Sea buckthorn oil has long been used in ancient and traditional medicinal practices, and it’s made its way onto the skincare scene. Find out all you need to know about using sea buckthorn seed oil and the many skincare benefits you can reap from the ingredient.
What is sea buckthorn oil?
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae Rhammoides) is a plant found throughout Europe and Asia and is known for its distinctive bright orange berries. Contrary to what you may believe, the plant is not in fact found underwater, rather on sandy dunes or plains.
The sea buckthorn oil used in skincare products can either be from the seeds or the berries – each offering slightly different benefits. The oil from the sea buckthorn plant’s seeds is usually extracted using the cold-pressing method. This technique has several stages, including:
- Seed separation – this is where the sea buckthorn seeds are separated from the pulp of the berries either manually or using a machine.
- Drying the seeds – seeds are usually then dried to reduce the moisture content and make the extraction process easier.
- Cold-pressing – using a hydraulic press or an expeller press under low temperatures, pressure is applied to crush the seeds and extract the sea buckthorn oil.
- Purifying and filtering – impurities and solids are removed from the oil extracted to help refine the oil.
Discover the main universal benefits of using sea buckthorn oil in your skincare – whether from the seeds or berries.
Sea buckthorn oil skin benefits
While sea buckthorn berries likely won’t make it to your shopping list, there are an abundance of skincare benefits that the seeds inside these berries and the berries themselves can offer. When used in skincare products, you can expect a hit of hydration, less inflammation, and much more.
1. Moisturises and nourishes the skin
Sea buckthorn oil is rich in fatty acids which are a key component of ceramides. Ceramides are a form of lipid (a naturally-occurring organic compound) and play a significant role in maintaining the skin’s natural barrier, as well as locking moisture into the skin.
It also contains other types of more complex lipid, including:
- Phospholipids and glycolipids – moisturises and softens the epidermis (the skin’s outermost layer) and also improves elasticity of the skin.
- Sterols – helps to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier and reduce water loss through the epidermis.
2. Rich in antioxidants
The substance is a powerful antioxidant, helping to fight free radicals in order to reduce the damage caused by them and other environmental stressors. Free radicals (atoms without an electron pairing) can ‘steal’ electrons from healthy cells, causing skin damage such as dryness, uneven pigmentation and broken blood vessels.
3. Supports skin regeneration
Sea buckthorn oil contains the unsaturated fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an example of an omega-6 fatty acid, which makes it a great ingredient to help repair and regenerate the skin. Other bioactive compounds in the oil, such as flavonoids and carotenoids, also help to support the regeneration of skin cells.
Skin regeneration is especially important for people struggling with various facial skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema or acne. This is because with skin regeneration, the healing process of the affected skin is sped up, and the appearance of scars and marks can be reduced.
4. Anti-inflammatory properties
The oil is known to be rich in GLA, which helps to improve the skin’s blood circulation. This means that the skin has a better supply of oxygen and essential nourishment, so toxins can be removed and inflammation calmed.
5. Improves skin tone and texture
The unsaturated fatty acids present in sea buckthorn oil mean it is a great ingredient for helping to improve the skin’s tone, texture and also structure. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the oil help to boost the skin’s elasticity and also to remove toxins from the skin, promoting a brighter complexion.
Sea buckthorn oil for skin: FAQs
Is sea buckthorn oil comedogenic?
Sea buckthorn oil is non-comedogenic and therefore unlikely to clog the pores. However, that doesn’t mean that the skincare products using this ingredient are automatically also non-comedogenic.
Can sea buckthorn oil cause acne?
As sea buckthorn oil is non-comedogenic, it is unlikely to cause acne as it tends not to clog the pores. Saying this, it’s important to remember that each person experiences products and ingredients differently. So while it is unlikely to cause clogged pores and acne, it’s best to do a patch test if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Can you put sea buckthorn oil on your face?
Yes, sea buckthorn oil can be used on the face. We’d always recommend using ingredients like sea buckthorn oil in skincare products such as serums or cleansers, as some people find that using the oil topically on its own is too harsh on their skin.
Does sea buckthorn oil stain the skin?
Sea buckthorn oil is known to have an orange or red hue. When applying sea buckthorn oil directly to the skin, it can cause some temporary staining – not a great look! Some people choose to dilute their sea buckthorn oil in a carrier oil such as jojoba oil to minimise this risk, but some staining can still happen.
Opting for skincare products that are rich in sea buckthorn oil eliminates this risk as the ingredient is much more diluted, but still offers the same great skincare benefits.
How to use sea buckthorn oil for skin
We firmly believe that using quality skincare products formulated with sea buckthorn oil is the best way to benefit from its skin-loving properties. Some of our best-selling products are formulated using this oil, so we thought we’d (re)introduce you to them.
Cleansing Face Balm with Oat Oil & Vitamin E
Our multi award-winning Everyday Cleansing Face Balm gently removes makeup (including stubborn mascara), pollution and impurities. Best used as the first step in your double cleansing routine, you’ll find that your skin is deeply cleansed, soothed and hydrated.
Formulated with skin-loving sea buckthorn fruit oil as well as sunflower seed oil and shea butter, the balm is dermatologically approved and suitable for all skin types.
Organic Face Serum with Coffee Oil
This dermatologically approved and multi award-winning Hydrating Face Serum is formulated with jojoba oil, sea buckthorn seed oil and rosehip oil to deeply nourish the skin.
Top tip – apply our natural face serum after moisturiser. The serum is 100% oil-based, so it works through occlusion, locking in the hydration provided by the moisturiser by forming a protective seal over your skin.
Shop our full collection of cruelty-free and natural skincare and haircare.