When we’re young, we really didn’t like how our skin produces excess oil. It made us look shiny and even worse caused acne. But as we age, this natural oil is like a friend: It helps keep our skin supple and moist so that our complexion looks fresh and young.
If you have dry skin you understand the struggle to keep this precious oil so that your skin feels moisturised and soft. Or contend with tight feeling, or worse chapped, and flaky skin.
Often dry skin is accompanied by other unwanted corollaries. As already mentioned, it can get rough, scaly, and chapped. Dry skin can also impact your skin barrier, making it more sensitive. And when your skin is dry, lines and wrinkles become more apparent.
Perhaps you’ve heard of and tried olive oil or argan oil but found the first didn’t go well with your skin and the second comes with a hefty price tag. But no matter what your skin type, age, or even purse situation is, macadamia nut oil is a wonderful skin food.
As an allrounder, macadamia nut oil has an amazing affinity with your skin. It closely resembles sebum, the natural oil that your skin naturally produces. As such, it absorbs well into your skin but without leaving a greasy feeling. And it has so much more going for it.
What is macadamia oil?
Macadamia oil is popularly used for cooking. The oil is derived from the macadamia nut, which itself is also a popular snack. The nuts grow on macadamia trees, a native Australian plant.
The oil is a clear, yellowish liquid. It’s similar to olive oil in that it’s liquid at room temperature. The indigenous people of Australia have used it for culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic purposes. The nut was considered a delicacy and highly treasured. The indigenous people have several names for the nut including jindill, and baupal. They even used it to trade with early white settlers.
Macadamia nut has also been dubbed the queen of the nuts. The indigenous people of Australia found it to be a great and portable source of protein. It has a great taste: subtle, buttery with a creamy texture.
It’s packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. It contains the highest amount of good aka healthy monounsaturated fats compared to other nuts. It’s also a good source of antioxidants. In detail it contains
- Ca 55% oleic acid
- Ca 3% linoleic acid
- Ca 20% palmitoleic acid
- Vitamins, most notably vitamin B (thiamin) and vitamin E
As such, it’s linked to cardiovascular health and reduces inflammation. To preserve its nutritional value, it’s best to use a cold-pressed oil. Roasting the nuts may also lower the nutrient content.
More than skin deep
Thanks to its fatty acid profile, macadamia oil is very similar to sebum, the oil that your skin naturally produces. In that it resembles jojoba oil (which is actually not classed as oil but as a way ester).
It’s also thanks to its fatty acid profile that make macadamia oil an effective ally against premature ageing. The perfect balance of the fatty acids, oleic, linoleic, and palmitoleic make it a more than skin-deep moisturiser.
As we age, the palmitoleic acid or omega 7 content in our skin decreases. We all know what comes next: Our skin loses its elasticity. This is one of the key anti-ageing benefits of macadamia nut oil. It can restore your skin’s palmitoleic acid, keeping it taut, and discouraging wrinkles from forming. Palmitoleic acid is also beneficial for wound healing, scratches and burns.
Thanks to omega 6 or linoleic acid, macadamia nut oil restores your skin’s barrier function and keeps skin hydrated in that it reduces transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Linoleic acid helps in balancing sebum production in oily skin and creates a natural protective barrier.
Because its oleic acid is moisturising and anti-inflammatory, it’s perfect for dry or sensitive skin. It assists with cellular regeneration, making this oil particularly useful if you have dry or chapped skin, as it softens and moisturises.
The combination of linoleic, oleic, and palmitoleic in macadamia oil make it useful to treat stretch marks, reduce scars and prevent chapping.
- Macadamia oil is very similar to that of human sebum
- It’s very stable, with a shelf life of up to 2 years
- It absorbs quickly without feeling greeting, oil the while giving you a nice protective film
- The linoleic acid or omega 6 helps with balancing sebum production in oily skin
- While oleic air is moisturising and anti-inflammatory, palmitoleic acid repairs skin cells, making macadamia oil especially beneficial for dry or mature skin
- Rich in antioxidants
- Lightweight moisturiser
- Calming and soothing to irritated or sensitive skin
Are there any risks?
If you know you’re allergic to tree nuts, you may have an allergic reaction to macadamia oil. Tree nuts include chestnuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios. If you’ve got a history of allergies or are concerned in general, it’s best to first patch test before trying it fully.
What about acne-prone skin types?
Not all oils are created equal and some are more occlusive than others. This means some are more likely to clog your pores than others. With its ratio of linoleic to oleic acid, macadamia nut oil sits on the lower end of the comedogenic scale.
Moreover, its fatty acid profile means that it balances and controls oily and thus reduces the risk of pores clogged with oils. Since it’s anti-inflammatory, it may be also helpful in keeping acne bacteria at bay. In short, it’s a non-comedogenic oil.
Your skin care hero
Macadamia oil is loaded with essential fatty acids. With its particular fatty acid profile, it’s not only an important oil for your face, but it can be used as an all-over body oil, ensuring that your entire body is protected and nourished.
It is a multitasker. It moisturises and softens your skin if you have dry skin. With its high antioxidant content, it helps to soothe your sensitive skin. And for mature skin, it helps to keep your skin taut and firm. Thus, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Convinced? Will you be trying out macadamia oil any time soon? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.