Avocado Oil and Avocado Seed Oil

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Background: Avocados is a subtropical tree grown in Mexico, Chile, and the USA. They are also produced, in smaller quantities, in Indonesia, Israel, Spain, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. The oil is often produced from fruit rejected from the “fresh- food trade” market. The avocado oil used in commercial cosmetic products are often created from the poorest quality fruit and out of the poorest quality production methods, including refining, bleaching, and deodorizing. “Crude Oil” products are never suitable for consumption because they contain contaminants and are further refined, heated, and filtered. Cold-pressed avocado oil contains high levels of pigment, making it green, and higher levels of beneficial nutrients.

The main difference between the avocado oil and the avocado seed oil is where it’s derived from- avocado oil from the flesh and pulp of the avocado whereas the avocado seed oil is derived from the seed.

Nutritional Benefits: Omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, alpha and beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol (protects against heart disease and cancer), lutein, vitamin E, and many other essential vitamins A, B, D and minerals and enhances the absorption of carotenoids and other nutrients. Also, avo oil can inhibit growth of prostate cancer cells, help reduce the accumulation of fat, and protect eyesight.

Cooking Use: Higher smoke point than other oils, such as olive or canola, and has a rich, buttery flavor profile that will accentuate the taste of dishes.

Cosmetic Uses: Regenerates the skin, heals, and restores the health of the skin, while improving overall complexion. Also proven success when used as sunscreen.  In a study in 1991, the Dept. of Food Engineering and Biotechnology found that avocado oil may mobilize and increase the collagen of connective tissue.   Since Avocado oil easily penetrates skin and is rapidly absorbed. Beats almond and olive oil’s skin penetration rate1

Hair Uses: Great moisturizer! Monounsaturated fats, when applied directly in a hair mask, can moisturize, nourish and strengthen hair strands, improving the way they look and protecting them from damage. Massaging avocado oil into your scalp also stimulates blood flow to your hair follicles. Finally, and perhaps most beneficially for hair care its monounsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols and high levels of antioxidants like vitamin E, are well absorbed into our scalp and hair shafts.

AO versus ASO: Avocado seed oil is best for anti-aging usage, while avocado oil is deeply hydrating and best for people with excema, psoriasis, and dry hair.

Notes: Generally for cosmetics, oil is extracted with solvents at elevated temperatures, leaving it refined, bleached, and deodorized. My assumption would be that the unrefined will not be stripped of the vitamins and minerals and will be comprised of it’s natural characteristics (i.e. green, nutty scent, etc.). Buy cold-pressed oils!

Image: Watercolor painting by Yael Berger

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