Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Paula’s Choice

Dermatologists explain the potential benefits of meadowfoam seed oil in skincare. Find out more about this moisturizing, lightweight oil, here. Paula's Choice Cbd Oil + Retinol ingredients explained: Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (Skin-Replenishing/Skin-Softening/Antioxidant), Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil (Emollient/Skin-Softening), Squalane (Plant-Derived Emollient/Skin-Replenishing), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Skin-Replenishing), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (Non-Fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Borago Officinalis Seed Oil (Non-Fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Seed Oil (Non-Fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil (Flax/Non-Fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (Non-Fragrant Antioxidant Plant Oil), Cannabidiol (Skin-Restoring), Retinol (Skin-Restoring), Centella Asiatica Extract (Skin-Soothing), Lupinus Albus Seed Oil (Non-Fragrant Antioxidant And Omega Plant Oil), Tocopherol (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E/Antioxidant), Water (Aqua) What is CBD and can it help skin concerns such as acne-prone skin? Paula’s Choice shares research-supported information on CBD skincare.

Why Dermatologists Love Meadowfoam Seed Oil for All Skin Types

Brooke Shunatona is a freelance beauty writer. Previously, she was the senior beauty editor at Cosmopolitan.com.

Geeta Yadav, MD is a board-certified dermatologist based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, where later completed her residency.

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In This Article

If you’re still not sold on face oils and using them regularly in your skincare routine, chances are you might have had a less-than-positive experience with one in the past. Some oils are indeed known to be comedogenic and some even irritating, but that’s not the case for all of them. If you’ve been burned by a skincare oil before, you might have sworn them off forever. But here’s the deal: not all oils are the same, and they don’t all work for everyone.

Take meadowfoam seed oil, for instance. This plant-based oil is nothing like the heavy, greasy consistency you might associate with oils, so don’t be put off if you find this ingredient listed high up on your product’s label.

Meet the Expert

  • Gretchen Frieling, MD, is a triple board-certified dermatopathologist based in Massachusetts.
  • Stacy Chimento, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist with Riverchase Dermatology in Florida
  • Ron Robinson is a cosmetic chemist with BeautyStat Cosmetics

To fill us in on everything this oil can do, both for the skin and for product formulation, we turned to triple board-certified dermatopathologist Gretchen Frieling, MD; board-certified dermatologist Stacy Chimento, MD, of Riverchase Dermatology; and cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson of BeautyStat Cosmetics. Together, the skin experts weigh in the benefits of meadowfoam seed oil.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil


Type of ingredient:
Emollient

Main benefits: Seals in moisture and softens skin.

Who should use it: Because meadowfoam seed oil is similar to natural sebum, Chimento says the ingredient is suitable for all skin types.

How often can you use it: Meadowfoam seed oil is safe to use daily. Chimento recommends adding a few drops into a daily moisturizer and also incorporating it into a nightly routine for those with dry skin.

Works well with: Robinson recommends using it in conjunction with other skincare oils and butters.

Don’t use with: Because meadowfoam seed oil is a very stable oil, Robinson says it’s compatible with many other cosmetic ingredients.

What Is Meadowfoam Seed Oil?

A plant-based oil, meadowfoam (aka Limnanthes alba) seed oil is derived from meadowfoam seeds and is composed of mostly fatty acids and antioxidants, which explains why you’ll find it in several skincare and hair care products. When talking about skincare formulas, specifically, Frieling says the ingredient is commonly included in formulations because it works well with many other ingredients, helps to thicken the product, and enhances the texture and feel of moisturizing products. So how does it feel, exactly? While some oils are known for their thick, slick consistency, this isn’t one of them. Robinson describes meadowfoam seed oil as having a unique, velvety texture that is very emollient without being greasy and compares it to argan oil—but a less expensive and more stable version. Frieling breaks it down: “It has over 95% long-chain omega-9 fatty acids, making it a highly stable and oxidative oil. This means that in the presence of light and air, meadowfoam seed oil is less likely to go bad or develop a bad odor.”

Benefits of Meadowfoam Seed Oil for Skin

Meadowfoam seed oil isn’t only included in cosmetic formulation for its stability and sensory properties. The skincare ingredient also provides a few benefits to the skin, as listed below.

