Avocado Oil for Skin: What are its Benefits & How Do You Use it?

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Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying avocado’s super food status. It’s packed with a wide array of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and more, enabling it to boost a person’s health in so many different ways.

As always, it didn’t take long for the beauty industry to catch on. Yes, the nutritional benefits that avocados offer are a great way to nourish your skin from within, but applying all of those nutrients topically is a huge game-changer. How? You’re about to find out – here are the many ways in which avocado oil can improve your complexion, along with a few extra tips on how best to add this oil to your skincare routine.


What is Avocado Oil?

Avocado oil and fresh avocadoes

As you will have guessed from its name, avocado oil comes from avocados. However, unlike many other fruit oils, which are extracted from the seeds of the fruit, avocado oil is pressed from the flesh of the avocado fruit itself. With avocado oil being so nutrient-dense, it’s helpful when it comes to treating so many different skin conditions and concerns, which is why you’ll find it in a wide variety of skincare products.

The Skin Benefits of Avocado Oil

Thanks to its many vital nutrients, avocado oil helps the skin in numerous ways:

Its Fatty Acids Hydrate and Moisturize Dry Skin

One of the reasons why avocado is considered a superfood is because it’s packed with healthy fats. From lecithin to oleic acid, these fatty acids act as both an emollient and an occlusive when applied topically. This means that they soften and condition the skin, while also forming a protective moisture-retaining seal over the surface. Whether your face is just slightly dry or you’re dealing with severely itchy skin, organic avocado oil can help.

The vitamin E in avocado oil makes the ingredient’s moisturizing properties even more impressive. Research shows that this vitamin significantly increases skin moisture levels when used regularly [1], while also offering up some powerful antioxidant benefits (more on this later!).

It Promotes Collagen Production

If you’ve ever researched anti-aging skincare, then you’re probably familiar with collagen. This structural protein gives the skin its fullness, firmness, and smoothness. While your skin produces plenty of collagen during its early years, production declines with age. A lack of collagen is why the skin takes on a saggier and more wrinkled appearance as the years go on.

Fortunately, avocado oil can help with this. Studies have found that avocado oil can boost collagen synthesis [2], encouraging your skin to produce more of this key protein. Results aren’t immediate – the skin takes around three months to actually build more collagen fibers. However, after that, you’ll notice that your complexion looks and feels smoother, tighter, and bouncier, with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.

One other thing to note is that avocado oil is packed with antioxidants. As mentioned, vitamin E is one of these, but you’ll also find carotenoid and polyphenol antioxidants within the oil. These are partly responsible for the oil’s health benefits, but they’re also crucial for neutralizing free radicals in the skin. As we’ve just discussed, increasing and maintaining your skin’s collagen fibers is key for anti-aging. Free radicals, which are unstable molecules that come about after your skin has been exposed to UV rays and other toxins, destroy natural collagen. The only way to fight this is with antioxidants, making avocado oil very useful.

It Speeds Up the Skin Healing Process

A slight injury

The way in which avocado oil boosts collagen synthesis can do wonders for aging skin, but it also helps with wound healing. Whether your skin is suffering from your latest acne breakout or you’re dealing with chapped skin from psoriasis, avocado oil will speed up the rate at which your skin heals and regenerates [3], getting it back to normal faster than ever.

Its Anti-Inflammatory Properties Help to Treat Acne

Avocado oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, making it useful for acne-prone skin. Granted, there are several other ingredients out there that also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, but avocado oil offers a little extra.

In addition to soothing inflammation, and therefore preventing breakouts, its linolenic acid content helps to rebalance sebum production in the skin. Oily skin is caused by excess sebum production – slowing this down reduces the amount of oil on your skin, therefore preventing clogged pores and their associated pimples.

It Protects the Skin from Environmental Damage

Your skin has a lot to deal with on a daily basis, but UV rays are definitely its biggest enemy. While you shouldn’t go swapping your sunscreen for avocado oil, combining the two is very beneficial. Avocado oil has one of the highest natural SPF figures when compared to other oils. This means that avocado oil mixed in with your sunscreen will boost its efficacy, enabling it to better protect your skin from the damage that UV rays can cause.

It Can Treat a Dry and Flaky Scalp

Young woman with messy hair

Most people associate the scalp with hair care. However, your scalp is covered with skin, which is why nourishing the skin on your scalp will therefore improve hair health too. For this reason, avocado oil is often used as part of a hot oil treatment or a hair mask. In addition to keeping your scalp healthy, the minerals in avocado oil help to strengthen the hair, reducing breakages.

How to Choose a High-Quality Avocado Oil

There are many skincare products out there that have been formulated with avocado oil, like Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. ​​There’s nothing wrong with going for one of these, instead of purchasing the pure oil itself. However, you can never be quite sure of the quality of the oil used in these products, and quality really does matter.

So, if you decide to treat yourself to the pure oil, make sure that you go for a cold-pressed and organic avocado oil. If the label on the oil doesn’t give you any information, check out the oil’s color and scent. Unlike refined avocado oil, which is pale yellow in color and doesn’t really smell of anything, the organic version will be dark green, with a deliciously nutty aroma.

How to Use Avocado Oil for Skin

Avocado oil is extremely versatile – there are several ways to use the ingredient. Here are some of the most popular:

As a Facial Moisturizer

Using avocado oil as a moisturizer will allow you to treat skin conditions while softening dry skin. Simply apply the pure oil to your skin at the end of your skincare routine (either on its own or used as a carrier oil for other botanical extracts), or mix a few drops of the oil in with your regular moisturizer before applying this to your face.

As a Face Mask

If you don’t want to use avocado oil daily, use it weekly instead as a face mask. Simply mix the oil with some mashed flesh from a ripe avocado, and then add in other beneficial ingredients to target your various skin concerns. Coconut oil and shea butter work well in an avocado face mask, as does hyaluronic acid. There are plenty of avocado face mask recipes available, so do some research to find a few that appeal to you and your skin.

In the Bath

So far, we’ve only covered using avocado oil on your face, but the skin on your body shouldn’t have to miss out. To nourish your body with the oil too, add a few tablespoons of avocado oil to warm water in a bath, before indulging in a soak.

Does Avocado Oil Have Any Side Effects?

Using avocado oil very rarely produces any side effects. Even those with sensitive skin can usually use it without any issues. That said, avocado oil is pretty thick – if you have oily skin, perform a patch test first to make sure that it won’t cause any pore-clogging issues.

It goes without saying that if you’re allergic to avocados, then the oil could pose problems. Speak to your doctor before using it, or opt for another plant oil instead if you’re concerned.


Woman loving her avocado slice

Is avocado oil good for your face?

Yes, avocado oil is one of the best natural oils to use on your face.

Does avocado oil lighten skin?

Some people believe that avocado oil can help with skin lightening. However, there are no studies available to confirm this.

Does avocado oil have oleic acid?

Yes, avocado oil contains high concentrations of oleic acid.


The health benefits of eating avocados aren’t a secret, but few are familiar with just how helpful this ingredient can be when used directly on the skin. It’s packed with more nutrients than most of the other plant oils out there, which is how it is able to offer such a diverse range of benefits. While the ingredient can be a bit hit-or-miss for those with oily complexions, anyone dealing with dryness, inflammation, or aging should definitely give avocado oil for skin a try.


[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9706379/
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1676360
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614059/

Avatar for Alina Jumabhoy
About Alina Jumabhoy

With almost 10 years of experience writing for the skincare industry, Alina brings her unique perspective into all of the in-depth reviews and articles she writes.