Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil, Two Ways
You’ve seen it pop up in some of your favorite serums and treatments — and with good reason. Sea buckthorn oil is loaded with vitamins and essential fatty acids. I burned through a small bottle of sea buckthorn oil this past winter, adding a few drops to other serums and oil blends. It’s a lovely orange and viscous oil with a musky smell, and it brightened my skin tone considerably.
There are two distinct types of oils that come from sea buckthorn—the seed oil and the berry oil.
This summer, I’m trying out sea buckthorn berry oil. Both the oils can be taken internally as a supplement or applied topically, but the seed oil has the most internal benefits and the berry oil has the most topical benefits. When I started using the berry oil topically, I learned pretty quickly that it needs a good dilution. It’s far more concentrated and pigmented than the seed oil, or a blend of the two.
Beta-carotene gives the berry oil a blazing reddish-orange color. Seriously, it will turn you a painted shade of golden sunshine if you decide — like I did upon first try — to smear it all over your face without diluting it. Like macadamia nut oil, this berry oil is rich in Omega 7 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and nourish skin cells. The berry oil contains a generous supply of vitamin C — about 15 times more than an orange — and it’s the third highest source of vitamin E in the plant world. You can also count on a healthy dose of carotenoids, amino acids, minerals, polyphenols, flavonoids and much more. We’re talking serious antioxidant power.
I’ve found two ways to incorporate sea buckthorn berry oil into my skincare rituals with lovely results.
I add it to my DIY oil and salt scrub. This scrub cleans, hydrates, and protects my skin in one step. In the shower, I rub myself down with the scrub, rinse, and pat myself dry. Just enough oil remains on my skin. I don’t need an additional moisturizer outside of the shower, and I don’t have to wait for my skin to absorb the oil before getting dressed. If I’m wearing SPF, it glides right on top. That, my friends, is efficiency in skincare.
Adding just a dropper full of sea buckthorn berry oil to my scrub gives me the topical benefits and — get this — boosts the color of my skin ever so subtly. Seriously, it’s like nature’s self-tanning oil, without the nasty chemicals. I swear I don’t look orange, just sort of glowy, like when you binge on veggies. Also, it hasn’t stained my shower, towels, or clothes. That’s good news, since I’m really enjoying its bronzing affect.
My second discovery is that the tiniest dash of sea buckthorn berry oil takes the white out of my natural sunscreen. Game changer! I have a couple of sunscreens, like Suntegrity Face Sunscreen and Primer and 100% Pure Argan Oil Facial Moisturizer SPF, that leave a slight white cast but perform beautifully otherwise. When I blend them with this berry oil, I get a golden glow that’s more natural looking than makeup. It’s a fine line, though. I added too much once and headed to the dog park looking distinctly yellow. Uh, embarrassing. But when I get it right, I feel kind of French Riviera.
Are you taking shortcuts in your routine this summer or geeking out over ingredients? I’d love to know!
*First publish in July 2013.