Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil, Two Ways

DIY Salt and Oil Scrub with Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil

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.

31 Responses to “Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil, Two Ways”
  1. Steff says:

    My mom actually introduced me to sea buckthorn after she began to hear about the great benefits of it. I’ve started taking it internally and using it in a body soap which also contains it. It seems to have cleared up little rash like spots I was getting across my chest. I’ll have to check out using it in my sunscreen, that sounds great in reducing the whiteness!

  2. Anna says:

    Oh, this is awesome! I’ve recently started making my own sunscreen, and am looking forward to tweaking recipes and using different oils (current recipe is just zinc oxide, shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil. Thick! And definitely not for my coconut oil-hating face) and formulations.

    I’ll keep an eye out for sea buckthorn berry to add to it! Any idea if it’s non-comedogenic?

  3. Kahina Team says:

    Nice report on the wonderful seabuckthorn! This oil gives Kahina Serum its rich color – and superlative healing qualities. Didn’t realize that it counteracted the white cast of sunscreen, but it makes sense. We’ll be experimenting in the office today!

  4. Errrm adding it to your body scrub is an amazing idea! I hate oiling up after a shower but do it every time so my skin doesn’t turn on me – perfect shortcut thank you!

    Haven’t gotten to try Sea buckthorn oil in any of it’s forms yet but have been ever so curious…time to take the plunge I reckon! Would’ve used it neat too if I haven’t of read this.

    Mayah x

  5. Rebecca Bailey says:

    Great debut, Susannah! <3

    I love sea buckthorn too. It's in Evan Healy's Pom oil and I've used it straight in a few DIYs. Love your usage ideas!

  6. nan says:

    Nice opening post Susannah! Nice to know that the white cast of some sunscreens can be overcomed this way. I shall try!

    On another note, reporting on the use of banana peels. I used it two days in a row, massaging it on my whole face and leaving it for a maximum of 20 min. I had one pimple that had been “sitting” on my temple for days (awful) that I’m happy to report has disappeared :) So, thanks @A

  7. Alexandra says:

    Yay Susannah! Great post and totally intrigued about this slight glow business. :)

  8. Alla says:

    I’m going to try using it to take the white out of my super duper organic sun block – I got it for my 2 yr old and when I smear him now he looks like there is something wrong with his skin! I was going to throw out the sunblock but hopefully this will save it. And me too, curious about the slight bronzing…. hmmm

  9. Anna says:

    Rebecca, what are your thoughts on the Evan Healy Pom serum? I’ve been using her blue line products lately and LOVE them – 3 months in and my skin looks a lot, lot better. I’m a bit scared to try the pom oil because in addition to being very sensitive, my skin is breakout prone and the pom serum is a lot thicker than the rosehip serum. I thought maybe when the weather turns, but would love to hear your results.

  10. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Anna, the EH pom serum is going in an upcoming post on my very favorite oils. I think it’s one of the products that’s available as a sample size directly from the EH site. The smell is SO WONDERFUL. As you say, it is rich and I haven’t used it so much lately, but it is part of my regular rotation in cooler weather. I’m actually wishing I’d brought it with me traveling even now, because this dang hotel has some DRY air. Do you usually use a hydrosol with your oil? I definitely recommend that, always really, but especially with a rich oil like this one. EH’s Immortelle and Rose are both excellent pairings with the pom oil – both great for sensitives like us. I’m glad to hear your skin is doing better! : )

  11. JJ says:

    Hi Susannah, would you please share the recipe for your DIY oil and salt scrub? Thanks!

  12. J.M. says:

    Just recently got hooked on Sea Buckthorn! I came across some forums in which this oil cured some folk of their Keratosis Pilaris. FINGERS CROSSED.
    It’s awesome to read about all these benefits. I am going to order Sea Buckthorn to take internally this week.

    I’d love to hear your oil and salt scrub!

  13. Anna says:

    Thanks, Rebecca! Yes, I use the lavender hydrosol, which I love. I may try the immortelle at some point, but I love the lavender smell so much (especially at bedtime)! Maybe I’ll give it a shot along with the immortelle once the fall sets in.

  14. Rachel says:

    Maybe that’s why Neal’s Yard Remedies (NYR Organic for those of you in the States) put it in their new and improved sunscreen??

  15. Nicolle Westlund says:

    Loving it Susannah! Thanks for sharing the sunscreen tip – I may bring the sea buckthorn with me on my honeymoon. :)

  16. Thanks for the love everybody!

    @Anna – I do believe that sea buckthorn oil is non-comedogenic. It’s actually supposed to help treat acne and other skin issues like eczema and psoriasis. I am super prone to getting clogged pores (can’t use coconut oil either) and this has not caused any issues.