  • Locks in moisture: Although meadowfoam seed oil isn’t the same as the natural sebum your skin makes (Robinson points out that meadowfoam seed oil is higher in fatty acid content while sebum contains more wax esters), it works similarly to sebum, in that it seals in moisture.
  • Safe for a variety of skin types: Because it’s so similar to our skin’s oils, Chimento adds that meadowfoam seed oil is suitable for all skin types.
  • Softens skin: “While there is very little evidence on the effectiveness of meadowfoam seed oil to treat skin conditions, we know that it can hydrate the skin,” Frieling explains. When applied to the skin, meadowfoam seed oil acts as an emollient, sealing in moisture and keeping the skin soft and supple.
  • Balances sebum production: “Ingredients like meadowfoam seed oil help to balance our skin’s natural sebum production, keeping it from being too dry or too oily,” Chimento explains.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles: Dehydrated skin is one of the main causes of wrinkles, so the fact that meadowfoam seed oil replenishes lost moisture means that it also helps to reduce the appearance of any fine lines or wrinkles.
  • Absorbs easily into the skin: “It can easily absorb into the skin and will not feel heavy or greasy, unlike other thicker oils and creams,” Chimento says.
  • Available over-the-counter: Unlike some super skincare ingredients, meadowfoam seed oil products are available in most beauty and drugstores.
  • Fights aging and free-radical damage: According to Frieling, the powerful antioxidant properties of meadowfoam seed oil indicate that it might help prevent sun damage and reduce oxidative stress.
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Side Effects of Meadowfoam Seed Oil

Although meadowfoam seed oil isn’t one of those oils known for being super irritating, Chimento always recommends performing a patch test on the inside of your forearm when trying any new product before applying it more broadly. If an allergic reaction does occur, you might experience a rash, itchiness, tingling, swelling, and inflamed skin, in which case you should discontinue use of the product and consult your doctor.

How to Use It

Face oils typically work best as the last step in your skincare routine to seal in all the moisture underneath it. Still, Chimento also suggests adding a few drops of meadowfoam seed oil to your daily moisturizer or hydrating serum after cleansing. If you have dry skin, Chimento suggests taking it a step further and also applying two to three drops of pure meadowfoam seed oil onto cleansed skin for added moisture at night.

The Best Products With Meadowfoam Seed Oil

Part foundation and part face oil, this liquid-like tint melts seamlessly into the skin for that sheered-out, dewy finish you get when you mix a few drops of face oil into your makeup. This formula contains jojoba, avocado, and rosehip seed oils, which is why it’s one of Frieling’s favorites. “Not only does it provide decent coverage, but you’re also nourishing the skin with nutrients and minerals that a normal foundation or BB cream wouldn’t,” Frieling explains. With just 16 shades offered, we only wish it were available in a wider range.

Another top pick of Frieling’s is this fragrance-free cleansing oil made with a combination of five plant oils. “I highly recommend the double-cleanse method to anyone who suffers from acne caused by clogged pores,” Frieling says. “Oils do an incredible job at picking up other oils, dirt, and makeup without leaving an oily residue. This cleansing oil is a blend of meadowfoam seed oil and other gentle oils that also hydrate and nourish the skin while removing impurities.”

Named by Byrdie as one the best face oils for glowy skin, this fragrance- and essential-oil-free product has a gentle, lightweight feel that you wouldn’t expect from a bunch of oils. But instead of heavier oils, this formula combines cloudberry, cottonseed, and meadowfoam seed oils to help the skin retain moisture while imparting a soft, dewy glow.

For all those times when your skin (face or body) could really use a reset and a boost of moisture, reach for this calming oil. Here’s the breakdown: Hemp seed oil, meadowfoam seed oil, witch hazel, and vitamin E work together to nourish, moisturize, and rescue tired skin (hence the name).

Have super dry skin that needs moisture and lots of it? Try this body balm (it’s a top pick of Byrdie’s editorial director) made from all-natural ingredients, like meadowfoam seed and avocado oils. As a bonus, you can also use it as a cleansing balm and a hair treatment—if you didn’t already use it all up on your body, that is.

