Sea buckthorn oil is a rising star in the skin care world. Also known as sandthorn, sallowthorn, or seaberry, sea buckthorn oil boasts an impressive list of vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants that make it a desirable ingredient for serums, lotions, and moisturizers. Wondering how you can harness the benefits of sea buckthorn oil for your own skin? Here’s your primer on this vibrant, fruit-based oil as well as some of its top benefits.
What is Sea Buckthorn?
Despite its aquatic name, sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a land plant that is native to the cold climates of China, Mongolia, Russia, and northern Europe. This thorny shrub is most easily distinguishable by its bright orange berries surrounded by thorns and spiky green leaves. Sea buckthorn has been used in traditional Russian and Asian medicine for a range of health benefits and in cosmetics for its anti-aging properties. Though the taste is usually bitter and sour, sea buckthorn has also been used in food and beverages, and its berries are considered by some to be a superfood.
Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil vs. Seed Oil
There are two main types of sea buckthorn oil: fruit oil and seed oil. Sea buckthorn fruit oil comes from the plant’s berry pulp, while sea buckthorn seed oil comes from cold-pressed berry seeds.
Despite coming from the same plant, the two oils are very different in appearance. Since sea buckthorn fruit oil is derived from the berries themselves, its color ranges from dark orange to deep red. It also has a viscous texture and a slightly fruity smell. While sea buckthorn fruit oil can technically be used on its own as a moisturizer, it is often better to combine it with other oils and skin care ingredients in order to dilute its vivid color. On the other hand, sea buckthorn seed oil is much lighter in texture and color, ranging from yellow to light orange. It can also be used on its own or as an ingredient in a skin care product.
Although sea buckthorn fruit oil and sea buckthorn seed oil are both used in skin care, sea buckthorn fruit oil is particularly valuable due to its unique nutrients and chemical composition.
Nutrients in Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil
Sea buckthorn fruit oil is full of nutrients that are helpful for the skin. Sea buckthorn berries contain more vitamin C than an orange, and are also one of the highest sources of vitamin E found naturally in the plant world. Other nutrients found in sea buckthorn berries include potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, folate, biotin and vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
Sea buckthorn fruit oil also contains Omega-6 and Omega-7 fatty acids, while sea buckthorn seed oil contains Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids. Notably, Omega-7 fatty acids are rarely found in nature, which has likely contributed to sea buckthorn fruit oil’s growing popularity in cosmetics.
Benefits of Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil
When applied topically, the rich nutrients found in sea buckthorn fruit oil can promote healthy skin and reduce the signs of aging. For example, some research has found that the Omega-7 fatty acids in sea buckthorn oil can stimulate regeneration of skin cells and help wounds to heal. Due to its Omega-7 content, sea buckthorn fruit oil may also reduce the appearance of scars. It has also been used in traditional medicine as a way to soothe burns, and may also help reduce redness and pain from bedsores.
Other sea buckthorn oil benefits may include protection against sun damage, psoriasis, or eczema, which is achieved by reducing inflammation. Furthermore, studies have found that the fatty acids found in sea buckthorn oil likely improve hydration by strengthening the skin’s barrier, enabling it to more effectively maintain moisture and prevent water loss. As a result, sea buckthorn fruit oil may also help maintain elasticity and prevent dry, flaky skin. It may also be an effective treatment for skin conditions such as acne and rosacea.
In addition to fatty acids and vitamins, sea buckthorn oil is full of antioxidants, specifically carotenoids (which are the pigments also responsible for the oil’s orange-red color). Antioxidants are highly sought after in skin care products, especially facial care, because they help to prevent the signs of aging caused by free radicals. Free radicals (or scientifically, atoms with an unpaired electron) are harmful to the skin because they cause damage at the cellular level, which may cause collagen to break down and ultimately lead to sagging and wrinkles. With its antioxidant-rich composition to combat free radicals, sea buckthorn oil may help to slow the process of aging and make skin look brighter and healthier.
It is important to note that skin care products affect everyone differently, so TEA.L does not endorse any medical claims. We recommend directing any individual health-related questions to a doctor.
Using Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil In Your Skin Care Routine
So which skin type is best suited for sea buckthorn oil? The good news is that sea buckthorn fruit oil is gentle enough for sensitive skin. Sea buckthorn oil won’t clog pores, so it is also appropriate for oily, normal, or combination skin. If you have acne-prone skin and you are seeking a skin care product that includes sea buckthorn oil among other ingredients, we recommend looking for a product label that says “non-comedogenic.”
Sea buckthorn oil is one of the featured ingredients in TEA.L’s Yerba Mate Eye Care, along with Dragonwell green tea, cranberry seed oil, rosehip oil, and argan oil. Together, the combination of essential oils, extracts, and tea offer a sensory, luxurious self-care experience that treats dark circles while brightening the under-eye area.