vitamins A and D and omega-3 fatty acids, nourishing and giving the skin everything it needs.
#2: It Reduces Inflammation.
With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties [source], avocado oil can calm dry and itchy skin and relieve the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema.
#3: It Promotes Wound Healing.
Oleic acid, combined with various essential fatty acids found in avocado oil, reduces inflammation, promoting faster regeneration of the tissue and wound healing [source]. In addition, since avocado oil is filled with vitamin A and E as well as lecithin and proteins, it can soothe damaged skin and protect it from harmful UV radiation [source].
#4: It's Anti-Aging.
The fatty acids content in avocado oil helps the skin retain its elasticity, preventing and postponing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, research suggests that avocado oil contains certain enzymes that prevent the breakdown of collagen in our skin and increase the soluble collagen content.
#5: It Promotes Hair and Nail Health
Avocado oil's hydrating and emollient properties soften the cuticle skin and strengthen dry and brittle nails. It helps the hair in the same way, keeping the frizz under control and making your hair shiny and breakage-free.
#6: It Heals Flaky and Itchy Scalp
Anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and emollient properties of avocado oil balance out the skin microbiome, reducing dandruff and other symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.
How to Use Avocado Oil for Skin
You can use avocado oil as it is or add it to your creams and moisturizers and make the best out of both worlds. Here are several ideas and tips on how you could add it to your daily skincare routine:
#1: For Face
You could add two or three teaspoons of avocado oil to your night cream and mix it in well. Apply it in the evenings before going to bed as the last step of your nighttime skincare routine to seal everything in nicely. Or, you could use avocado oil alone – put several drops of the oil in your palms and rub your palms to warm the oil up. Then press it into your skin while it's still damp.
If you're in the mood and feeling more creative, you could whip up some quick and easy DIY face masks using avocado oil mixed with mashed, raw avocados. Of course, you could also add your other favorite facial oils to the mix.
#2: For Body
Add several teaspoons of avocado oil to your regular body lotion. Again, apply in the evenings so that your skin softens overnight. You could also add it to your baths – add two to three tablespoons of the oil to your bath while it's still filling to get an even distribution. Soak in for as long as you want. This way, the hot water from your bath won't dry out your skin but leave it soft and supple.
#3: For Scalp
Massage avocado oil into your scalp several hours before washing your hair. Then wash it off using your regular shampoo. If you're not bothered by it, you could even leave it overnight and wash it off first thing in the morning. You could also combine avocado oil and castor oil and massage them together into your scalp. They will nourish your skin, reduce dryness and flakiness. And over time, you'll even notice that your hair is thicker, stronger, and shinier.
#4: For Wounds
As we already mentioned, avocado oil can speed up the healing process of minor cuts, wounds, and burns. For this purpose, you could mix one or two teaspoons of avocado oil with one tablespoon of aloe vera gel (less or more depending on the size of the area you're treating).
Note that you shouldn't use avocado oil (or any other oil for that matter) on fresh burns. Oils tend to trap the heat and bacteria on your skin, exacerbating the problem. So use the oil after your burns are healed to moisturize damaged skin and prevent scarring.
How to Make Avocado Oil at Home
Amazingly enough, you can make your own avocado oil at home in your kitchen. Since avocado oils you get from stores can be on the more pricey side, this skill can come in handy. You can use your homemade avocado oil for cooking or your DIY skincare hacks.
To make the oil, you'll need a bunch of ripe avocados (more avocados, more oil). Here are two easy methods you could try:
The Drying Method – Step-by-Step Guide
You'll need 12 to 15 ripe avocados, a blender or a food processor, a baking tray, and a cheesecloth or any other finely-meshed cloth to use for straining.
Step #1: Extracting the fruit – Wash your avocados, peel them, and take the pits out by cutting the avocados in half (you could keep the pits for a potential future tree planting). Then scoop the fruit out of their skins.
Step #2: Pureeing – Put the fruits in a blender or food processor and puree the avocados. If you don't have any of these gadgets, you can hand-mash them, but it will take a bit longer. You should blend them or mash them with a fork until you get a nice and even thick paste.
Step #3: Prepping the paste – Spread the paste onto a baking tray using a spatula or a knife, whatever you have available. Try to make an even and thin layer, about half an inch thick.