If the Byrdie product review on this serum isn’t convincing enough, allow us to add to it. Not only does this serum—a combination of vitamin E with plant oils, like green tea seed oil, sunflower oil, and meadowfoam oil—simultaneously moisturize dry skin and keep oily skin at bay, but the lightweight feel also allows it to layer nicely under makeup.

If sheet masking is more your vibe, try this one from facialist Angela Caglia. Meadowfoam seed oil is just one of many skin-loving ingredients packed into each sheet. Made from bio-cellulose (best for serum penetration), these masks are also infused with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and lactic acid for hydrating and brightening benefits.

Meadowfoam seed oil works similarly to our skin’s natural oils, making it suitable for all skin types.

Meadowfoam seed oil works similarly to sebum, in that it seals in moisture and absorbs easily in to the skin.

Meadowfoam seed oil works to replenish lost moisture, so it also helps to reduce the appearance of any fine lines or wrinkles.

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Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Paula’s Choice

We don’t have description for this ingredient yet.

The emollient plant oil coming from the seeds of the white flowering plant called meadowfoam. Meadowfoam Oil has a unique fatty acid composition with 95% of it being long chain fatty acids (eicosenoic acid C20:1 – 61%, docosenoic acid C22:1 – 16% and docosadienoic acid C22:2 – 18%) that make the oil extraordinarily stable. It also contains antioxidant components such as vitamin E as well as phytosterols.

Apart from Meadowfoam Oil’s crazy stability, the oil is described as non-greasy, rapidly absorbed and having a similar skin feel to more often used jojoba oil. The oil is ideal for products where a soft, smooth, silky feel is required whether it be on skin or hair.

It seems to us that squalane is in fashion and there is a reason for it. Chemically speaking, it is a saturated (no double bonds) hydrocarbon (a molecule consisting only of carbon and hydrogen), meaning that it’s a nice and stable oily liquid with a long shelf life.

It occurs naturally in certain fish and plant oils (e.g. olive), and in the sebum (the oily stuff our skin produces) of the human skin. As f.c. puts it in his awesome blog post, squalane’s main things are “emolliency, surface occlusion, and TEWL prevention all with extreme cosmetic elegance“. In other words, it’s a superb moisturizer that makes your skin nice and smooth, without being heavy or greasy.

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Another advantage of squalane is that it is pretty much compatible with all skin types and skin conditions. It is excellent for acne-prone skin and safe to use even if you have fungi-related skin issues, like seborrhea or fungal acne.

The unsaturated (with double bonds) and hence less stable version of Squalane is Squalene, you can read about it here >>

A super common emollient that makes your skin feel nice and smooth. It comes from coconut oil and glycerin, it’s light-textured, clear, odorless and non-greasy. It’s a nice ingredient that just feels good on the skin, is super well tolerated by every skin type and easy to formulate with. No wonder it’s popular.

The emollient plant oil coming from the soybean. It is considered to be a nice, cost-effective base oil with moisturizing properties. As for its fatty acid profile, it contains 48-59% barrier-repairing linoleic acid, 17-30% nourishing oleic acid and also some (4.5-11%) potentially anti-inflammatory linolenic acid.

We feel that this one is a bit under the radar probably because the Borage plant is not very well known. Maybe because its name isn’t as cool as some others, it’s hard to compete with kukui or baobab, not to mention murumuru. But let us tell you when it comes to skin care, borage seed oil is one of the best oils that can happen to your skin. Especially, if it’s dry, sensitive, easily irritated, often itchy or eczema prone.

So what is so special about it? It is the richest known plant source of the super important essential fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is soothing and nourishing, and can repair even severely dry and irritated skin, but it’s pretty rare and borage contains by far the most of it (17-28%). Next to GLA, it also contains more common fatty acids, like linoleic (36%), oleic (18%) or palmitic acid (10%).

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If your skin is dry and sensitive, this one is totally for you.

We don’t have description for this ingredient yet.

