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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

Go Green With Avocado Oil

by Andrea Butje on January 18, 2010

avocado-oilAre you using avocado oil (Laurus persea) in your aromatherapy and massage blends?  If not, you’re missing out on a natural, fresh oil that has a really nice aroma.

While you and your clients enjoy the scent and texture of this carrier oil, it goes to work behind the scenes restoring and rejuvenating skin naturally.

Avocado oil is highly penetrating, deeply nourishing and softens dry skin. It’s known to restore and re-moisturizer the epidermis.

Repeated applications of moisturizing butters, oils or lotions made with avocado oil reveal increased hydration of skin's upper layers, and improvement of skin's elastic properties.

Whether you’re looking for a carrier for essential oils, or want to blend with other moisturizing oils in a product, avocado oil plays well with others.

How is the oil derived from the fruit we commonly know as a salad topping or the main ingredient in guacamole? Avocado oil is expressed from dried avocado fruit flesh. The fruit is peeled, the pit removed, and the fruit is sliced and dried to remove any water. The dried slices are cold-pressed to remove the oil. The process is time-consuming and complex—and true, organic, high quality, cold-pressed, unrefined oil is difficult to find.

The avocado tree itself can grow to be quite large and bear hundreds of fruits. We have a tree growing in our backyard that has produced over 100 avocados this year--and yes, I've eaten more than I thought possible!

Refined avocado oil is pale yellow, so it’s easy to distinguish between the refined and unrefined product. True, organic, high quality, cold pressed, unrefined oil is a medium to dark olive green in color, somewhat thick, and very rich in texture. The aroma is similar to the ripe fruit, fresh and somewhat spicy/nutty.

Here are some of the wonderful properties of avocado oil:

  • Prevents chapping, cracks and stretch marks
  • Good hair growth stimulant
  • Ideal oil to offer light UV protection for the skin
  • Mixed with equal quantities of sesame and olive oil, it offers some sun protection
  • Excellent moisturizer
  • High degree of penetration into the epidermis
  • Promotes cell regeneration
  • Used for skin inflammation
  • Used to clean the skin
  • Has a high sterol content (about 10%) and is used as a carrier for arthritis pain blends
  • Has more Vitamin D than eggs; useful for people living in low-sunshine areas
  • Used for post-menopausal women with aging skin

Avocado oil is also high in sterolins, which are reputed to be beneficial in healing scars and moisturizing the upper layers of the skin. The sterolins in avocado oil have been found to diminish age spots. Oils with the highest levels of sterolins are shea butter, avocado oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and olive oil.


Did You Know?

  • Avocado oil has been used as a hair pomade to stimulate hair growth.
  • Avocado oil contains more than 20% essential unsaturated fatty acids. It contains vitamins A, C, D and E, proteins, beta-carotene, lecithin, fatty acids and potassium.
  • Avocado oil has at least a one-year shelf life, and it is recommended not to be kept in the refrigerator, as it may form deposits and congeal when chilled.
  • As avocado oil gets older, the color turns from olive green to brown.
  • Another oil is produced from avocado seeds, but it is rare and regarded as toxic.
  • Try adding avocado oil to your body butters and lip balms for fabulous texture.
Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who has changed the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching essential oils and Aromatherapy Certification. Check out her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, at Aromatics International!

Topics: Aromatherapy Education, avocado oil, carrier oils

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