Orginally posted June 14, 2014
If you haven’t heard of sea buckthorn, you’re missing out on the skin-supporting benefits of these berry-like fruits. Derived from the seeds and pulp of the brightly colored fruit found on sea buckthorn trees, sea buckthorn seed oil has been used for centuries as a traditional beauty treatment.
Today, many tout sea buckthorn seed oil for its potential skin and beauty benefits, which include:
Topically applying antioxidants like those found in sea buckthorn seed oil can protect against free radical damage caused by both the environment and our own metabolic processes.
The varying carotenoids found in sea buckthorn oil, such as beta-carotene, encourage collagen production without causing inflammation.
Sea buckthorn seed oil is 90% unsaturated fatty acids, including omega 3, 6, 7, and 9 EFAs. According to one study, fatty acids from sea buckthorn seed oil may support the skin’s protective barrier function and promote moisture retention.
Sea buckthorn products that also contain lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin enhance the benefits of the naturally occurring omega oils by increasing skin hydration and improving elasticity.
Antioxidant flavonoids such as quercetin and salycins (as well as omega oils) offer anti-inflammatory properties. Sea buckthorn seed oil also inhibits growth of various bacteria such as Bacillus cereus, B. coagulans, B. subtilis, Listeria monocytogenes and Yersinia enterocolitica making it an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory salve for dryness and irritation.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, sea buckthorn seed oil should also have a place in your first aid kit. Applying sea buckthorn seed oil to burns and wounds may support the rate of new skin tissue formation causing the affected area to heal faster. Because sea buckthorn is anti-inflammatory, it also calms the nerve-endings to soothe irritations.
Which Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil is Best?
The source of sea buckthorn seed oil and the extraction process used determines the quality of the product. The higher in altitude that sea buckthorn grows, the higher its potency. Whenever possible, be sure to choose Himalayan grown sea buckthorn seed oil.
How the oil is extracted is just as important as where it’s grown — there are several extraction processes, many of which subject the oil to damaging heat over 120 degrees. The gentlest extraction process that optimally protects nutrients is Supercritical CO2 Extraction.