Common Sea Buckthorn, aka Seaberry: three different oils from the same plant

Sea buckthorn oil is one of the special oils in cosmetics. You will find genuine, highly appreciated, domestic sea buckthorn oil in the finest natural cosmetic creams and serums. Sea buckthorn oil is a very effective and caring product. That’s why I dedicate this blog post to sea buckthorn oil. While researching sea buckthorn oil, I came across surprising things. If you are planning to get sea buckthorn oil, this article is just for you. You’ll probably want to hear more about sea buckthorn and the oil made from sea buckthorn seeds and berries.

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Sea buckthorn do flourish on the coast

The sea buckthorn is a thorny shrub with grey leaves that flourish wild on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia. It is a provincial plant of Satakunta province in Finland. If you think your products should be organic and natural, then the sea buckthorn is very suitable for you.

The sea buckthorn shrub has been protected until 2006. Due to the great popularity of sea buckthorn, it has been cultivated. All sea buckthorn products for sale are made from cultivated sea buckthorn berries.

The sea buckthorn has adapted to the barren and salty environment. Bacteria of the genus Frankia live in the roots of the sea buckthorn. Bacteria fixes nitrogen from the air and thus helps the sea buckthorn to grow in poor soils. Sea buckthorn shrubs do get plenty of sunlight and reflections from the sea. Above all, light is vital for the sea buckthorn’s success. It does not flourish in the shade of forests. With the help of light, the small, Orange berries of the sea buckthorn do ripe, resembling mini-oranges in many ways.

Sea buckthorn can be utilized in many ways

Sea buckthorn is cultivated especially because of its healthy berries. Oil is squeezed from the seeds. Sea buckthorn leaves are also very antioxidant. They are rich in a variety of amino acids (building blocks of proteins) as well as fatty acids, trace elements and minerals. Sea buckthorn leaves are usually utilized as infucion that is ingested internally.

Sea buckthorn berries are a real health bomb

The small, juicy berries of the sea buckthorn are sheltered by long, sharp spikes. Picking sea buckthorn berries from a thorn bush is not an easy task. That is one reason for the high price of sea buckthorn.

Sea buckthorn is rich in vitamin C; up to 360 mg / 100 gr. and vitamins E and K. The orange colour of sea buckthorn berries indicates the carotenoids they contain. In addition, sea buckthorn berries contain a variety of polyphenols, amino acids, sugars, minerals, and plant sterols.

Sea buckthorn is a very sour berry. Its acidity comes from malic acid. Sea buckthorn also contains quinic acid, which has an astringent effect.

The fatty acids in sea buckthorn berry oil have been found to relieve the symptoms of people with dry eyes. Sea buckthorn berry oil must then be consumed internally. The research was conducted at the University of Turku in 2011 (Petra Larmo).

Sea buckthorn juice is a pretty expensive product. However, the most valuable part of the berry is the oil made from the fruit flesh and seeds. This story is specifically about that precious oil.

Sea buckthorn oil is made in two ways

Sea buckthorn oil is made from both fruit flesh and seeds. Sea buckthorn seeds contain 7-11% oil. The oil content of the fruit flesh is 1.5-3%.

  • The oil made of the flesh is dark orange in colour. Its composition is thick. The oil becomes liquid at room temperature. In the fridge it thickens clearly and does not want to come out of the bottle.
  • The oil made of seeds is light orange and clear in colour. It does not solidify in the refrigerator.
  • Many sea buckthorn oils contain, in addition to seed oil, some oil made from fruit flesh.

Sea buckthorn oils contain valuable fatty acids

Sea buckthorn oil is an example of an oil that can be a completely different product depending on what part of the plant it is made from. Fruit flesh oil differs greatly from seed oil in terms of fatty acids.

  • The oil in the flesh of the fruit contains a lot of unsaturated fatty acids as well as carotenoids.
  • Seed oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Both oils are rich in tocopherols, tocotrienols and plant sterols.

There is also sea buckthorn oil available that is done by using both fruit flesh and seeds. The fatty acid composition of such an oil is much wider.

Sea buckthorn seed oil is rich in linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid

These fatty acids make sea buckthorn seed oil well absorbed one, so-called dry oil. Sea buckthorn seed oil is really well absorbed into the skin. This oil is well suited for a wide range of uses and most skin types.

Due to the high alpha-linolenic acid content, sea buckthorn seed oil dries the skin when used excessively. High linoleic acid as well as alpha-linolenic acid content also means poor shelf life. Sea buckthorn oil made from seeds should always be stored in the refrigerator. So it is better buy in capsules. You don’t need very many drops of sea buckthorn oil for your product. A couple of capsules is just enough for a dose of cream or serum.

Below is the fatty acid composition of sea buckthorn seed oil. The fatty acid composition is indicative. The composition of fatty acids is greatly influenced by the place of growth, the weather conditions and cultivar.

  • Linoleic acid 37-44%
  • Alpha-linolenic acid 27-31%
  • Oleic acid 18-22%
  • Palmitic acid 7%
  • Stearic acid 2.5-3%

Benefits of sea buckthorn seed oil for the skin

Photo Frauke Feind Pixabaystä

Thus, the following benefits of sea buckthorn oil for the skin only apply to sea buckthorn seed oil. Some oil may also contain oil from fruit flesh. The oil is pressed from the mash left over from the juice production.