Step #4: Drying – Now it's time to dry the paste. For this purpose, you could use an oven or put the baking tray in direct sunlight. If you decide to go for the former, set the oven temperature to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 50 degrees Celsius). Keep it in the oven for about 4 to 5 hours – the paste should dry, not bake, so check it every half an hour to make sure it doesn't burn. The avocado green color should turn brown or dark green, not black. If you opt for the latter, sun drying, put the tray in direct sunlight, and let it sit there for about two days.
Step #5: Straining – Once your avocado paste is dry throughout, take it out of the oven and put it in a cheesecloth or any other cloth you've prepared for straining. Make a sack out of your cloth by pinching its corners. Then place it over a bowl and squeeze the avocado paste by switching your grip now and again. The finely meshed cloth will filter the oil, preventing any bigger chunks from coming through. Squeeze as long as there's oil dripping out.
Step #6: Storing – Once your oil is strained, pour it into a glass bottle or a jar with a tight seal. Store the oil in a dark and cool place, away from the sun.
The Cooking Method – Step-by-Step Guide
This method is a bit quicker, but it will require more effort as you'll have to tend your cooking pot constantly. Again, you'll need a bunch of ripe avocados (at least 12, but the more, the merrier), a cooking pot, and a finely-meshed straining cloth (like a cheesecloth).
Step #1: Peeling and getting the fruit out – Like in the previous method, wash, and peel the avocados, and take the pits out.
Step #2: Pureeing – Puree the fruits using a blender, food processor, or manually using a fork. Scoop the blend out and put it in a cooking pot (a medium-size pot will suffice).
Step #3: Cooking – Place the pot filled with avocado puree on a stove and turn the stove to medium heat. Be careful not to let the mixture burn and stick to the bottom of the pot, so tend to it constantly and stir every 3 to 5 minutes. Once it starts boiling, you'll notice the oil rising up to the top. Keep cooking until the mixture becomes dark green, then brown. And keep cooking and stirring until all the water from the avocado mix evaporates.
Step #4: Straining – Let the mixture cool a bit before continuing with the next step. Once cool enough for you to comfortably touch it, carefully place the avocado mixture into a straining cloth (again pinch its corners to form a sack). Strain your cooked avocados over a bowl, and keep squeezing as long as the oil is dripping out.
Step #5: Storing – Once you notice no more oil is coming out, you can stop squeezing and pour the extracted oil into a glass jar or bottle with a lid. Store it at room temperature away from the sun.
If you have extremely sensitive skin (or suffer from eczema or psoriasis), you should avoid applying your homemade avocado oil to your face. Instead, use it for cooking or add it to your salads.
What Are the Risks of Using Avocado Oil?
While safe for most people, you might be unlucky and have an allergy to avocados. In that case, you're likely allergic to avocado oil as well and should avoid using it (be it for cooking or skincare).
To make sure it's safe for you, it would be best to do a patch test on your skin before using it or going through all the trouble of extracting it yourself. Rub a small amount of oil on the inside of your forearm; this is where the skin is most sensitive. If you don't notice any change, irritation, redness, or tingling, then you're safe to use it.
In a nutshell, try using avocado oil, and we promise you won't regret it! It has so many great skin benefits, it's readily available, and you can even make your own. If not for skincare, then try adding it to your dishes! Avocado oil has that familiar smooth and nutty avocado taste, just a bit milder.
What does avocado oil do to the skin?
Avocado oil has many skin benefits, such as moisturizing, nourishing, anti-inflammatory, healing, and anti-aging.
Can avocado oil clog pores?
Avocado oil contains oleic acid - a fatty acid that can be pore-clogging. So, if you have oily and acne-prone skin, it would be best to avoid applying avocado oil to your face.
Is avocado oil anti aging?
Yes, avocado oil has anti-aging effects on the skin due to its fatty acids content. These acids help the skin maintain its elasticity, preventing sagging and wrinkles. Plus, avocado oil has certain enzymes that preserve the collagen fibers inside the skin.
Is Avocado oil good for oil cleansing?
If you need a double-cleanse, you can use avocado oil instead of your oil-based cleanser. First, massage the oil into your face to dissolve any makeup, sunscreen, and dirt collected throughout the day. Then remove it with a damp washcloth and continue with your regular face cleanser.