Avocado is the food that does it all. It's earned staple status on our grocery lists, because it somehow makes every meal taste better, whether it's being slathered on a piece of toast or being mixed into a morning smoothie. But one other place everyone's favorite multi-purpose fruit deserves a permanent spot? Our skin-care routines. The avocado oil benefits for skin run the gamut from hydrating to reducing inflammation, which means every type of complexion can enjoy the (literal) fruits of its labor.
"Avocado oil has numerous skin benefits because of its bioactive molecules, including fatty acids, folate, vitamin C and vitamin E," says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD. "Vitamins C and E are potent antioxidants that can help protect the skin from damage from free radicals from UV rays and pollution. And fatty acids are great for moisturizing and nourishing the skin barrier. Avocado oil also has anti-inflammatory properties." Now, keep scrolling to find out why avocado is just as beneficial to your skin-care routine as it is to your snacking routine.
Avocado oil benefits for skin
1. Moisturizes and strengthens the skin barrier
Like most oils, avocado is known for its moisturizing and nourishing properties. It sits on top of the skin, acting as an occlusive to seal in hydration and prevent transepidermal water loss. According to research, "it is an excellent source of enrichment for dry, damaged, or chapped skin." The same study found that the oleic acid in avocado oil helps to increase collagen synthesis, which helps your body grow new, healthy skin cells and leads to a stronger skin barrier overall. Plus, since the ingredient is rich in healthy fats, it will also help to strengthen the lipid bilayer of your skin.
2. Decreases inflammation
Studies have shown that avocado can act as a powerful anti-inflammatory by decreasing the number of inflammatory cells in your skin during the wound healing process, which means the ingredient can be helpful in calming inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and even acne.
3. Protects against free-radical damage
Thanks to the fact that it's packed with vitamins C and E, avocado acts as a powerful antioxidant to protect your skin from free-radical damage from environmental stressors like UV rays and pollution.
Who can use avocado oil?
Since avocado oil is, well, an oil, you'll want to proceed with caution when applying it to oily or acne-prone skin. "Dry skin that is not acne prone will benefit most from avocado oil," says Dr. King. "But if you have acne-prone skin, it is possible for avocado oil to contribute to clogging pores and exacerbating acne." She explains that while avocado oil more moisturizing than argan oil but also happens to be more comedogenic or pore clogging; however, it's less occlusive than coconut oil, so if you've had solid luck using that as a skin softener, you should be safe to reap the skin benefits of avocado oil without having to worry too much. Look for organic, unrefined, and cold-pressed avocado oil to ensure you're getting the best that the ingredient has to offer. And if you're using a product that's been formulated with avocado oil (instead of the pure oil itself) chances are that it's been diluted enough that it won't cause any problems.
How to use avocado oil
According to Dr. King, "avocado oil can be applied directly to the skin as a moisturizer, or it can be used in the context of the many skincare products that include it as an ingredient, including cleansers, serums, moisturizers, face oils and body oils." Below, the products she recommends for getting your daily dose.
1. Schaf Moisturizer , $45
Avocado is only one of the many skin-nourishing oils included in this formula. "This moisturizer hydrates and locks in moisture with hyaluronic acid and a blend of hemp seed, avocado, grape seed and pumpkin seed oils," says Dr. King. "It also contains antioxidants and anti-aging peptides, as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties."
Shop now: Schaf Moisturizer , $45
For a dose of avocado oil below the neck, look no further than this do-it-all pick. "This is a great choice that contains 100 percent USDA-certified organic, sustainably-sourced, cold-pressed prickly pear seed oil, baobab seed oil, moringa seed oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, and aloe vera," says Dr. King. "It hydrates, moisturizes, improves elasticity and tone, promotes collagen production, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties."
Shop now: Carter + Jane's The Everything Oil Body, $53
Retinol is known to be irritating, and combining it with avocado oil—the way this product does—makes it more easily tolerated by dry and sensitive skin types. The ingredients will work together to strengthen your skin barrier while also nourishing your complexion, which is why I, personally, swear by it.
Shop now: Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Face Mask, $49
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