When using an essential oil, carrier oil is often recommended to dilute the solution before topical application. In some cases, natural carrier oils can even have therapeutic qualities when used alone, depending on the mode of application and reason for treatment.
Many users may ask what is avocado oil and what are the best uses for avocado oil—either alone or as a base oil for essential oils. Due to its vitamin-rich properties that include essential nutrients, phytochemicals and monosaturated fats, there are a number of topical avocado oil uses.1,8 Refined avocado oil has also been traditionally used in cosmetics for skin and hair care because of its quick absorption, as well for its high concentrations of vitamin E and additional antioxidants.2
Although both essential oils and carrier oils are derived naturally from plants, carrier oils usually do not have a strong scent, and can be mixed with many different essential oils without compromising their aroma. The list of carrier oils most commonly used in conjunction with essential oils include: jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil, avocado seed oil, and even olive oil. There are a countless number of combinations that can be used for a variety of treatments, however, for specific health benefits, some are more effective than others.
How is Avocado Oil Made?
Extra virgin avocado oil is made from the mechanical extraction of oil from avocado (Persea americana) trees. The process is similar to olive oil extraction, where the fruit’s flesh is made into a paste and mixed (“malaxing”) for a period of time.2
The numerous properties of avocado oil include its content of fatty acids, vitamins A, C, D, E, chlorophylls, and carotenoids.2,8 The therapeutic benefits of cold pressed avocado oil have also been shown to prevent aging skin.1 For use in natural beauty and skin care regimes, pure avocado oil has additional benefits for hair growth and for acne treatment.
Avocado Oil for Hair
When determining how to use avocado oil for hair growth, there are several beneficial properties that make it an effective natural hair treatment.
Using unrefined avocado oil for hair has been noted anecdotally to be particularly helpful at moisturizing damaged and dry hair. Because of its high content of monosaturated fats, avocado oil can also be used as an effective moisturizing carrier oil for peppermint oil. This combination may also be used to promote hair growth. A 2014 study concluded that the topical application of peppermint essential oil may help stimulate hair growth and increase dermal thickness and follicle count.3
Read More: Essential Oils for Hair
Avocado Hair Mask Recipe
To help promote increased moisture and hair growth, a natural avocado oil hair mask can easily be made at home. Mix 2 drops of peppermint essential oil with 2 drops of avocado oil and massage into scalp. Leave in for up to 10 minutes before rinsing out.
Additional avocado oil uses for hair include being a natural shampoo or conditioner. Avocado oil is considered a great carrier oil for lavender essential oil, which has also been found to promote hair growth.6 Because lavender essential oil is milder than peppermint essential oil, this may be a good alternative for sensitive skin.
Avocado Oil for Skin
For users wondering is avocado oil good for your skin, its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may help treat a number of skin problems. These include treatment of psoriasis, acne, signs of aging, and have even be used for protection against UVB light.1,6,7,8 Because avocado oil contains vitamin E and antioxidants like polyphenols, this provides added protection to the skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for use against acne and in some cases, can provide treatment against wounds.8
Read More: Essential Oils for Skin
For use of avocado oil for massage—either combined with essential oils, or alone—you can directly apply the oil to the skin. An avocado oil massage can be used on the body or the face.
Avocado Oil for Face
The deep penetrating quality of avocado oil may help regulate sebum oil produced by oil glands under the skin.2 If hair follicles become clogged, sebum can become trapped and contribute to the formation of acne.
While the use of avocado oil for acne may seem counterproductive when used as a carrier oil for tea tree essential oil, it may help reduce inflammation and treat acne. A study in 2007 found the treatment for mild to moderate acne in a group of 60 patients was significantly more effective for the group of 30 who used a topical tea tree oil gel on their skin.6
Read More: Essential Oils for Acne
Avocado Oil Face Cleanser
The antibacterial properties in tea tree essential oil with the moisturizing and vitamin-rich properties of avocado oil can easily be combined to make a daily facial cleanser. Combine 9 Tsp. of avocado oil with 1 Tsp. of tea tree essential oil in a sealable container. After cleansing skin, take a small amount of the blend and gently massage on the face. Allow it to soak in for 10-15 minutes. After applying avocado oil on face or neck areas, make sure to thoroughly wash off with warm water and pat dry.