  • The linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid contained in sea buckthorn seed oil are oils that are well absorbed into the skin. They do not leave a greasy feeling on the surface of the skin. Therefore, sea buckthorn seed oil is suitable for oily skin and light day creams
  • The linoleic acid in sea buckthorn seed oil is very suitable for skin care. Linoleic acid does not clog the pores. The best skin care oils are high in linoleic acid.
  • Sea buckthorn seed oil contains a lot of important antioxidants and nutrients for the skin.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid has been discovered to reduce the signs of skin aging. With age, our ability to utilize alpha-linolenic acid in food decreases.

How do I use sea buckthorn seed oil?

Use sea buckthorn seed oil for creams under makeup as it is easily absorbed and does not leave a greasy feeling. Sea buckthorn seed oil is also one of my favourites for eye care products. As a thin and easily absorbed oil, it does not cause swelling of the skin around the eyes.

Due to its high antioxidant content and trace elements, sea buckthorn seed oil is a particularly caring product. Therefore, it is well suited for nourishing serums. In addition, add a little sea buckthorn seed oil to anti-ageing products.

Sea buckthorn berry oil is rich in omega-7 fatty acids

I don’t know any other oil that contains as large amounts of omega-7 fatty acids as sea buckthorn berry oil. Omega-7 fatty acids make sea buckthorn berry oil a special caring skin oil.

Sea buckthorn oil squeezed from sea buckthorn berries is used both internally and externally because of the omega-7 fatty acid it contains. This fatty acid is called palmitoleic acid (16: 1). There is palmitoleic acid also in animal products as well as in some plant products such as macadamia nuts. Palmitoleic acid is also moderately abundant in breast milk. Palmitoleic acid is chemically very close to sapienic acid, which is a human fatty acid.

Oil made from sea buckthorn without seeds will be better preserved than seed oil. It contains only a small amount of easily oxidizable fatty acids.

The following fatty acid composition of sea buckthorn berry oil is indicative. The composition of fatty acids is greatly influenced by the place of growth, weather conditions and cultivar.

  • Palmitic acid 33-43%
  • Palmitoleic acid 32-41%
  • Stearic acid 1-2%
  • Oleic acid 1-6%
  • Eicosanoid acid 5-7%
  • Linoleic acid 7-12%
  • Alpha-linolenic acid 1-2%

Benefits of sea buckthorn berry oil for the skin

Sea buckthorn berry oil is a skin care product that is very difficult to replace. Omega-7 fatty acid, palmitoleic acid, is a substance that is especially useful for the skin and mucous membranes. Palmitoleic acid is particularly abundant in oil extracted from sea buckthorn berries.

  • Sea buckthorn berry oil has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions. It has alleviated burns, for example.
  • Sea buckthorn berry oil is suitable for aging skin thanks to its antioxidants
  • Sea buckthorn berry oil brings moisture and elasticity to the skin
  • The palmitoleic acid contained in sea buckthorn oil is a substance that protects the skin. Palmitoleic acid strengthens the epidermis and protects it from moisture loss.
  • Sea buckthorn berry oil is rich in ingredients that work to soothe the skin. Sea buckthorn oil reduces redness and swelling of the skin.
  • Sea buckthorn berry oil is recommended when treating rosacea, eczema and acne. There is no medical evidence for the effect of sea buckthorn berry oil. However, many people have found it helpful with skin problems.

How do I use sea buckthorn berry oil?

Sea buckthorn berry oil is especially suitable for protective products such as night creams, outdoor products and lip products. Using sea buckthorn berry oil will significantly increase the palmitic and palmitoleic acid content of the product. While sea buckthorn berry oil is a valuable product, you just need very little of it.

Sea buckthorn berry oil can be added to the oil infusion of the product along with other oils. It can be safely heated up to 80 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes to improve shelf life.

Sea buckthorn oil squeezed from the whole berry

If the oil is made squeezing the whole berry, also using the seeds, the fatty acid composition changes again. You now have significantly more different fatty acids at your disposal. Sea buckthorn is often utilized as juice. Oil is squeezed from a mash containing a little fruit flesh and seeds. The fatty acid composition of such an oil cannot be accurately said. However, it resembles sea buckthorn seed oil more than sea buckthorn berry oil.

Sea buckthorn oil made from whole berries is easily oxidizable, as it is rich in easily oxidizable fatty acids. That’s why it’s better to buy in capsules.

Here is an indicative fatty acid composition of sea buckthorn oil made from the whole berry with seeds.

  • Palmitic acid 33%
  • Palmitoleic acid 30-37%
  • Stearic acid 1-2%
  • Oleic acid 2-6%
  • Eicosanoid acid 3-6%
  • Linoleic acid 18-20%
  • Alpha-linolenic acid 1-2%

All three sea buckthorn oils are worth a try

Kuva silviarita Pixabaystä

Now that you know a little more about sea buckthorn oils you can choose the product you like. When buying, check with the seller whether the oil is sea buckthorn berry oil or sea buckthorn seed oil. If the seller does not know it is better not to buy it at all and find another supplier. Differences in these oils are big.

When purchasing sea buckthorn oils, it is worth considering the shelf life of the oil. Domestic sea buckthorn oil (from berry and seeds) often contains a lot of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. These are really easily oxidized. So, get your products in the smallest possible lots. Personally, I prefer sea buckthorn oil capsules.

Dark orange and thick sea buckthorn berry oil survive much better. It is full of carotenoids and skin-gentle fatty acids. Sea buckthorn berry oil is the right choice for winter protective products.

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