Oils may not sound like a great choice for the face but they are actually a bliss for it. From healing dry, damaged skin to adding an instant glow to it, natural facial oils can do a lot for us, beauty junkies, by getting absorbed into the skin almost instantly. And if it comes to a wonder ingredient like sesame oil, the potential becomes even bigger. While using sesame oil in your meals is a matter of acquired taste, you can always reap its benefits for skin and hair care by applying topically. Today, we will be discussing how the oil can help in getting a super awesome skin. Read on to find out more about why and how to use sesame oil for glowing skin.
What are Sesame Seeds?
Sesame seeds are tiny edible seeds obtained from the pods of the sesame plant (Sesamum indicium) belonging to the Pedaliaceae family and Sesamum genus. Originated in India, this flowering plant has many other wild species native to sub-Saharan Africa and cultivated extensively across the globe now. Sesame seeds have long been known for a rich, nutty flavor and high oil content. In fact, sesame is considered one of the oldest oilseed crops discovered to date (1). However, the best thing about the seeds is that they have many potential health benefits that may help us keep protected from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and so on (2). Apart from worldwide cuisines and folk medicines, they have also been used in skin and hair care for more than thousands of years. Hence, the sesame plant is often called the “Queen of Oilseeds” (3).
Unhulled sesame seeds have a nice golden-brown color for its outer husk while the hulled ones look simple off-white (turn brown upon roasting) due to the absence of the husk.
What is Sesame Oil?
Sesame oil is a light or dark brown-colored, edible oil with a beautiful nutty flavor. It is extracted from raw sesame seeds (both black and white) through the method of cold pressing. Sesame oil comes loaded with fatty acids, such as mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which makes it one of the most popular cooking oils (4). Several essential fatty acids found in the oil are oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and linoleic acid. It also contains plenty of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which include tocopherol, pinoresinol, sesamin, sesamolin, sesaminol, sesamol. etc. Besides, sesame oil is also quite rich in proteins, vitamins (B complex, E, D), minerals (calcium, zinc, phosphorous), and other organic components. All these contribute to its wonderful culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic properties.
Different versions of sesame oil are used in a wide variety of Asian and Middle Eastern dishes for different flavor and aroma. Unrefined sesame oil is used at a low to medium flame for a delicious, nutty flavor. On the other hand, refined sesame oil mostly suits deep- or stir-frying for its neutral flavor. However, the use of the toasted version of the oil is limited to dressings and marinades only.
Why Use Sesame Oil for Glowing Skin?
Sesame oil, the dark horse of the oil family, possesses incredible beauty benefits that will help you deal with every skin woe and achieve the picture-perfect skin that is naturally radiant. Following are the ways sesame oil can give you a flawless, glowing skin:
- Sesame oil helps in cleansing and exfoliating the skin thoroughly by removing dirt, dust, and dead cells from it.
- The comedogenic rating is one for refined sesame oil and three for the unrefined one (5). Being a non-comedogenic oil, it does not clog skin pores. Rather, it keeps them clear by drawing the gunk out of it.
- Since sesame oil is rich in natural fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins, it acts as a great all-natural alternative to your moisturizer that keeps the skin hydrated, plump, and healthy.
- The oil gets absorbed into the skin almost immediately, nourishes it from deep within, and leaves it silky smooth.
- High levels of antioxidants in the sesame oil help in fighting against oxidative damage caused by free radicals in the body (6). This is essential to keep signs of aging (wrinkles, fine lines, etc.) at bay and rejuvenate the skin fast.
- The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of the oil are effective in killing harmful microorganisms or averting their growth in the skin. This helps in combating pimples, acne, and breakouts.
- Sesame oil also has excellent anti-inflammatory qualities, which not only heal dryness, rashes, and infections but also reduce inflammation, redness, and swelling.
- If there are second-degree burn wounds, the topical application of sesame oil may help in healing them successfully (7).
- The oil forms a protective film over the skin to prevent it from the damage caused by the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.
- It is suitable for all types of skin including the oily and acne-prone one.
How to Use Sesame Oil for Glowing Skin?
There are many ways in which you can use sesame oil for glowing skin. We have listed them down:
1. As a Cleanser
The oil works best as a cleanser when it is warm. Before taking your bath, apply warm sesame oil all over your face and neck. Rub gently for 10 minutes by moving your fingertips in a circular motion. Leave it for 5 minutes and then, wipe off with a wet cotton ball or a damp washcloth. Finally, wash your face with a mild cleanser. Doing this every day will leave your pores squeaky clean, prevent your skin from getting dry, and also give it a natural glow.
2. As a Moisturizer
Cleanse your face well with a gentle herbal cleanser and lukewarm water and pat it dry completely. Now, apply a few drops of the oil all over it and massage slowly for 5 minutes. Let the oil get absorbed into the skin by leaving it on overnight. You can also smooth sesame oil on your skin after bath every day and see your skin respond to it like a dream! However, if you are bothered about the strong smell of the oil, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to it.
3. As a Sun Protector
If you do not want to use chemical-laden sunscreens, try applying a thin film of sesame oil on your skin at least half an hour before going out. You can also mix sesame oil with a few drops of carrot seed essential oil for this purpose as the latter is known to have the highest SPF. Just apply it to the skin after cleansing it thoroughly and you are all set with natural and effective sun protection.