The oil coming from the plant Linum Usitatissimum or commonly called Flax. If you are into healthy eating, you probably know flaxseeds as a rich source of hard-to-eat-enough omega-3 fatty acids, or if you are into fashion, you probably have some light summer cloth made from linen.

As for skincare, flaxseed oil is one of the few natural plant oils that is a rich source (35-65%) of moisturizing and probably anti-inflammatory ω-3 fatty acid, aka linolenic acid. It also contains skin-nourishing oleic acid (11-35%) and barrier repairing linoleic acid (11-24%).

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According to manufacturer claims, it is used as an emollient, anti-inflammatory and healing agent and it is well-known to create smooth and soft skin.

Sunflower does not need a big intro as you probably use it in the kitchen as cooking oil, or you munch on the seeds as a healthy snack or you adore its big, beautiful yellow flower during the summer – or you do all of these and probably even more. And by even more we mean putting it all over your face as sunflower oil is one of the most commonly used plant oils in skincare.

It’s a real oldie: expressed directly from the seeds, the oil is used not for hundreds but thousands of years. According to The National Sunflower Association, there is evidence that both the plant and its oil were used by American Indians in the area of Arizona and New Mexico about 3000 BC. Do the math: it’s more than 5000 years – definitely an oldie.

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Our intro did get pretty big after all (sorry for that), so let’s get to the point finally: sunflower oil – similar to other plant oils – is a great emollient that makes the skin smooth and nice and helps to keep it hydrated. It also protects the surface of the skin and enhances the damaged or irritated skin barrier. Leslie Bauman notes in Cosmetic Dermatology that one application of sunflower oil significantly speeds up the recovery of the skin barrier within an hour and sustains the results 5 hours after using it.

It’s also loaded with fatty acids (mostly linoleic (50-74%) and oleic (14-35%)). The unrefined version (be sure to use that on your skin!) is especially high in linoleic acid that is great even for acne-prone skin. Its comedogen index is 0, meaning that it’s pretty much an all skin-type oil.

Truth be told, there are many great plant oils and sunflower oil is definitely one of them.

We don’t have description for this ingredient yet.

  • Retinol (pure Vitamin A) is probably the most proven anti-aging ingredient available OTC
  • It has to be converted in the skin to retinoic acid to work its magic
  • Once converted, it has the same effect as all-trans-retinoic acid, aka tretinoin
  • A generally accepted ballpark number is that retinol is 10-to-20 times less potent than retinoic acid
  • It makes skin less wrinkled, smoother, firmer and tighter
  • It might also be helpful for acne prone skin as it normalizes keratinization and makes the pores produce less sebum
  • Possible side effects and irritation are also much less than with retinoic acid
  • Do not use whilst pregnant

Centella Asiatica – or gotu kola as normal people call it – has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years. It’s traditionally used to improve small wounds, burns and scratches and it’s also a well known anti-inflammatory agent for eczema.

Recently science has taken an interest in Gotu Kola as well and it turns out it really has many active compounds with several benefits. Just for hard-core geeks, the main biologically active compounds are pentacyclic triterpenoid saponins called asiaticoside, madecassoside, asiatic and madecassic acid (also called centellosides).

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One of the biological activities of the centellosides is to be able to stimulate GAGs (glycosaminoglycans – polysaccharides that are part of the liquidy stuff between our skin cells), and especially hyaluronic acid synthesis in our skin. This is probably one of the reasons why Centella Asiatica Extract has nice skin moisturizing properties that was confirmed by a 25 people, four weeks study along with Centella’s anti-inflammatory effects.

Madecassoside can also help in burn wound healing through increasing antioxidant activity and enhancing collagen synthesis. Asiaticoside was shown to increase antioxidant levels on rats skin when applied at 0.2%.

Centella Asiatica also often shows up in products that try to treat cellulite or striae. Of course, it cannot make a miracle but it might have some effect via regulating microcirculation and normalizing the metabolism in the cells of connective tissues.

Bottom line: Gotu Kola is a great plant ingredient with proven wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Nice to spot on any ingredient list.

Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Paula’s Choice

Reference for this information: British Journal of Dermatology, November 2006, pages 890–894 Archives of Dermatological Research, March 1976, pages 9–21

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