I love summer and everything it brings along with it; Long days, blue skies, sunshine, and an abundance of delicious and oh so sweet berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
Not only are berries packed with powerful antioxidants and delightful to eat, when the oils from their seeds are applied topically, they offer amazing benefits to the skin.
One of my favourite berry oils (and I have quite a few) is raspberry seed oil (INCI: Rubus idaeus). A relative of the rose, raspberry seed oil offers superior anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, providing protection from harmful free-radicals (a major contributor to the aging process) and may also act as a broad spectrum UV protectant and provide protection against both UV-A, and UV-B damage (Oomah, 2000).
Raspberry seed oil has a unique fatty acid composition with 54% linoleic acid (omega-6), 29% alpha linolenic acid (omega-3) and 12% oleic acid (omega-9). It has high levels of alpha and gamma tocopherols (Vitamin E) and contains 23mg per gram of carotenoides (vitamin A).
In a study conducted by the Hallym University, Korea, polyphenols, in the form of ellagic acid, found in raspberry seed oil, have been shown to reduce the destruction of collagen and the inflammatory response, protect against UV damage and have a chemo-protective effect by reducing oxidative stress.
Sourced and Processed
Raspberry seed oil (as with other berry oils) is a by-product of berry juice production providing a renewable resource making it a great natural and eco-friendly addition to your skincare formulations. It is generally cold pressed and is available either refined or unrefined.
Characteristics and Appearance
Raspberry seed oil is a yellow to yellow-red colour with a soft, fruity aroma.
It is said to be a dry oil but I find it slightly greasier than most dry oils, having a skin feel similar to sweet almond oil. It glides on the skin nicely and is absorbed at a medium rate and being a light oil is less occlusive than some other carrier oils.
Raspberry seed oil is a luxurious oil offering moisturising, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-aging benefits for the skin. I think it would be nice to use in just about any formulation but especially those for dry, damaged, dehydrated, mature or aging skin.
It would also make a great addition to sunscreen products, but remember not to make claims about the SPF without having it tested in a lab.
Although it has been seen to have some UV protection, it should not replace, but be used under your daily sunscreen.
Raspberry seed oil is extremely nourishing and a potent skin healer making it a fantastic addition to many different skincare formulations.
The combination of its strong antioxidant, free-radical scavenging properties and unique essential fatty acid profile make raspberry seed oil a superfood for your skin.