Renowned for its numerous benefits for the skin and hair, nigella vegetable oil is sometimes used to reduce the symptoms of acne. How does it combat this skin condition? And how effective is it really? Learn more in this article.
Key points about acne.
Acne is an inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous follicle that primarily affects teenagers but does not spare adults. The pilosebaceous follicle consists of a sebaceous gland, which produces sebum , a substance that plays a protective role for the skin, which flows along a hair and is evacuated through the pores. However, in the case of excessive sebum secretion , due to hormonal changes or naturally oily skin, this sebum clogs the pores and leads to the appearance of blemishes.
It's also worth noting that skin rich in sebum provides a favorable environment for the proliferation of Cutibacterium acnes. This bacterium, naturally present in hair follicles, functions by digesting the triglycerides found in sebum. This process, in turn, leads to the production of free fatty acids that exacerbate the inflammation of the sebaceous glands.
The last characteristic factor of acne is the insufficient desquamation of the epidermis. This causes an accumulation of dead cells on the skin's surface, which can also clog the pores. This follicular hyperkeratosis indeed forms a keratinous plug that hinders the normal flow of sebum.
What are the effects of black seed oil on acne?
Regarded as a miraculous ingredient during ancient Egypt, thevegetable oil of black cumin is today highly valued in the cosmetic and culinary fields. This ingredient, originating from the Near and Middle East, is extracted from black cumin seeds by first cold pressing. From an organoleptic point of view, black cumin oil presents itself as an orange liquid with a spicy and slightly bitter smell. Very little comedogenic, it sometimes enters into the composition of products intended for acne-prone skin.
Nigella oil can alleviate acne inflammations.
Black seed oil exhibits intriguing anti-inflammatory properties that combat acne. These properties are derived from thymoquinone, one of its key active ingredients. This molecule operates at multiple levels within the body and helps to reduce the levels of interleukin-2, interleukin-6, and interleukin-1β (IL-2, IL-6, and IL-1β), which are pro-inflammatory cytokines. Thymoquinone also inhibits the expression of cyclooxygenase (COX), an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of arachidonic acid into prostaglandin H2. Prostaglandins are compounds that increase inflammation.
In a recent study, it was demonstrated that the topical application of a balm containing 10% black seed oil on rats with an edema reduced the edema by 60% in 4.5 hours. The number of leukocytes, immune system cells, also decreased by nearly 45%, as did the level of TNF-α, a pro-inflammatory cytokine, by about 50%. Thus, black seed oil can help to alleviate certain symptoms of acne, such as redness and blemishes, and prevent the onset of future scars. Indeed, by reducing inflammation, the black seed oil can contribute to minimizing tissue damage, which prevents scarring.
Note : The anti-inflammatory properties of black seed oil have not been demonstrated on acne-prone skin, which encourages caution regarding the effectiveness of this ingredient on acne.
Black seed oil limits bacterial proliferation.
Some studies have highlighted a bactericidal activity of nigella vegetable oil against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The thymoquinone it contains could indeed be capable of preventing these microorganisms from adhering to the surface of cells, although this mechanism is still under debate. However, research has not yet focused on the effect of nigella oil on Cutibacterium acnes, which is involved in acne. Therefore, while the bactericidal action of this ingredient is promising, it is important to remain cautious.
Note : If you are suffering from severe acne, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist who can prescribe you a suitable treatment, as cosmetic care based on black seed oil are only supplements.
ANWAR F. & al. A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb. Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine (2013).
KIM B. & al. Black Cumin ( Nigella sativa L.): A Comprehensive Review on Phytochemistry, Health Benefits, Molecular Pharmacology, and Safety. Nutrients (2021).