Andiroba oil is relatively unknown to most of the world and has only recently been tapped by the skincare industry (along with the benefits of sulforaphane
) for their skincare formulations. However, Brazilians have long taken advantage of its health properties. That's because the country is rich with Andiroba trees, found in the Amazon Rainforest, where the oil comes from. This blog will bring you up to speed about the health benefits you can expect from using andiroba oil topically and how to best use it in your skin health routine.
What is andiroba seed oil?
Originating in the Amazon region, the Andiroba plant, or carapa guianensis, has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties. While the leaves and bark are useful for their own medicinal purposes, most andiroba seed oil is extracted from the fruit and its seeds. This oil (also known as crab oil) would then be spread directly on the skin to treat inflammation, arthritis, muscle and joint aches, skin ulcers, and as an insect-repellent1
. Andiroba oil contains plenty of beneficial compounds. These compounds include an abundance of fatty acids (specifically oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and linoleic acid), vitamin E, and various polyphenols. Skincare manufacturers include andiroba oil in their products because of these compounds and their antioxidative properties.
What is andiroba oil good for?
How good is andiroba oil for your skin? We’ve laid out 7 key benefits of andiroba oil, which have been reported over centuries of use and backed by scientific studies:
1. Reducing skin inflammation
Andiroba oil is rich in antioxidants, which can help soothe skin inflammation and repair damaged skin. Antioxidants accelerate the process of cellular repair and, in turn, reduce inflammation2
2. Prevention of wrinkles and fine lines
The antioxidants in andiroba oil also protect the skin from UV rays, which can help minimize sun damage. Particularly, it can reduce the oxidative stress that skin is subjected to as a result of sun damage, a leading cause of skin cancer and wrinkling of the skin2
3. Skin smoothing
While antioxidants prevent wrinkles, the smoothing out of existing fine lines and wrinkles is done by vitamin E. This is because vitamin E plays a role in the biosynthesis of collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans, which are all structural components of the extracellular matrix of the skin3
4. Wound healing and scar reduction
By promoting collagen synthesis, andiroba oil possesses particular cicatrizing properties that can ensure wounds heal properly with minimal scarring (4). This healthy cicatrization, or scar formation, is promoted by the increased collagen synthesis from applying andiroba oil.
5. Prevention of cellulite
Andiroba oil is also rich in tannins, compounds that can help strengthen the walls of veins, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels. This improves circulation to treated areas and cellulite prevention5
. Cellulite occurs when subcutaneous layers of fat accumulate and are accompanied by water retention and the stagnation of liquids due to poor blood circulation.
6. Organic Insect Repellent
Andiroba oil is rich in limonoids, a compound that acts as a natural insect repellent. It is a safer alternative to DEET because it doesn’t trigger irritation. Applying the oil to exposed skin can help prevent insect bites.
7. Skin Hydration
The fatty acids (linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid) found in andiroba oil can replenish the beneficial oils that naturally dry up in one’s skin with age, helping to keep skin hydrated 7
. This is ideal for people eager to prevent dry flaky skin on the face
8. Pain relief
This essential oil is also known to soothe pain, which makes andiroba oil an ideal massage oil.
Does andiroba oil clog pores?
A common concern when introducing oil-rich compounds to the skin is whether or not they will clog pores and subsequently result in acne. Andiroba oil is relatively light and thus scores a 2 out of 5 on the comedogenic scale. With a score of 2, it is expected to absorb quickly, leaving behind little residue. However, with this score, those with acne-prone skin may opt to test it on a patch of skin before integrating it into their routine, as it could potentially lead to a breakout (8). Andiroba oil is a particularly good choice for those with dry or irritated skin for its moisturizing and soothing properties. Furthermore, as andiroba oil is derived from a tree nut, it is recommended that those with an allergy to tree nuts also perform a patch test before incorporating it into daily use.
What are the health benefits of andiroba oil?
The most commonly reported and studied health benefits of andiroba oil are its moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and insect-repellent properties. Well-moisturized skin provides a resilient barrier to disease and infection. Andiroba oil is also known to help speed up the skin’s healing process, which is crucial to preserve the skin barrier after injury. Finally, andiroba oil can function as an insect repellent (comparable to 50% DEET), protecting your body from various insect-related pathogens.
Are there other uses for andiroba oil?
Aside from skincare, andiroba oil can be used for hair care thanks to its numerous nutrients. The essential fatty acids found in andiroba oil have been shown to penetrate the hair and help reduce the amount of water the hair absorbs. In turn, this limits changes in size due to the swelling and drying cycles, which can otherwise cause hair damage (9). Another important component of healthy hair is maintaining good circulation to the scalp, as it ensures that adequate nutrients reach the hair follicles (10). Good circulation can be promoted by introducing tannins to the scalp’s blood vessels. With andiroba oil being so rich in both essential fatty acids and tannins, it is only natural that its benefits are used for hair treatment in addition to the skin.
Are there any side effects to using andiroba oil?
Research into how andiroba oil affects humans when ingested orally is limited, therefore, it is recommended that andiroba oil only be used topically. Andiroba oil has the potential to irritate if used by those with a tree nut allergy and should be tested before use. Additionally, those with acne-prone and oily skin should be cautious when introducing andiroba oil in concentrated amounts, as it could exacerbate acne breakouts when compared to a more non-comedogenic oil. Otherwise, andiroba oil is unlikely to cause any side effects, such as irritation or inflammation, due to its soothing properties.
How OneSkin uses andiroba oil
With so many benefits, it is no surprise that andiroba oil has found a foothold in many high-quality skin care products. Few other ingredients address hydration, inflammation, healing, and wrinkle prevention in quite the same way as andiroba oil. That’s why OneSkin
chose to include ethically sourced andiroba oil in OS-01 FACE
, a Topical Supplement that promotes skin health on the molecular level through a blend of other scientifically validated and ethically sourced ingredients, including their proprietary OS-01 peptide. OS-01 FACE was formulated with all skin types in mind and contains the proper levels of andiroba oil to avoid clogging pores, especially for those with acne-prone skin. Learn more about the ingredients in OS-01 FACE and the benefits it can have on your skin.
- Andiroba is rich in essential fatty acid compounds, vitamin E, polyphenols, and limonoids.
- Antioxidants in andiroba oil help reduce skin inflammation and prevent photodamage, leading to wrinkles and fine lines.
- Andiroba oil boosts collagen synthesis, which can help smooth skin, reduce scarring, and promote wound healing.
- Andiroba oil can prevent the formation of cellulite by improving circulation with tannins.
- Andiroba oil functions as a natural insect repellent when applied topically.
- Andiroba oil has moisturizing and hydrating properties due to its essential fatty acid compounds.