What Are the Benefits of Using Avocado Oil on My Skin?

Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, COI on January 17, 2017Written by Annamarya Scaccia

Why should I use avocado oil?

Avocado oil is a great tool for cooking flavorful and healthy meals. It’s an excellent source of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. But have you ever considered using this delicious fruit to soothe and heal your skin?

The absorbent oil is thought to have numerous benefits for your skin, like moisturizing dry hands or acting as a natural sunblock. You can apply avocado oil directly to your skin or mix it with your favorite beauty products.

Are there benefits to using avocado oil on my skin?

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in avocado oil help your skin stay smooth, strong, and elastic. You can buy avocado oil in any health or grocery store and use it to:

  • calm itchy skin
  • heal chapped skin
  • replenish dry skin
  • hydrate and moisturize skin
  • shield skin from ultraviolet radiation
  • protect against skin damage

Some people may refer to avocado oil as an essential oil, but that's not entirely accurate. Thick and green-colored, avocado oil is actually considered a carrier oil.

Essential oils are highly concentrated lubricants distilled from the aromatic parts of a plant such as the root or leaves. Carrier oils are pressed from the seeds, nuts, or other fatty parts of the fruit, and are used to help dilute essential oils. Essential oils evaporate and have strong scents, whereas carrier oils do not.

The main benefits of avocado oil are to soothe and add moisture, so it won't work as well if you have oily skin. Using avocado oil won't leave a lot of grease behind.

Check out: What are the benefits of rosehip oil? »

What the research says

Researchers have documented how natural oils like avocado oil can be beneficial for your skin. This works whether you use avocado oil by itself or combine it with another agent like your favorite skin cream.

The beta carotene, protein, lecithin, fatty acids, and vitamins A, D, and E found in avocado oil help moisturize and protect your skin from damaging UV rays and also increase collagen metabolism. A 2015 study found that a topical skin cream consisting of avocado, tea tree, emu, and jojoba oils had positive antimicrobial effects.

Avocado oil may also help heal wounds. A 2013 study found that the linoleic acid, oleic acid, and other monosaturated fatty acids in avocado oil can speed up wound healing.

The results above come from animal studies. More research needs to be done to study these effects of avocado oil on people.

Some evidence suggests that avocado oil can help treat skin conditions such as plaque psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune condition that causes thick, scaly, red patches on the skin. A 2001 study found that avocado oil mixed in vitamin B-12 cream could ease psoriasis symptoms for a longer period than the traditional vitamin D-3 therapy. The researchers theorize that a vitamin B-12 cream containing avocado oil could be used as a long-term tropical treatment for psoriasis.

How to use avocado oil on your skin

You can use avocado oil in your skincare routine in a variety of ways. You can massage the oil on your skin, rub it on your face like a mask, or add it to your in-shower lotion. It can be used every day or a few times a month without any adverse effects. Not sure where to start? Try using avocado oil in the following ways:

  • As a lotion for chapped skin: Massage a good amount of avocado oil into your skin after you bathe. You can use the avocado oil by itself, or add a few drops to one of your everyday body lotions.
  • As a facial oil moisturizer: Fill 2/3 of a 1-ounce bottle with avocado oil. Pick another nourishing oil like tamanu or emu and use it to fill up the last third of the bottle. Add three to four droplets of your favorite essential oil like lavender or rose. Twist on the cap and shake well.

Pour a little of your homemade oil on the palm of your hand, dab your fingers into the oil, and apply it to your face. You can also use the oil as a hand moisturizer. The oil can last up to a year if you keep the bottle out of the sunlight.

  • As a homemade facemask: Cut a ripe avocado into cubes and add a small amount of avocado oil. Use a fork or spoon to mash it into an even paste. Apply the paste to your face and let it set for 10 to 15 minutes. You can wash off the avocado mask with warm water or a face cleanser, depending on your skin type.
  • As a natural anti-aging skin cream: Mix 1/4 cup avocado oil with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tablespoons beeswax, 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil, and 1 tablespoon Shea butter in a glass jar. Put the jar, without its lid, in a pot filled with about four inches of water. Bring to a simmer. Stir the ingredients as they melt in the jar. Once melted, pour the cream into a smaller jar and let it sit until the mixture hardens. Put the lid on the jar and store the cream in a cool place.

Check out: Everything you need to know about cocoa butter »

Risks and warnings

Studies on the side effects of avocado oil are scarce. As with any product, it’s a good idea to do a patch test on your skin first to rule out any allergies.

To do this, rub a dime-sized amount of the oil into the inside of your forearm. If you don’t experience any irritation or inflammation within 24 hours, the oil should be safe for you to use.

If you’re allergic to avocados, check with your doctor before using avocado oil.

What you can do now

If you’re ready to incorporate avocado oil into your skincare routine, you won’t have to look too far. Avocado oil is available online for as little as $5 for a small bottle. You can also purchase avocado oil in your local organic food store or at a health store chain like GNC.

Upon use, you may feel the benefits of avocado oil almost instantly on your skin. In order to see long-term results, though, you’ll need to use avocado oil consistently over time.

Keep reading: A guide to taking care of your skin »

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