Meadowfoam seed oil is relatively unknown compared with other oils commonly used in cosmetics.
Although you may not have heard of meadowfoam seed oil, its unique chemical structure has the potential to moisturize your hair and skin without leaving a greasy feeling behind.
Meadowfoam seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the white, flowering meadowfoam plant native to Oregon, California, and Western Canada. The plant also goes by the botanical name Limnanthes alba.
Keep reading to find out what may make meadowfoam seed oil beneficial for your health and why you might want to start looking for it in your cosmetics.
Meadowfoam seed oil skin benefits
Meadowfoam seed oil acts as an emollient when applied to your hair or skin.
Emollients are substances that create a protective seal over your skin to lock in moisture. Other emollients commonly used in skincare products include:
When applied topically, emollients smooth out your skin and help keep it soft and supple. Most commercial moisturizers include emollients in their formula, along with other ingredients that draw water into your skin.
Meadowfoam seed oil has several traits that may make it a good choice to include in your skin care routine.
It contains more than 98 percent long-chain fatty acids that give it one of the highest stabilities of any vegetable oil and a long shelf life — without losing its effectiveness.
Plus, meadowfoam oil doesn’t leave a greasy feeling when applied to your skin like some other emollients do.
Meadowfoam seed oil for stretch marks
One 2016 research found positive results for treating stretch marks with a mixture shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, and meadowfoam seed oil. Although it’s impossible to draw conclusions from this single study, it’s at least a potential area for future research.
Meadowfoam seed oil for sun damage
A 2018 lab study examined two chemicals derived from meadowfoam, called 3-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate and 3-methoxyphenyl acetonitrile, to assess whether they could protect the skin from UVB rays found in sunlight.
The researchers exposed isolated human skin cells and human skin grown in vitro to UV light, and they found that these two chemicals did play a protective role.
The same researchers are also looking into the photoprotective effects of chemicals in the seed meal created as a by-product of meadowfoam seed oil production.
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