The avocado is known for its high lipid content. The oil extracted from its seed through cold pressing is well tolerated by all skin types, even the most sensitive ones. It has a much lighter texture than other vegetable oils. When applied to hair, it deeply nourishes without weighing it down.
Everything you need to know about avocado oil.
An overview of avocado vegetable oil.
The avocado tree, botanically known as Persea americana, is a member of the Lauraceae family, originating from Central America (Mexico). Several sources document the use of avocado by the Aztec populations. They extracted the flesh of the fruits and applied it to their skin to protect against drying winds. Its oil was also traditionally applied to the skin and hair for its protective and nourishing properties. The word "avocado" is actually derived from the Aztec term "ahuacatl" which means "testicle", an analogy to the shape of this organ.
Theavocado vegetable oil is obtained by first cold pressing of the seeds of the fruits. It presents itself as a thick oily liquid that can become cloudy or solidify depending on the temperature, with a color ranging from green to brown. Its scent is mild and subtle, and its texture is quite rich and fatty.
Theavocado oil extract is rich in fatty acidsessential such as thelinoleic acid (omega-6), theacid oleic (omega-9), thepalmitic acid and thestearic acid. As a reminder, oleic acid is the most abundant long-chain monounsaturated fatty acid in our body. Highly nourishing for the skin, it makes it more supple and softer but also more radiant. It also contains numerous vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, H, K and PP) as well as carotenoids (beta-carotenes) and phytosterols (beta-sitosterol).
It exhibits alow comedogenicity index, meaning it does not clog pores and quickly penetrates the skin. Even though it is relatively resistant to oxidation, it is best preserved in a cool place, protected from heat and light in an amber bottle.
The application of avocado oil on the skin.
Theavocado oil offers numerous benefits for the skin, detailed as follows:
As an antioxidant, it combats skin aging caused by the frequent attacks of free radicals.
As a reminder, free radicals are reactive oxygen species naturally produced by the body. However, when cells are faced with a stress, they produce them excessively. Stress sources are numerous, the main ones being exposure to UVA, pollution, smoking, and a diet too rich in fats and/or sugars. Free radicals are particularly unstable molecules due to their single electron. They tend to react with other molecules to form a pair of electrons, and thus cause damage to cells, DNA, and proteins in the body. This accelerates aging and wrinkles appear on the skin surface. Avocado oil contains natural anti-radical compounds such as vitamin E or carotenoids. They donate an electron to free radicals, stabilize them, and thus prevent them from causing harm and accelerating the natural aging of the epidermis.
It limits the degradation of collagen and maintains the firmness of the skin.
Collagen is a fibrous protein that makes up the connective tissue found in the dermis, the deep layer of the skin. It ensures the firmness of the epidermis. However, with age, the synthesis of collagen slows down and its content decreases: the skin slackens and wrinkles deepen. Researchers have demonstrated the ability of avocado oil to inhibit the activity of lysyl oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down collagen by substituting a carbonyl group for the amine group of a residue lysine.
Moisturizing and nourishing, it preserves the hydrolipidic film.
Its content of omega-6 and omega-9 provides nutrition and elasticity to the skin, and prevents dehydration by strengthening the barrier function of the epidermis. As a reminder, the hydrolipidic film improves the resistance of the horny layer against external aggressions and limits insensible water loss. Therefore, avocado vegetable oil is recommended for taking care of dry and dehydrated skin.
With its healing and anti-inflammatory properties, it provides relief for certain injuries.
Rich in oleic acid, avocado vegetable oil promotes the repair of skin lesions. Indeed, a study conducted on rats has shown that its application allows for theincrease in the synthesis of collagen fibers and acceleration of epithelialization. This study having been done on rats, caution is advised. Nevertheless, a similar mechanism can be assumed for human skin. Additionally, avocado oil contains sitosterols and campesterols, molecules belonging to the family of phytosterols. These compounds have a anti-inflammatory activity and regulate certain processes of inflammation. Thus, the combination of increased collagen synthesis and reduced inflammatory reactions makes avocado oil a ally in the healing process.
The application of avocado oil in hair care.
The fatty acids found in avocado oil, such as oleic acid and palmitoleic acid, help to seal the hair cuticles and thus prevent their breakage. Moreover, avocado oil has a much lighter texture than other vegetable oils and therefore penetrates more deeply into the hair fibers, to nourish them without weighing them down.
The antioxidant molecules it contains, such as carotenoids, polyphenols, and vitamin E, protect the hair from damage caused by UV rays and pollution. Finally, theavocado oil exhibits fungicidal and antibacterial activities that are beneficial for soothing irritated scalps prone to itching and/or dandruff.
Typology has developed a hair repair mask based on biomimetic ceramides (INCI name: Behenyl/Stearyl Aminopropanediol Esters) and avocado oil (INCI name: Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil). This treatment deeply repairs and nourishes the hair fiber, smooths and softens the hair, and prevents the appearance of split ends.
NEEMAN I. & al. The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism. Connective Tissue Research (1991).
ORTIZ-VIEDMA J. & al. Avocado oil: characteristics, properties, and applications. Molecules (2019).
HEREDIA J. B. & al. Fatty acid profile, total carotenoids, and free radical-scavenging from the lipophilic fractions of 12 native mexican avocado accessions. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition (2019).