The Good Oil - Part 3

Part 3: Phyto-chemicals for Natural Vitality


Welcome back to the good oil on oil!

 In Part 1, I described the time-tested benefits of oil-based health and beauty rituals. In Part 2, I covered why essential fatty acids are essential to health, particularly skin health. In this part, I am going to cover a less well-known but very important aspect of oil – phyto-chemicals!

 Oils are mostly lipids, but not just lipids. One non-lipid constituent of oils is known as phyto-chemicals. Phyto-chemicals give oil its unique colour and scent. Example: Cucumber seed oil has the aroma of fresh cucumbers because of phytochemicals. Buriti oil gets its rich orange colour because of Carotenoids, a type of phyto-chemical. Anti-oxidants, Vitamins, tannins, sterols, polyphenols and terpenes like Squalene are also phyto-chemicals that nourish our skin and body. Natural squalene is present in Rice bran Oil.

 The compound Polyphenols present in the oil can be classified into flavonoid and non-flavonoid compounds. Why is this important to know for those with sensitive skin and/or those in sunny climates? Well, flavonoid has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-allergic actions on the layers of our skin. It offers protection from free radical damage by UV rays. Oils such as Açai, and camellia tea leaves are high in Flavonoids compounds.

 Non- flavonoid compounds like Gallic acids and Ellagic acidsare present in Pomegranate Seed Oil, and Mango butter. They have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. Ellagic acids helps strengthen thin skin and improves the barrier protection of the top-most layer of the skin (the stratum corneum is the top layer of the epidermal layer)

 Vitamins are a form of phyto-chemical. Some vitamins are found in plant extracts and in plant oils. Ever wondered why a carrot is orange? Example: Carotenes a form of Carotenoids (Vitamin A) that are present in colourful vegetables like carrots. Interestingly, it is oil soluble. For example: Carrot seed oil, carrot root oil and buriti oil are rich in carotenes which protect and nourish the skin and body. When used topically, it prevents free radical damage to the skin cells and helps to protect against UV rays. Vitamin E is oil soluble and acts as an anti-oxidant. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production and is suitable to target wrinkles and fine lines. Rose hip seed oil, Passion fruit seed oil, and mango butter are rich in Vitamin C. These are beneficial when applied topically.

 I hope I’ve given you a taste of the benefits of phyto-chemicals – besides their good taste! (Sorry, couldn’t resist that dad joke – too much time in lockdown with the husband!) As always, I welcome your thoughts.

 What’s next? Since we are talking about topical application, let’s cover the compatibility of various skin types with different plant-based oils. Have a great week ahead.

Watch this space for our Part 4: Plant oils and their compatibility with skin sebum.

Coming soon!

With Love,

Bhuvi – Founder and Formulator @PetalDew Skincare

Certified Organic Skincare Formulator (Skincare Expert Programme - Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation & Advanced Diploma in Organic Cosmetic Science – Formula Botanica)

 Credit and source:

1. Power of the Seed Your Guide to Oils for Health & Beauty By Susan M Parker





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