Avocado Oil Benefits
The benefits of avocado oil have been proven to be effective in many aspects both for cosmetic reasons and for overall health due to its high concentration of vitamins, monosaturated fats and other healthy properties.1 Avocado carrier oil benefits can be used with essential oils such as tea tree oil and lavender—both of which are less likely to irritate the skin upon application.
The benefits of avocado oil for hair include increased moisture and shininess. A hair mask can be made in combination with peppermint essential oil to help promote hair growth and provide a cooling, tingling sensation.
For those wondering what is avocado oil good for beyond cosmetic use, emerging evidence has discovered avocado oil may be an effective treatment for wounds and psoriasis. In a 2001 study, researchers used a cream that contained vitamin B12 and avocado oil, on patients with chronic plaque psoriasis. After 12 weeks, researchers noted that with the use of avocado oil, skin benefits from increased moisture. The cream was considered a well-tolerated therapy in treating plaque psoriasis.7
In a 2013 study, avocado oil’s rich concentration of oleic acid and fatty acids were shown to promote collagen production on skin wounds in test subjects. It was also shown to reduce the count of inflammatory cells around the affected area.8
Where to Buy Avocado Oil
While you can purchase avocado oil in stores like Walmart or Whole Foods, if you are planning on using it as a base oil for essential oils or applying externally, Essential Oil Experts recommends purchasing pure avocado oil from an essential oil vendor, as their products are specifically intended for these purposes. Cold pressed and organic avocado oil can easily be purchased online at very reasonable prices.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Dreher, M., Davenport, A. (2013 May). Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 53(7): 738-750. doi: 1080/10408398.2011.556759.
- Wong, M., Raquejo-Jackman, C., Woolf, A. (2010 April). What is unrefined, extra virgin cold-pressed avocado oil? AOCS Your Global Fats and Oils Connection. Retrieved June 2, 2017, from https://www.aocs.org/stay-informed/read-inform/featured-articles/what-is-unrefined-extra-virgin-cold-pressed-avocado-oil-april-2010 – View reference
- Young Oh, J., Ah Park, M., Chul Kim, Y. (2014). Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs. Toxicological Research. 30(4):297-307. doi:5487/TR.2014.30.4.297
- Cavanagh, H., Wilkinson, J. (2002). Biological activities of Lavender essential oil. Phytotherapy Research. Volume 16: Issue 4. 301-308. Doi: 10.1002/ptr.1103
- Rosenblat, G., Meretski, S., Segal, J., Tarshis, M., Schroeder, A., Zanin-Zhoroc, A., Lion, G., Ingber, A., Hochberg, M. (2011 May). Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells. Iarch Dermatol Res. 303(4):239-46. doi: 10.1007/s00403-010-1088-6
- Enshaieh, S., Jooya, A., Siadat, AH., Iraji, F. (2007). The efficacy of 5% topical tea tree oil gel in mild to moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 72(1):22-5. PMID: 17314442. Retrieved June 2, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17314442
- Stuker, M., Memmel, U., Hoffman, M., Hartung, J., Altmeyer, P. (2001) Vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil in the therapy of plaque psoriasis. Dermatology. 203(2):141-7. Retrieved June 2, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11586013/
- Oliveira, A., Souza Franco, E., Barreto, R., Cordeiro, D., Melo, R., Aquino, C., Eilva, A., Medeiros, P., Silva, T., Silva Goes, A., Sousa Maia, M. (2013 March). Effect of Semisolid Formulation of Persea Americana Mill Oil on Wound Healing in Rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Doi: 10.1155/2013/472382