It is a common misconception that you shouldn’t apply oil on acne-prone skin. After all, it is excess oil that causes acne, right? WRONG! The right oils can do wonders for your skin, even for those of us with oily, sensitive, and blemish-prone skin. Avocado oil is one of those that can transform your skin. It can make your skin smooth, even-toned, and radiant while providing a good dose of moisture and fighting against breakouts. If you want to know how avocado oil can improve your skin and help battle acne, keep reading.
What Is Avocado Oil?
Avocado oil is a greenish-yellow colored oil extracted from the fruits of the avocado trees, found in certain parts of Mexico and Central America. It is usually available in two forms: organic oil (naturally processed) and inorganic oil (chemically extracted). Organic avocado oil (especially cold-pressed) is obtained from the very first press of the fruit. It is considered to be the most healthy due to its low cholesterol and saturated fat content. It has a fresh fruity aroma and a nutty taste with extremely high nutritional value. Due to its high Vitamin E content, you can find it in many beauty and cosmetic products as a moisturizing agent.
There are two extraction methods used to get avocado oil: expeller-pressed and cold-pressed (1). When using the expeller-pressed method, the avocado is squeezed until the oil is extracted. The friction created from the squeezing process causes heat that makes the avocado oil lose some of its nutritional value. Cold-pressed avocado oil is extracted in a temperature-controlled environment, so it retains its nutritional value.
Why Use Avocado Oil For Acne?
The skin benefits of avocado oil are well-appreciated by beauty experts and enthusiasts. Now, let’s have a look at the reasons why you should use it to treat acne:
- Being a rich source of skin-friendly nutrients, avocado oil is suitable for all skin types. Yes, even the oily and acne-prone ones.
- It contains Vitamin E that keeps skin naturally healthy by moisturizing and providing antioxidant protection that can help prevent breakouts.
- The oil is rich in healthy fatty acids like omega-6 fatty acids that regulate the hydration of our skin and reduce inflammation significantly.
- Avocado oil has anti-inflammatory benefits (2) that may reduce the size of a pimple and redness—making it smaller and disappear faster.
- Avocado oil is non-comedogenic. This means it won’t cause any more breakouts or clog your pores.
Other than the benefits to your skin, avocado oil has many benefits for your overall health. Some of the benefits you can get from regularly adding avocado oil to your diet are lower cholesterol levels, improvement of your eye health, and an increase in the absorption of other nutrients (3).
How Does Avocado Oil Work For Acne?
This is where avocado oil comes in. But first, it is important to understand how it works as an effective acne treatment. This oil helps acne sufferers in four basic ways:
1. Nourishes from the inside out
There is a chance that your diet is the reason your skin is breaking out. Our diet plays a key role in the way our skin looks— proper nutrition is necessary to keep our skin healthy and a bad diet may be contributing to your acne issues. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between diets high in refined carbohydrates, fried food, excess sugar, and high-fat foods, to acne (4). These foods can promote inflammation throughout your whole body, including your skin.
2. Strengthens the skin barrier
Acne-prone skin is usually oily, so it is understandable why you’d think that applying avocado oil would be counter-productive. We’ve been taught that drying out the skin is the proper way to battle acne, and while that might work, it also results in weak skin with a compromised skin barrier. The topical application of avocado oil is great to restore the moisture balance of the skin and strengthen that skin barrier to prevent water loss. Oftentimes, skin that is lacking moisture and hydration, tries to over-compensate by producing extra oil — excess oil that can cause breakouts. A well-balanced complexion is less likely to break out.
3. Reduces inflammation
If you look at an acne pustule, you’ll notice it is raised, irritated skin with a reddish tone— this is inflammation. Avocado oil reduces the inflammation of the sebaceous glands that secrete pore-clogging sebum. As the pores remain unclogged, the chances of developing acne also reduce to a great extent.
4. Protects the skin
Avocado Oil has a high Vitamin E content. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your body against free radical damage present in the environment (5). Free radicals (pollution, UV light, smoke, etc.) damage your cells, causing early signs of aging and acne. Avocado oil acts as a protective layer against those aggressors to maintain youthful and healthy skin.
Avocado oil is a great source of lutein (6). Lutein is a carotenoid with a high concentration of antioxidants. It is used for the maintenance of eye health and the prevention of eye diseases such as cataracts (7). Including avocado oil in your diet will not only benefit the look and feel of your skin but will also contribute to a healthy vision.
How To Use Avocado Oil For Acne
Here are four ways you can use avocado oil:
1. Consume Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is easy to include in your daily diet. Next time you have to cook something, use avocado oil instead of processed oils (like canola oil). Make a dressing with it and eat with a salad.
