Fruit Oils in Skin Care - The Dermatology Review

Fruit Oils in Skin Care

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10.11.18 AD DISCLOSURE

Persea gratissima (Avocado) Oil Unsaponifiables
Persea gratissima is a flowering tree that produces a fruit known as an avocado. Botanically, an avocado is considered to be a large berry that contains a single large seed known as a “pit” or a “stone”. In order to create avocado oil for use in skin care products, the avocado flesh is first dried to remove as much water as possible. Then, the oil is extracted with solvents at elevated temperatures. After extraction, the oil is usually refined, bleached, and deodorized, resulting in an odorless yellow oil that can be used in skin care products.

Avocado oil contains a high percentage of unsaponifiables (about 5 to 12%) compared to most other oils which only contain about 1 to 2%. The unsaponifiable portion of an oil is the part that fails to form soaps when treated with sodium hydroxide (lye) or potassium hydroxide. Avocado oil unsaponifiables contain phytosterols, including beta-sitosterol and campesterol. Phytosterols are similar to cholesterol and benefit the skin by replenishing its lipid barrier while also providing soothing effects. The antioxidant vitamin E can also be found in avocado oil unsaponifiables. Vitamin E helps to combat free radicals that can cause premature skin aging, and also contributes to strengthening the skin barrier.

Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil
Citrus aurantium bergamia, also known as the bergamot orange, is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow or green color similar to a lime. Bergamot fruit oil is primarily used as a fragrance ingredient in skin care products and perfumes. It is valued for its ability to combine with an array of scents, forming aromas that complement each other.

Bergamot fruit oil can also be used in skin cleansers and soaps due to its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. A review published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology, reports that bergamot fruit oil can inhibit the growth of Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, and Staphylococcus aureus. Unfortunately, bergamot fruit oil is a photosensitizer. This means that after topical application the skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight, which can result in skin redness and irritation.

Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil
The lemon, Citrus limon, is a species of small evergreen tree in the flowering plant family Rutaceae. Juice from lemons is used for purposes such as cooking, cleaning, and as a fragrance ingredient. Lemon peel oil comes from cold-pressing the lemon peel rather than the inner fruit. In fact, the peel is the most nutrient-dense portion of the lemon because of its fat soluble phytonutrients.

Lemon peel oil is composed of many natural compounds, including terpenes, sesquiterpenes, aldehydes, alcohols, esters and sterols. Lemon peel oil has strong antioxidant activity that helps protect the skin from free radical damage. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes lemon peel oil an effective ingredient for helping minor skin irritations (i.e. wounds, burns, insect bites, etc.) Unfortunately, lemon peel oil is a photosensitizer. This means that after topical application the skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight, which can result in skin redness and irritation.

Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil
In cosmetics and skin care products, the term “Citrus nobilis” refers to ingredients derived from the mandarin orange. However, the more accurate scientific name for the mandarin orange is Citrus reticulata. The mandarin orange is a small citrus tree with fruit resembling other oranges, although they are are smaller and oblate, rather than spherical like the common orange. Mandarin orange peel oil is primarily used as a fragrance ingredient in skin care products and perfumes due to its sweet citrus scent.

In skin care products, mandarin orange peel oil is claimed to help diminish signs of acne, stretch marks, and scars. However, there is no research showing it has any benefit when applied to the skin. Furthermore, mandarin orange peel oil is a photosensitizer. This means that after topical application the skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight, which can result in skin redness and irritation.

Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Peel Oil Expressed
Citrus sinensis is the scientific name for the orange, which may also be referred to as the sweet orange to distinguish it from the bitter orange (Citrus aurantium). Oil can be expressed from fresh epicarps, the tough outer skin of the orange, resulting in an ingredient known as Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Peel Oil Expressed.

Orange peel oil contains a high concentration of vitamin C. In fact, research shows that orange peel contains even higher levels of vitamin C than the fruit itself. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that provides the skin with many benefits, including protecting the skin from harmful free radicals, stimulating collagen production, and reducing hyperpigmentation. Therefore, orange peel oil is a desirable ingredient for use in anti-aging skin care products. One disadvantage of orange peel oil is that it is a photosensitizer. This means that after topical application the skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight, which can result in skin redness and irritation.

Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil
The olive, known by the botanical name Olea europaea, meaning “European olive”, is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae. Olive fruit oil is created by the crushing of the ripe fruit (olives) of Olea europaea.

Upon topical application, olive fruit oil is absorbed very slowly and functions as an emollient, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth. The oil contains several essential fatty acids, including oleic, palmitic, and linoleic acids, which aid in replenishing the skin’s lipid barrier. A strong barrier is important to prevent harmful things like allergens, bacteria, and irritants from entering the skin. In addition to providing protection from environmental factors, the skin’s lipid barrier also functions to prevent excessive water loss. Overall, olive fruit oil is an excellent ingredient for dry, damaged, or irritated skin.

Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil
Prunus armeniaca is a small, flowering tree that produces a yellow to orange fruit known as an apricot. The apricot kernel contains about 40 to 50% oil, which can be pressed from the kernel to produce apricot kernel oil. The oil is primarily composed of oleic acid and linoleic acid, both of which are unsaturated fatty acids.

In skin care products, the fatty acids in apricot kernel oil help to balance, nourish, and lubricate the skin by replenishing the lipid barrier. A strong barrier is important to prevent harmful things like allergens, bacteria, and irritants from entering the skin. In addition to providing protection from environmental factors, the skin’s lipid barrier also functions to prevent excessive water loss. Due to these properties, apricot kernel oil is an excellent ingredient for dry, damaged, or irritated skin.

Rosa Canina (Dog Rose) Fruit Oil
Rosa canina, commonly known as the dog rose, is a climbing, wild rose species native to Europe, northwest Africa, and western Asia. The flowers are usually pale pink, but can vary between a deep pink and white. Like other roses, Rosa canina produces a red-orange fruit known as a hip. Extracts from the hips are used in a variety of skin care products.

Rose fruit oil provides a rich supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic and linolenic acids. These fatty acids can improve the skin’s natural barrier function, which in turn helps to keep the skin moisturized and soft. Rose fruit oil also contains a high concentration of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that provides the skin with many benefits, including protecting the skin from harmful free radicals, stimulating collagen production, and reducing hyperpigmentation. Thus, rose fruit oil is a beneficial ingredient in anti-aging skin care products.

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