Every ingredient in your favorite moisturizer or lotion is absorbed into your skin. A little knowledge about those ingredients can help you make better choices for the unique biochemistry of your skin. Let’s look at oils, specifically cold-pressed oils. Normally, you’re probably trying to rid your skin of too much oil. However, the right kind of oils in the right amounts help the skin retain moisture, stay flexible, and resist damage from a harsh environment. Cold-pressed oils are a particular favorite in the skincare industry for their high nutrient content and eco-friendly processing.
What are Cold-Pressed Oils?
Cold-pressed oils are made from nuts and seeds using an oilseed press. It’s a process that doesn’t require additional chemicals, solvents, or heat to extract the oil. The entire extraction must take place in temperatures below 120°F. Temperatures above that limit can diminish the nutrients in the oil. Oils made using temperatures above 120°F or solvents are expeller-pressed oils or just “pressed.”
Not every seed or nut can be cold-pressed. Nuts and seeds with a high moisture content require heat or chemicals to extract oil successfully. If you tried to press a seed with a water content over about 10 percent, the result would be a gummy mess.
Low moisture content in the nut or seed can cause extraction problems too. The lower the moisture content of the nut or seed, the higher the press temperature needed to extract the oil. There’s a sweet spot for cold-pressing that involves the plant’s natural moisture level and the moisture level of the environment at extraction.
Needless to say, it takes precision and patience to create the cold-pressed oils used in skincare products. It’s not a fast process, but it’s one that provides incredible benefits for the skin.
Benefits of Cold-Pressed Oils
Heat and chemicals can reduce the nutritive content of the resulting oil. In short, cold-pressed oils often contain more of the nutritional benefits of the original plant. The results of a 2014 study suggest that cold-pressed oils retain more antioxidants. The same study found that cold-pressed oils have a longer shelf life than those made through other extraction methods. Not that you need to be worried about your skincare products going bad, but the oils in them can last longer without the help of additional preservatives.
Cold-pressed oil benefits go beyond nutritive value. The cold-pressed extraction process is also considered a more environmentally friendly option. It takes less energy because it doesn’t need heat, and it doesn’t use chemical solvents either.
Just to make sure we’re on the same page, many of the cold-pressed oils you see in your skincare products are different from similarly named oils you find in the kitchen. Cold-pressed oils aren’t used for cooking because they don’t retain flavor, nor do they have the high extraction rate needed for cooking and consumption. Chances are, the oils in your kitchen, even if they’re extracted from the same plant, are different from the oils in your skincare products.
Cold-Pressed Oils in Skincare Products
How can cold-pressed oils benefit your skin? It goes back to antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your skin from free radicals. Free radicals are particles that attach to the collagen in the skin and reduce the skin’s natural flexibility. Stiff, inflexible skin develops fine lines and wrinkles over time.
You can eat antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and A, and you can apply them topically to your skin. From both the inside and out, antioxidants can reduce sun damage, kind of like a natural sunscreen (except you still need to wear regular sunscreen). Antioxidants can also brighten, refresh, and rejuvenate your skin. Some can even reduce the appearance of aging.
Final Thoughts on Cold-Pressed Oils
A skincare product is only as good as its ingredients. Everything from the quality of the original seeds and nuts to the manufacturing processes influences the nutritive and protective value of the final cream, lotion, or solution.
At SULU ORGANICS, we not only strive to use the highest-quality ingredients, but we also use methods that maintain and enhance the nutritive value for your skin. Whether it’s moisture your skin needs or acne treatments, we’ve got products that take a gentle approach to better skin health.