2. Use as a night moisturizer
Due to its oily and shiny finish, avocado oil is best used at bedtime. After washing your face with a mild cleanser, take a few drops of the oil and massage gently all over your face. Leave it overnight. This method is recommended for mild acne cases that have dry or dehydrated skin.
3. Spot Treatment
After cleansing your skin, take a few drops of avocado oil and apply them to the affected areas. Massage gently and let it sit on your skin for thirty minutes. After the time has passed, take a damp washcloth and carefully wipe off the oil. Wash the residue with lukewarm water. Repeat this twice a day, morning and night. This method is best for those with mild acne and oily skin.
4. Oil cleanse
Cleanse your face at night using a mixture of one tablespoon of castor oil, one teaspoon of avocado oil, and a couple of drops of tea tree oil. Massage the mixture on dry skin with dry hands. Oil breaks down and pulls oil, so as you massage your skin, you will notice your makeup dissolving and your skin cleaning. Rinse off with lukewarm water and a washcloth. This method does not strip your skin and leave it feeling tight. You’ll notice your skin is left clean and moisturized.
Factors to consider
1. Just like with any other skin treatment, consistency is key. You will get the best results if you apply avocado oil regularly and make it part of your daily routine. And, keep in mind that the skin’s turnover cycle is around 28 days, which is when you’ll see results.
2. It is always advisable that you do a patch test before trying anything new on your skin. Test a small amount of avocado oil on the side of your neck or your forearm; make sure there is no reaction before applying it to your face.
3. Avocado oil has the best results in cases of mild and occasional acne. If you suffer from severe acne, please consult your dermatologist.
Avocado oil is rich in oleic acid (8); in fact, 70% of the composition of avocado oil is oleic acid. This is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is essential for the health of our cells (9). It serves as an energy source and ensures that our cells’ membrane is thick. Among its many benefits, oleic acid reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, promotes skin repair, fights infections, and promotes fat burning.
Other Benefits of Avocado Oil
- Helps diminish scarring – Avocado Oil is packed with Vitamin E, a vitamin that is essential for wound healing and skin restoration.
- Treats sunburn – The antioxidants present in avocado oil can help soothe the burning sensation that comes after prolonged sun exposure.
- Nourishes hair – Use it as a hair mask or deep conditioning treatment for nourished, soft, and smooth hair.
- Moisturizes skin – If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis, the antioxidants and vitamins in avocado oil will help deeply moisturize the skin, reduce flakiness and itching.
If you are looking for a natural alternative to control your acne, avocado oil is for you. This powerful oil helps treat your acne in four different ways: by strengthening the skin barrier, reducing inflammation, providing antioxidant protection, and nourishing your body. All of which are essential factors in the overall health of your skin. There are four easy ways to include avocado oil into your routine to start seeing results — add it to your meals, use it as a moisturizer, as a spot treatment, and as a cleanser. You can choose to use all four methods or just one but remember, to see results you must be consistent with your application.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is avocado oil safe to use?
We always recommend doing a small patch test before applying to discard the possibility of an allergic reaction. If no reaction occurs, it is safe for you to use. Do make sure you avoid the eye area.
Does avocado oil clog pores?
Avocado oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not cause breakouts. However, if you use too much, it may clog your pores. All your skin needs are a few drops.
Will avocado oil help with acne scarring?
Vitamin E in avocado oil is an essential vitamin that aids in skin regeneration. It will help fade light acne scarring that is mostly hyperpigmentation. However, prevention is key and the best way to prevent acne scarring from forming is by not picking your breakouts. Most scarring is formed by the trauma caused when you squeeze an acne pimple.
What type of avocado oil should I use?
Cold-pressed, organic avocado oil is best for your skin. This form of oil has the highest nutritional value and is, therefore, the most effective.
Does avocado oil work on cystic acne?
Unlike other acne types, cystic acne is much more severe and requires a medical prescription to treat. Avocado oil will help nourish your skin but will not treat cystic acne. Consult your doctor if this is the type of acne you have.
- “9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Avocado Oil” – healthline.com
- “Eight benefits of avocado oil for the skin” – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Effect of Semisolid Formulation of Persea Americana Mill (Avocado) Oil on Wound Healing in Rats” – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Association Between Adult Acne and Dietary Behaviors: Findings From the NutriNet-Santé Prospective Cohort Study” – pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Vitamin E” – ods.od.nih.gov
- “Avocado Oil: Is It Good for You?” – webmd.com
- “The Health Benefits of Lutein” – verywellhealth.com
- “9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Avocado Oil” – healthline.com
- “Oleic Acid: Top 9 Uses & Benefits of This Healthy Fat” – draxe.com