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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Jessica Gunawan on June 6, 2022

How To Use Sea Buckthorn For Beautiful Skin

Sea buckthorn contains properties that fight acne and winkles, boost skin's hydration, and even supports women's health. Read more about how to use this amazing fruit here.

Sea buckthorn min scaled

If you’re looking to add superfoods to your diet that give you beautiful skin, then add sea buckthorn to your shopping list.

Sea buckthorn is a fruit that’s chalked full of natural vitamin C, which aids in the production of collagen to give you firm skin.

Plus, it provides a good source of several other nutrients that aid skin health, including omega-3 fatty acids.

Read on to learn more about the health benefits of sea buckthorn for your health and your skin. We’ll also show you how to add it to your beauty routine.

What Is Sea Buckthorn?

Also known as Siberian pineapple, sea buckthorn is a hardy and resilient shrub that grows in the cold-temperate regions of Europe and Asia and has been used for centuries.

Aside from the use of its small orange berries as medicine, the plant is also used for its deep-reaching roots that help combat soil erosion. It can also replenish nutrients via its nitrogen-fixing properties.

Its Latin name “hippophae” refers to its use in ancient Greece in horse (hippo) feeding to promote a healthy and shiny (“phae”) coat.

In north-western China, sea buckthorn has also been found to be the secret ingredient that makes the feathers of the brown-eared pheasant bright and healthy.

The berries of the plant have nearly more vitamin C than nearly any other fruit known to humans. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, minerals, flavonoids, carotenoids (that give it its orange color), polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3, 6, 9, as well as the rare omega-7.

Health Benefits Of Sea Buckthorn

Sea buckthorn is commonly used in topical skincare ingredients to fight aging, acne, and more.

Numerous studies isolated the different compounds within the seed and berries of sea buckthorn. Therefore, it is a strong antioxidant.

They work to fight free radicals, support wound healing and reduce scars. They can also aid discoloration, and improve skin elasticity, tone, and moisture.

At the same time, they also treat issues like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and atopic dermatitis. Besides, they can also protect you against harmful radiation, with regenerative and anti-aging effects.

Hydrates and smoothes skin

Both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids play an important role in keeping your skin smooth and hydrated.

Used topically in creams, palmitic and stearic acids in sea buckthorn oil have occlusive properties that create a protective barrier and prevent water loss. Therefore, they can firm, moisten and soften your skin, and protect your skin’s integrity as well.

Research has shown that even a one-time application of creams consisting of natural emollients like sea buckthorn oil at a concentration of 40% leads to a significant increase in skin hydration without changing the pH of the skin. This is in comparison to creams using synthetic emollients.

Slows down the aging process

Gamma-linolenic acid (omega-6) is another unsaturated fatty acid that is abundant in sea buckthorn oil. A lack of this acid in the skin may lead to dryness, rigidity, and ease of lesioning – the hallmarks of aging skin.

Applying topical creams containing sea buckthorn oil may help protect against inflammation and slow down the aging process.

The carotenoids that give sea buckthorn fruit its orange color are also responsible for stimulating collagen synthesis.

Collagen works with vitamin C and antioxidants to help with the regeneration of new, healthy skin cells.

Additionally, the presence of phytosterols helps with the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity that may result from ultraviolet damage, further demonstrating the anti-aging potential of this amazing oil.

Palmitoleic acid (omega-7) can also inhibit the excessive formation of melanin on the skin, also known as hyperpigmentation.

Researchers believe it does this by inhibiting the activity of key melanogenic enzymes.

Fights acne

A young woman checking on her acne in front of the mirror after her shower
Acne is one of the most common skin issues in the U.S. that is treatable and usually temporary. Sea buckthorn contains anti-microbial properties that can help fight acne.

One of the well-known benefits of sea buckthorn oil is its anti-microbial properties, including in the treatment and prevention of acne.

Palmitoleic acid is a type of omega-7 monounsaturated fatty acid, which is also found in sebum.

The ability of sebum to be self-disinfecting on the skin surface is largely attributable to palmitoleic acid.

In an in vitro study, this fatty acid was found to have significant activity against acne-causing bacteria.

Additionally, linoleic acid encourages regulation of the sebaceous glands, unblocking pores, and lowering the incidence of blackheads.

Research has shown that indeed those with acne-prone skin tend to have low levels of linoleic acid.

Helps reduce psoriasis or eczema

As mentioned before, palmitoleic acid encourages skin regeneration and wound healing, minimizing scars as well.

Through these similar processes, the oil relieves rough, flaky, itchy, and irritated skin associated with conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

In addition, linolenic acid is also another key compound in combating these skin diseases.

One study found that subjects who used moisturizers that contain this ingredient prevented relapse of their psoriasis when compared to the use of corticosteroid cream.

Helps prevent hair loss

Similarly, sea buckthorn oil also has positive benefits for your hair. The lecithin found in the oil has moisturizing and cell renewal properties.

This substance may help remove excess sebum from your hair follicles. It also improves the structural qualities of the hair and helps restore the natural protective coating of hair. 

To strengthen damaged hair, there are shampoos, conditioners, and other hair treatment products that contain this oil. It works to restore its elasticity while preventing hair loss and balding.

Sea Buckthorn And Women’s Health

Aside from being a powerhouse ingredient in skincare, sea buckthorn oil has also been shown to help with vaginal dryness or atrophy. It can also improve vaginal tissue integrity and elasticity. This is beneficial for women who prefer natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy.

Studies have shown that the omega-7 in sea buckthorn is likely responsible for the great improvement of chronic vaginal inflammatory atrophy. This is found in study subjects who took oral capsules consistently for 12 weeks.

Besides, the oil also helps with rheumatoid arthritis and premenstrual syndrome. It can also prevent heart diseases. These conditions greatly affect women as they get older.

Sea Buckthorn And TCM

Sea buckthorn is used in TCM to help reduce coughing and indigestion.

Interestingly, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using sea buckthorn oil for centuries to reduce coughing, Phlegm, and indigestion.

Known as Sha Ji, it is considered a warm herb with a sour taste used for the Spleen, Stomach, Heart, and Lungs.

This medicinal fruit helps with conditions involving the Stagnation of fluids. This starts in the Spleen and spreads to the Lungs, forming Phlegm.

Therefore, sea buckthorn has a great ability to expel cough as well as ease digestion. TCM also recognizes its ability to fight Blood Stasis and improve circulation. It can help with amenorrhea, muscle cramps, and edema.

Western medicine focuses only on topical and capsule methods of consuming sea buckthorn oil. However, TCM embraces its strength as a fruit often used in juices, jams, and medicinal decoctions.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with sea buckthorn oil given all the benefits. It’s rich in bioactive compounds and fatty acids that promote health inside and out. It is no wonder this fruit is making a splash in the skincare scene.


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