When it comes to walnuts and skincare, you may not think they are a natural fit at first glance. While fragments of walnut shell were used as an exfoliant in older skincare products, the abrasive nature of the shell wasn’t all that kind to skin meaning it fell somewhat out of favor. Walnut oil, on the other hand, is an ingredient to embrace.
It’s common knowledge that, when ingested, walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts. But how about in skincare? Since the 17th century, the topical use of walnut oil has been employed to hydrate skin and help keep pesky wrinkles at bay. Primarily a moisturizing and conditioning ingredient, it improves skin health and can be used to soothe some skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Why is walnut oil so good for the skin?
Walnut oil is high in both omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. This combo helps to fight the signs of ageing, while softening and restoring the skin. It’s also high in vitamin B5, which has anti-inflammatory properties. B5 can help the skin to heal and therefore improve moisture levels and elasticity.
It’s also a skincare ingredient that is rich in emollients, which softens and soothes dry and flaky skin. Emollients are also known as “barrier creams”, as they form a film over the skin, helping to protect it from environmental exposure and helps to prevent water loss.
Pure walnut oil is available commercially in two forms: cold-pressed or refined. While it can be directly applied to the skin, it’s more commonly found as an ingredient in skincare oils or creams. It’s advisable to use walnut oil containing products over pure walnut oil, as the product will be specially formulated for use on the skin. Additionally, walnut oil oxidizes easily. Skincare products containing walnut oil will be correctly packaged, helping to mitigate the risk of oxidization.
As a side note: those who have oily or acne-prone skin should avoid using walnut oil, as it contains high levels of oleic acid, which can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
As a skincare ingredient, walnut oil is set to challenge the popularity of better known oils, such as argan or almond oil. Its hydrating properties make it a great option for the skin, but also for treating dry hair and fighting dandruff. A real all-rounder, we recommend that you keep your eyes peeled for products containing this wonderful ingredient.