    For those who want the DIY oil and salt scrub recipe…

    It’s very versatile—fine sea salt, oil of choice, essential oils if desired, and sea buckthorn berry oil. The salt to oil ratio is key. The salt should be coated but not swimming in oil. Think of damp sand at the beach. The blend should look mostly dry, but when you rub it between your fingers it will leave a film of oil on your skin. The sea salt should be very fine so that it doesn’t scratch your tush. Not a pretty look. Mountain Rose Herbs offers a Dead Sea Salt that is mineral-rich, extremely fine, and partially moist.

    I make a batch every few days, but I don’t really use measurements. I pour sea salt into a little tub, probably somewhere around half a cup. Then I add the main oil I’m using, which is usually jojoba or grape seed oil. I add a bit of the oil, mix, check the consistency, and then adjust until the salt is well coated. Add more salt or oil as needed. I add a few drops of tea tree oil to my batch to kill acne-causing bacteria. Then I add a dropper full (sometimes two!) of the sea buckthorn berry oil and blend. Voila!

  17. Sydney says:

    Great first post, Susannah <3

    I typically just use carrier oils in my regime like almond, grape seed or coconut oil but I've been thinking about adding some "specialty" oils like sea buckthorn or tamanu or red raspberry just to amp it up. But I was wondering where do you buy your sea buckthorn berry oil from?

  18. danielle says:

    In Dr. Weil’s latest cookbook-True Food, he list Sea Buckthorn juice as a staple in his pantry. He has some great recipes using the juice. Think I will have to try this. :)

  19. @Sydney—thank you! Depends on where you live, but I’ve found sea buckthorn berry oil at Whole Foods and Yes Organic Market. I’m currently using the brand SeabuckWonders (link in post) and you can purchase directly from them, too.

    Tamanu oil is fantastic, too. I just ordered some more tamanu from Mountain Rose Herbs.

  20. kristy says:

    Great post, Susannah! Sea buckthorn oil is something I really didn’t know much about but now I’m definitely going to buy some and try adding it to my natural sunscreen- that’s such a great idea!

  21. I love this! What great information.

    @J.M.- Have you tried a sugar scrub for your keratosis pilaris? That’s how I got rid of mine. It bugged me for years. Once I started exfoliating regularly it went away and has never come back. I prefer sugar over salt for a scrub as it is a natural glycolic source.

  22. Koritt says:

    I’ve been trying to solve the “white cast” issue with my daily facial sunscreen. Sounds like a drop or two of this oil will solve the problem! Can’t wait to try this out.

  23. Ann says:

    For a while I led an obsessive search on orchid oil, because of this post, but unfortunately found nothing. Still looking for a retailer that will start carrying orchid oil…
    As for geeking over other ingredients, I’m playing around with an oil/extract blend for acne. As soon as it’s thoroughly tested, I will send it in :)

  24. Mary says:

    Loved this post. For real.

    I’ve heard about Sea Buckthorn I don’t know how many times, but I loved the DIY ideas. Who would’ve thought a natural oil would counteract the whiteness of healthy sunscreens? My current sunscreen is surprisingly sheer for being non nano, but I have other ones that have been put aside because of that casper effect that might be able work with this!

  25. Buckthorn says:

    Sea Buckthorn Oil is amazing for dry eyes. I’m a heavy contact lenses user – and omega7 really helps my eyes to cope with the dryness the air / wind causes. :)

  26. sea Buckthorm is amazing product My mom actually introduced me to sea buckthorn after she began to hear about the great benefits of it. I’ve started taking it internally and using it in a body soap which also contains it. It seems to have cleared up little rash like spots I was getting across my chest. I’ll have to check out using it in my sunscreen, that sounds great in reducing the whiteness! Thank you for sharing this wonder ful information with us

  27. Michelle Schade says:

    Well this is so far the best reference source for how to use either Seabuckthorn seed or berry oils that I’ve been able to find.Thanks. I do think it’s a bit strange how little resources are readly basil for useing this great oil. Does anyone know of another reference source for me? send me a link or where I can educate myself

  28. Chris says:

    Just started using this oil after purchasing it in a markdown bin at my health food store. Love this stuff! I add a few drops to my shampoo and conditioner in the shower and it really adds a nice non-heavy sheen to my usually dry hair.

  29. Silvy says:

    I had forgotten!! These are such good ideas for summer!

  30. Renata says:

    How fabulous is the idea to add it to sunscreen? Genius :) But then again, the best things are always simple, right? I do have this oil in my house too, and after using it for the first time l ended up looking like Oompa Loompa too :) Now it’s shelved along with my other fabulous oils because l developed dermatitis (on my face, no less!) and everything seems to be too irritating to my skin.. But it’s a fabulous oil and l plan to always have it in my routine :) Btw, what is the trick with the banana peels on the skin, l only knew them for teeth whitening?

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