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What is hazelnut oil?

Hazelnut oil is liquid extracted from a hazelnut by a machine called a press. It’s commonly used for cooking and in salad dressings. It’s also used for hair care and as a carrier oil for aromatherapy or massage oils.

But hazelnut oil can also be used as a skin care product. It’s loaded with skin-nourishing vitamins and essential fatty acids that help protect skin against sun damage, boost collagen production, and more.

Keep reading to learn more about how hazelnut can benefit your skin and how to add it to your skincare routine.

In most cases, hazelnut oil is safe for people with sensitive skin. Although it’s an astringent (more on that below), it’s different from the alcohol-based astringents you often see in the skin care aisle.

Alcohol-based astringents can be harsh and can dry out or irritate your skin. Hazelnut oil is a natural, alcohol-free astringent that doesn’t usually cause irritation.

The high vitamin E and fatty acid content in hazelnut oil can help increase hydration in the outermost layer of the skin. By keeping skin hydrated, vitamin E also helps improve skin elasticity, making it look firm and supple.

Hazelnut oil’s fatty acids and vitamin E also make it an effective moisturizer. These ingredients help create a natural oil barrier that helps your skin retain water and avoid drying out.

Hazelnut oil contains tannins, which are powerful antioxidants. The tannins in hazelnut oil make it an astringent that can help dry oily skin, cleanse and shrink pores, and remove bacteria.

Collagen is an essential protein that holds your bones, organs, and tendons together. It gives your skin structure and elasticity. Our skin produces less collagen as we age, but vitamin E can help. It enables collagen production by reducing an enzyme that destroys collagen.

Applying products high in vitamin E to your skin may help reduce the appearance of scars, but the research is inconclusive.

In one study, children with surgical scars who applied vitamin E to their skin three times a day didn’t develop keloids (extra scar tissue) over their wounds.

However, another study found that vitamin E produced no better results than a petroleum-based ointment. One-third of the people who had used vitamin E also developed an itchy rash called contact dermatitis.

The vitamin E in hazelnut oil may also help reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Vitamin E is an important antioxidant for skin care because it helps smooth your skin as well as helps the outer layer of skin retain water and moisture.

However, some research suggests that products combining vitamin E and C are more effective at fighting signs of aging than products with only vitamin E. Hazelnut oil doesn’t contain vitamin C.

But hazelnut oil alone may help with photoaging: research suggests that fatty acids, like those in hazelnut oil, could also help reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles caused by sun exposure.

Sunlight creates free radicals, which harm your cells and lead to signs of aging in your skin. Vitamin E helps protect your body by neutralizing free radicals and protecting cell membranes from sun damage.

Hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes skin to darken. It can affect small or large areas of your skin.

Hyperpigmentation can be caused by several factors, including:

  • acne
  • sun damage
  • pregnancy
  • taking certain birth control pills
  • injuries to the skin

Hazelnut oil is rich in vitamin E, and experimental evidence suggests that vitamin E can reduce hyperpigmentation. However, more research is needed to truly determine its efficacy.

You can apply hazelnut oil to your skin on its own or combine it with other oils. You can also use it as a base if you make your own lotions or creams.

Make sure you do a skin patch test before you do a full application. To do this:

  1. Rub a dime-sized amount of oil into the inside of your forearm.
  2. Cover the area with a bandage and wait 24 hours.
  3. If you experience irritation, rinse your forearm thoroughly and don’t use the oil again. If the irritation is severe, call your doctor.

If you don’t notice any inflammation or irritation within 24 hours, hazelnut oil should be safe for you to apply elsewhere.

Once the oil has passed your patch test, you can apply it:

  1. Cover your face or other area of skin with a hot, damp washcloth for about 20 seconds.
  2. Remove the washcloth and massage about 1/2 teaspoon of hazelnut oil into your skin. You can use more or less if desired.
  3. Let the oil sit for 30 seconds.
  4. Use a hot, damp washcloth to gently wipe it off.

This process cleanses your face and also removes most types of makeup. You can use hazelnut oil as you would any other cleanser, either in the morning or at night, or both. If using at night, use the oil before putting on any night creams.

Popular hazelnut oils available on Amazon include:

For most people, hazelnut oil is safe to use daily. However, keep reading to learn about possible risks and side effects.

Research is limited on the possible side effects and risks of using hazelnut oil for skin care.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends that people who are allergic to tree nuts (like hazelnuts) avoid tree nut oils or any products containing them.

Even if you aren’t allergic to tree nuts, it’s a good idea to check for an allergic reaction before using hazelnut oil. An easy way to do this is with a patch test on your skin, as described above.

Hazelnut oil is rich in vitamin E, which is considered safe for most people. However, getting too much of it through your diet, supplements, or by using it on your skin could be harmful to your health.

Too much vitamin E can cause:

  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • blurred vision
  • gas
  • diarrhea

If you’re concerned about your vitamin E intake, talk to your doctor before you start using hazelnut oil.

You should also talk to your doctor before use if you take an oral blood-thinning medicine. Too much vitamin E could increase the medication’s effects, ultimately leading to increased bleeding and longer clotting times.

Using hazelnut oil on your skin could provide many benefits, from smoothing and hydrating your skin to protecting against sun damage.

Hazelnut oil is generally considered gentle and safe, but check with your doctor before using it if you’re concerned about any health risks.