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Sea buckthorn oil

edited February 2014 in Ask the Beauty Brains
It's been brought to my attention that people are claiming sea buckthorn oil is helpful for redness and rosacea. Anything to this?


  • Oh sarah, I think you should make a blog chronicling your trials and tribulations. I would read it, guaranteed.

    I think with sea buckthorn oil, the only even slightly factual claim is the high concentration of GLA's being soothing to the skin (If Randy or Perry could confirm, thanks much ^_^). However sea buckthorn is one of the most expensive natural oils (if you're thinking of getting it from the health food store) and there are other less expensive versions which are high in GLA's (such as safflower oil).

    GLA stands for gamma-linoleic acid and it is a fatty acid which is very cushioning and lubricating to skin, so I can definitely see how it would help with redness/rosacea. Anything protective technically could. But HOW much of a difference in comparison to other things, is up for debate. Doesn't hurt to try though, maybe you could see if your local health food store sells safflower oil and see how your skin acts?

  • Thanks brainy!
  • Brainy--you're not Elena (I think that was her name) are you? She knew a lot about ingredients and posted for a while, then disappeared.
  • Ooh, a new game: Guess Brainy's secret identity, I love it! 

    Now, back on topic: 
    We wrote a post on sea buckthorn last year but we lost it in the crash. Here's a recovered piece of it: 

     it’s true that there are many studies showing this berry has health benefits when ingested. Here are a few examples courtesy of PubMed:

    A placebo-controlled, parallel study showed that eating 5 grams of sea buckthorn every day for 5 months increased certain skin lipids in patients with atopic dermatitis. (The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry )
    Oral intake of sea buckthorn fruit prevented UV radiation-induced skin aging in hairless mice  (Int J Mol Med.)
    There are enough studies like this to indicate that chowing down on this stuff might not be a bad idea. But what does it do when applied to skin?

    The skinny on sea buckthorn

    Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much research done on the effects of this super fruit on skin. We could only find a few relevant studies:

    Topical application of a concentrated form of Sea Buckthorn (1% of the flavone) did show improvement in wound healing. (Mol Cell Biochem.)
    The seed oil also apparently has light absorption properties and has promise as a UV skin protectant. (J Agric Food Chem. )
    And finally, we read that it can help boost collagen production (Journal of applied cosmetology ) We’re a bit skeptical about this one because was no control vehicle included in the study so it’s impossible to tell if the effect is from the oil or just from other ingredients in the cream.
    Still, over all, there’s enough evidence here to suggest that this ingredient is promising.

    So is the product a miracle or not?

    Even if topical Sea Buckthorn oil is good for skin does that mean Sebu’s Nourishing Facial Cream works? The company doesn’t present ANY research on their own product to prove efficacy so all we can do is look at the ingredients which are listed below. As you can see, Sea Buckthorn oil is the second ingredient which probably means the cream contains at least a couple of percent of the oil. Theoretically that’s enough to provide a benefit. Beyond that we can’t really say. And it’ll cost you about $20 for 1 ounce to try this “miracle” for yourself.

    Sebu Beauty Sea Buckthorn facial cream ingredients

    Water, Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable), Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Sodium Steroyl Lactylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil, Orange Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice powder, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Sodium Phytate

    The Beauty Brains bottom line

    Sea Buckthorn seed oil does contain a number of components that may benefit the skin. A few legitimate scientific studies indicate the oil may improve would healing, protect against UV radiation, and increase collagen production. And based on the ingredient list the Sebu Beauty product may contain enough of the oil to be effective.

    Three “mays” do not make a miracle but there’s enough here that might make this product worth a try if you have an extra $20 to spend. 
  • sarahf you are an excellent investigator my friend.
    :S yup that's me but can it be between all of us on the boards? If I'm ever gonna get the company to pay for my university education, I'd better keep pretending I know nothing...
  • Don't worry, you'll always be a bimbo to us. 
  • Much appreciated Randy!
  • I'm sure eating any edible berry would give you similar benefits. Rip off and a half.
  • Randy said most of what I was thinking beforehand. Oh well. ;)

    The problem with any plant extract, you don't know how much of the "active ingredient" you're really getting. Not to mention that cosmetic companies put tiny amounts of the "special" extract in the first place.

    I suspect the glycerin in the Sebu Beauty Sea Buckthorn cream is doing most of the work/skin benefits.
  • My mom has rosacea. Her favorite topical is MetroCream.
  • edited February 2014
    Prescription stuff works a lot better than what you can get OTC, definitely.

    I recall some studies about oral flaxseed oil and borage oil decreasing skin sensitivity/redness and having moisturizing effects. The TEWL was reduced by 10-20% or so. But that took, like, 12 weeks to show a significant benefit. That's nothing compared to 5% petrolatum and/or applying topical anti-inflammatories like steroids.
  • @ Randy - would Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil be at least worth a try for someone with rosacea? At least according to the ingredients list on amazon is it "100% therapeutic-grade Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil; Paraben-FREE and Cruelty-FREE. No dairy, wheat, gluten, sodium, yeast or preservatives."

    I ask because, the way I read the original question, it was about the oil itself, not a product containing the oil. It IS expensive as brainy pointed out, 10 ml is $8.88 US. But then again that is the perfect  size to try a product out.

    And, yeah, I do like oils. So I am curious.
  • Here are the ingredients: 

    Water, Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable), Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Sodium Steroyl Lactylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil, Orange Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice powder, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Sodium Phytate

    As you can see the product doesn't consist ONLY of Sea buckthorn oil. What is says is that it contains 100% sea buckthorn oil. That means however much of the oil the product contains, it is 100% pure oil. However, it may only contain a few percent of the oil. 
  • Rozy and Michelle--I am definitely using prescription metrogel. Someone told me about the sea buckthorn and it just piqued my curiosity. But I am not looking to cure rosacea with OTC products. Actually, I'm thinking of laser/ipl because I have the predominantly erythrotelangiectatic (don't quote me on the spelling) subtype. Big bucks but people get good results from it and long lasting ones.
  • Yeah its really stupid how those procedures are considered cosmetic even though most so called cosmic derm treats real medical conditions.
  • Brainy--really, you are Elena? I missed you! Wondered where you'd gone! Glad to see you here.
  • As far as the topic at hand--the truth is that I hate the feeling of oils on my skin. So I doubt I'll be trying any oil in pure form. I asked a makeup artist in sephora to put a moisturizer on my face before trying on a powder foundation and she picked some Josie maran argan oil stuff that I couldn't wait to get home and wash off my face:)
  • Randy - the product  I was looking at is a different product by the same company. The ingredient list I posted earlier is a direct cut and paste. Here is the link to the product. 

    There are several single oil products I have found. Are the labels accurate or not?
  • Yes Sarah, the one and ! Thank you, I never really left, still always stuck around and read.
    I sometimes felt like adding in my 2 cents was redundant when Randy or Perry would jump in and answer the question. So I would just go back to studying :)

  • lindygirl, lot's of single oil products still have some additional preservatives or fragrance added, but usually in low concentrations so you can expect the effectiveness of the oil not to be affected. Some, in fact many, are blended combinations of different oils, with lower concentrations of things like seabuckthorn oil which is expensive, but has become a buzzword. If seabuckthorn oil really is singular and amazing, in products like these, you could't really tell because the concentration is so low. 
  • Lindygirl: You're right, we were looking at different products. It looks like the one you found is the pure oil.  
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