Sesame oil is a wonderful asset to the culinary world, sporting fragrant notes that can help turn our daily dishes into delectable favourites.
But, did you know that sesame oil can actually do much more for us than simply flavour our food?
Revered for centuries as a part of Ayurvedic medicine, sesame oil skincare is certainly not a new practice, but is likely to be one most of us have never even considered.
Fortunately, we're here to tackle all your questions on what the sesame oil benefits for skin are, and how to incorporate them safely into your current beauty routine.
What is sesame oil?
Pressed from the seeds of the sesame plant, native to East Africa and India, sesame oil is one of the oldest vegetable carrier oils known to man.
It was cultivated during the time of the Indus Valley civilization and has since spread to a variety of different uses and purposes - primarily in cooking.
Also known by the botanical name Sesamum indicum, sesame oil is rich in essential fatty acids such as vitamins A, B, and E, as well as phenolic compounds like sesamin, tocopherol, and pinoresinol.
All of these natural factors contribute to sesame oil's success as a skincare ingredient.
What are the benefits of using sesame oil for skin?
Each nutrient contained within sesame carries a wealth of benefits for the skin and face. We've listed some of its most impactful properties below.
1. It moisturises dry skin
Sesame oil is one of the best all-natural moisturisers, thanks to its high levels of linoleic acid and vitamin B.
These fatty acids help form a protective layer along the skin barrier, preventing moisture from escaping while also locking existing moisture in.
The polyphenols present in sesame oil can also naturally balance your skin's pH levels, which can stop it from becoming too oily or too dry throughout the day - dependant on your skin type.
2. It can prevent signs of aging
Sesame oil, like many plant-based carrier oils, is packed full of vitamin E - a useful antioxidant that has been proven to reduce signs of aging and hyperpigmentation.
Frequent application of sesame oil could help repair damaged skin cells as well as reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. wrinkles, dark spots, and fine lines.
A 2006 study also noted sesame's ability to protect against photo-aging and photo-damage, thanks to the sesamol compound present in the oil.
3. It helps to treat acne
Sesame oil is both an effective antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory. This means that spot treating your acne with it could help to clean and reduce areas prone to breakouts.
According to the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, sesame oil also contains a very low comedogenic score, which means it's highly unlikely to clog pores and is suitable for those with acne-prone skin.
4. May protect against UV radiation
Filled to the brim with useful antioxidants, sesame oil may be a useful protector against the harsh UV rays of the sun.
This is because antioxidants can naturally neutralise oxidative damage caused by free radicals, pollutants, and sunlight. One 2011 study confirmed these effects, noting a resistance of up to 30% of UV rays after topical application of sesame oil.
Despite these claims, sesame oil should still always be used alongside medically confirmed sun protectors.
5. It can heal the skin from wounds
Sesame oil is naturally antimicrobial, and can help fight off any minor infections or irritations present on the skin.
It has also been said to enhance blood circulation and nutritional supply to the skin, which can boost the cell renewal process and repair any damaged scar tissues.
A 2014 study noted that these effects could be beneficial for treating wounds as well as boosting collagen levels.
6. It can help treat skin conditions
Those that suffer from eczema, psoriasis, and other related conditions could benefit greatly from using sesame oil in their day-to-day.
Sesame oil contains vitamins B and C, which have both proven incredibly effective against dry skin and irritation.
How to use sesame oil for glowing skin?
Sesame oil is not an essential oil, which means it doesn't need to be diluted in order to be safe for the skin.
Effectively, you can just slather it on wherever and however you see fit, but we've detailed some easy steps for use below just in case.
- As a cleanser: Warm the oil for a few moments and massage gently onto the body. Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing in the shower.
- As a moisturiser: Add a few drops of sesame oil to your existing product and use as normal.
- As an acne treatment: Dab onto affected areas with a cotton pad, being careful not to use too much. Leave on for a few hours or overnight.
You can also try applying sesame oil as a sun protector, but remember that this should only be done in conjunction with official products.
Are there any precautions to using sesame oil for skin?
Like most carrier oils, sesame is generally very mild on the skin and shouldn't cause any adverse effects or irritation. Having said that, sesame is also a known allergen, so intolerances are common.
If you're allergic to sesame or have shown any intolerances in the past, do not use the oil.
For those with sensitive skin, or for those that are unsure, it's best to perform a patch test before applying sesame oil to the rest of your body.
If you feel a tingling or itching, wash the oil off with warm water and cease use. If you experience extreme irritation or a rash, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sesame oil good for dry skin?
Sesame oil is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and has a low comedogenic score. All these factors make it a great choice for acne-prone skin.
Can I use sesame oil on my face?
You can use sesame oil on your face, but be sure to perform a patch test to rule out the possibility of any intolerance or allergies.
Fragrant sesame oil can do wonders for the appearance and health of your skin. Using it on a frequent basis can not only leave your skin feeling smooth and supple, but can also protect it against harmful irritants.