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Have you heard of Chia seed oil? This natural ingredient has become popular in modern skincare, with whole brands utilizing it as their main component (Maya Chia comes to mind).
You might be somewhat familiar with chia seeds if your family owned a “chia pet.” When the seeds sprout, they look a little like alfalfa sprouts.
What are the skin benefits of chia seed oil? In this article, you will learn what chia seed is and why it is a beneficial skincare ingredient.
What is Chia Seed Oil?
Chia seed oil is extracted from the plant, Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. The word “chia” is derived from the Nahuatl word chian, meaning oily.
Chia seeds have a long history of use by the Incan and Mayan cultures as a food and source of energy. Chia seeds are high in fiber, antioxidants, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids. They are low in sodium and cholesterol and are a good source of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.
About Chia Seed Oil
- Shelf life – 1 year
- Medium viscosity
- Pale to medium yellow hue
- Pleasent, mildly nutty, and sweet aroma.
Chia seed oil is high in antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol.
Antioxidants in Chia Seed Oil
Caffiec acid may act as a potent chemopreventive agent against skin cancer (source).
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in plants, giving fruits and vegetables their deep, vibrant color. It helps prevent the formation of wrinkles by acting as an antioxidant and helps keep the skin from becoming inflamed. One study concluded:
“Quercetin has a skin protective effect against damage caused by a variety of insults, including UV radiation, histamine, or contact with toxic chemical compounds. Indeed, quercetin is able to reduce redness, itching, and inflammation of damaged skin; it may also help restore skin barrier function, increasing hydration, and reducing water loss.”Soothing and anti-itch effect of quercetin phytosome in human subjects: a single-blind study – Source
Kaempferol, like quercetin, is a flavonoid that acts as a potent anti-inflammatory (source).
Fatty acid profile of Chia Seed Oil
- Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega-3) C18:3 58.99%
- Linoleic Acid (Omega-6) C18:2 20.77%
- Palmitic Acid C16:0 6.91%
- Stearic Acid C18:0 3.45%
- Oleic Acid C18:1 8.73%
Chia seed oil is considered the most abundant botanical sources of omega-3 fatty acids found in nature, offering more than flax seed or fish oil.
Alpha-Linolenic Acid Skin Benefits
ALA is an omega 3 essential fatty acid. The body cannot make ALA on its own, which is why it is considered an essential fatty acid (along with omega 6 linolenic acid). Essential fatty acids must be brought into the body by outside sources.
Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (EFA’s) are crucial to the proper functioning of the skin. Application of EFA rich oils can modulate the inflammatory response of the skin and protect against photodamage and photoaging (source).
Chia Seed Oil is Useful For:
- Anti-aging and wrinkle reduction
- Scar prevention
- Dry and dull skin
- Dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis and Other Auto-Immune Skin Conditions
Chia Seed Oil Skin Benefits
- Absorbs into the skin well, plumping it and decreasing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Helps in increasing the skin’s elasticity and firmness levels.
- Chia seed oil contains Vitamin B3 and Zinc, which are exceptional for treating oily skin and clogged pores.
- Dehydrated and irritated skin can benefit from the high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Studies have shown that the antioxidants in chia seed oil are even more intense than Vitamin C and E.
- Zinc and antioxidants help heal the skin and keep it free from bacterial and fungal infections.
- Antioxidants in chia seed oil work with the skin and hair to help slow down the aging process.
- By incorporating chia seed oil into your routine at an early age, you can prevent the aging process before it even begins.
Chia Seed Oil Hair Benefits
- As if reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles isn’t good enough, the copper in chia seed oil can strengthen, shine, and prevent grey hairs.
- Chia seed oil can be placed in the hair alone, or mixed into any hair mask you already own.
- Mixing a little bit of chia seed oil into any affordable hair mask is a fabulous DIY trick to get top results for less money.
- Feel free to get creative and mix chia seed oil into shampoo, conditioner, hair masks or hair oils.
How to Use Chia Seed Oil
- Chia seed oil is every DIY lover’s dream since it can be mixed into any face, body, or hair cream.
- Chia seed oil bought on its own is very affordable and can be dropped into any cosmetic product you already own to intensify the effects.
- Apply directly to the nails or mix in with your favorite cuticle oil.
- Mix a few drops into your face cream or serum for added benefits.
- Apply as needed to the scalp to prevent dryness
- Sparingly mix into your favorite lip balm or apply alone.
- Apply alone or mix into your favorite hair mask for an intense treatment.
Where to Buy Chia Seed Oil
The best chia seed oil is made by the brand, Maya Chia. They have patented their supercritical extraction of chia seed oil to contain no solvents and to use no heat.
[Read: Maya Chia Brand Review]
If you are wanting to shop on Amazon, I recommend the brand, Botanical Beauty.
If you are on the hunt for a product that is excellent for all skin types, combats fine lines and wrinkles, and contains healthy ingredients, we recommend incorporating chia seed oil into your beauty routine.
Have you ever used Chia seed oil? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.