Your Guide to Using Avocado Oil in Your Skin-Care Routine

Getty / Oksana Volina Arx0nt and Photo Illustration: Keila Gonzalez

If you’re a fan of avocados and incorporate them into your diet often, you’re probably aware of their spectacular health benefits. Avocado oil, which is extracted from the pulp of this nutrient-dense fruit, is jam-packed with just as many benefits. Though it’s used in a variety of different ways in cooking, it’s also a popular ingredient for skin-care products formulated to soothe skin and treat irritations such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and even sunburn.

The multifaceted ingredient is a perfect additive to hydrating products like serums, face masks, undereye treatments, lip products, and face cleansers due to how rich it is in vitamins and minerals. In different formulations, avocado oil acts as an antioxidant, an emollient, and an anti-inflammatory.

If you’re hesitant about using an ingredient on your face that is so heavily associated with the kitchen, think about the many skin-care products you have in your medicine cabinet that are made with coconut oil and oats. These ingredients are frequently used for cooking and found in your go-to face cleansers and moisturizers. Still unsure about avocado oil? We consulted board-certified dermatologists to give us all the details about what it is, avocado oil benefits for skin, and how to use it.

What Is Avocado Oil?

Extracted from the pulp of avocados, avocado oil is an antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory ingredient that’s found in various skin-care products. It’s also “loaded with fatty acids – specifically monounsaturated fatty acids – antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties,” board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Deanne Mraz, MD, FAAD, tells POPSUGAR. These fatty acids hydrate the skin while supporting a healthy skin barrier.

Avocado oil is pretty skin-friendly. In fact, it contains vitamins E and C – two powerful antioxidants that “help fight free radicals and UV-induced damage to the skin, preventing the breakdown of collagen and elastin and the signs of premature aging skin, like dark spots,” Dr. Mraz says.

Avocado Oil Skin-Care Benefits

Avocado oil has a plethora of benefits for the skin. Board-certified dermatologist Stephanie Saxton-Daniels, MD, says that it “can help with moisturization and provide some antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E.”

Additionally, according to a study published in the journal Molecules, avocado oil is a good source of potassium and lecithin, which aids in moisturizing. Your epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, is able to absorb these powerful nutrients with ease, leading to the formation of new skin. The oil will help maintain your skin’s hydration while fighting against any damage from free radicals, which is what breaks down your skin’s collagen and leads to blemishes, wrinkles, dark spots, and fine lines.

Those who experience inflammation caused by psoriasis and eczema will likely feel relief when using a face or body product with avocado oil that aims to soothe and heal dry, irritated, and flaky skin. This is due to the antioxidants and vitamins found in the oil, which also help reduce redness and inflammation that’s often paired with acne.

While the list of what avocado oil can do for skin goes on and on, a few key benefits that may intrigue you are: it can help wounds heal more quickly, it treats and soothes sunburn, it can help the skin retain elasticity, and it can improve nail and scalp health, according to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

How to Use Avocado Oil For Skin

When avocado oil is used as an ingredient in skin-care products, it’s largely due to its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. You’ll find it listed as an ingredient in many moisturizers, creams, and sunscreens because of how well it nourishes the skin. To really enhance the powers of the oil, dermatologists recommend pairing a product containing the ingredient with other moisturizing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, to further increase the hydration of the skin.

Another trick is to add a few drops of organic, unrefined, cold-pressed avocado oil to your daily body moisturizer or facial serum, Dr. Mraz explains, adding that “it can be especially helpful for anyone prone to inflammation-based skin issues with rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.”

While avocado oil can be used for cooking, Dr. Saxton-Daniels says you don’t want to use that particular type on your skin; you’ll need to find oil that is specifically for cosmetic use, as it’s typically less concentrated and therefore safe for the skin.

Is It Safe to Use on Sensitive Skin?

If you have sensitive skin, Dr. Mraz says it’s important to incorporate the ingredient into your skin-care routine slowly. While it is a great ingredient found in many different products, avocado oil can be allergenic and lead to clogged pores.

Dr. Saxton-Daniels suggests doing a patch test on an area of your skin first to see how your body reacts to the new formula. Because of the potential comedogenic nature of avocado oil, she advises avoiding it if your skin is oily and acne-prone. If you have known skin allergies, she also strongly recommends you read the label of your products before use. “People with latex allergy can also have a cross-reaction with avocados, so caution is advised in those individuals,” Dr. Saxton-Daniels says. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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