4. As an Anti-Aging Agent
Replace your night cream with a few drops of sesame oil mixed with a drop of lavender essential oil. Massage this thoroughly on the skin in a circular motion so that the circulation of blood improves in it. This remedy also fights against the visible signs of aging as you enjoy your sleep at night. Hence, you will wake up with renewed skin the next morning.
5. As an Acne-Fighter
If you want to use sesame oil for acne or acne scars, simply dab it onto the affected area of the skin with a cotton ball. Leave it on overnight for the best results and wash it off in the morning with lukewarm water. However, make sure that you exfoliate your skin before trying this remedy in order to remove all dead skin cells and debris. This will help the oil get absorbed more easily into your skin.
If you have very oily skin, use sesame oil with caution. As you cannot be too sure about how your skin is going to react to the oil, it is always good to start with a patch test.
Other Benefits of Sesame Oil
Now, here are the potential health and hair benefits offered by sesame oil that you also must take into consideration:
- Two antioxidants i.e. sesamol and sesaminol in sesame oil may keep you protected against heart cell damage by inhibiting the production of free radicals in the body (8).
- The oil may prevent chronic inflammation by reducing inflammatory markers in the body (9), which reduces a number of illnesses including joint inflammation, toothaches, scrapes, etc. (10)
- Sesame oil contains as much as 82% unsaturated fatty acids (11), especially omega-6 fatty acids, which help prevent heart diseases (12) by delaying the formation of plaque in the arteries and lowering the levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol as well as triglycerides in the bloodstream.
- When it comes to keeping blood sugar under control and regulating it in the long run, sesame oil can be a great choice as it reduces blood sugar significantly even in people with diabetes (13).
- The oil has been found to provide relief from osteoarthritis, thereby reducing symptoms like joint pain to a large extent (14).
- The topical application of sesame oil has often been linked to reduced pain in arms and legs.
- Dripping it on the foreheads regularly may help improve the quality of sleep.
- Sesame oil is also effective in enhancing the strength and shine of hair by nourishing the scalp deeply.
Safety and Precautions to Follow
Unless you are allergic to sesame seeds, you can use sesame oil on your skin safely. However, both the topical and oral applications of the ingredient may trigger allergic reactions in people with sensitivity to it. This may also lead to mild to severe side effects like coughing, itchy throat, hoarse voice, nausea, vomiting, hives, facial redness, swelling, abdominal pain, diarrhea, trouble breathing, dizziness, fainting, rapid heartbeat, and even cardiac arrest. Therefore, it is always recommended that you consult a doctor before including sesame oil in your daily routine.
Sesame seeds are tiny edible seeds of the sesame plant with a rich, nutty flavor and high oil content. They have incredible benefits for our health, skin, and hair, which make them a vital part of both worldwide cuisines and folk medicines for more than thousands of years now. The light or dark brown-colored sesame oil is extracted from raw, cold-pressed sesame seeds. Being rich in essential mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, phenolic compounds, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, it holds excellent culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic properties. It gives a flawless, naturally radiant skin by cleansing and exfoliating it thoroughly, unclogging skin pores, moisturizing and nourishing the skin deeply, delaying the appearance of signs of aging, rejuvenating the skin, combating acne, reducing inflammation, healing wounds and burns, and providing complete sun protection. You can use it as a cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, anti-aging agent, and even acne-fighter. Besides, sesame oil is also effective in averting heart cell damage, curing chronic inflammation, enhancing cardiovascular health, controlling blood sugar levels, providing relief from arthritis symptoms, strengthening hair shafts, and so on. However, you must do a patch test or consult the doctor prior to including sesame oil in your daily routine. Otherwise, you may end up experiencing mild to severe allergic reactions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Sesame Oil Make Skin Fair?
Sesame oil does not change the skin complexion as such. But it protects the skin from UV damage and brings out its natural glow, which helps in lightening the skin tone and makes you look radiant.
Which is Better for Hair – Sesame Oil or Coconut Oil?
Both are great for hair. However, sesame oil is particularly beneficial for maintaining scalp health, strengthening hair shafts, promoting hair growth, and adding shine to it. On the other hand, coconut oil enhances the overall health and appearance of the locks, thus making them longer, stronger, and thicker.
Does Sesame Oil Darken Skin?
Sesame oil works as a natural sun protector which protects the skin from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. This helps in making the skin lighter rather than darkening it. The antioxidants in the oil also help in rejuvenating the skin cells, thereby contributing to its natural radiance.
Does Sesame Oil Grow Hair?
Yes, sesame oil is extremely effective in stimulating the growth of hair. It boosts blood circulation throughout the scalp, stops excessive hair loss, and facilitates the growth of new hair.
Is It OK to Eat Sesame Seeds Every Day?
It is absolutely okay to have sesame seeds every day. But make sure that you have at least a small handful of them to ensure the maximum health benefits.
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- “Putative Antioxidant Property of Sesame Oil in an Oxidative Stress Model of Myocardial Injury“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
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- “Effects of Sesame Oil in the Model of Adjuvant Arthritis“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov