Cottonseed oil and the more concentrated cottonseed extract isn’t as well-known as some of its buzzy ingredient counterparts, but it is a natural way to tap into those nourishing properties you want in your beauty products.
“Cottonseed oil is often used in hair and skincare products because of its high vitamin E 22 (4.8mg per tablespoon) and antioxidant content,” says New York City dermatologist Hadley King, M.D.
Whether you want pollution protection, a more dewy complexion or you’re trying to dial up the shine in your hair, cottonseed oil is an ingredient you don’t want to overlook.
You can find it in a variety of products – from eye cream to hair treatments – and Dr. King says you can also go straight to the source and use the pure form in your lineup.
Environmental protection for hair and skin.
Your skin and hair take a beating every day from environmental factors like pollution, UV exposure and either dry or humid air. By using ingredients like cottonseed oil, you can help protect your hair and skin health so you aren’t undoing all your self-care efforts every time you step outside.
“Like olive oil, the high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids 22 (3.52g per tablespoon) and vitamin E [in cottonseed oil] offers a natural alternative for skin health,” says beauty nutrition and formulation expert Paula Simpson. “Some studies 24 have shown its ability to help block out environmental aggressors and protect the skin.”
Dr. King agrees: “[Cottonseed oil’s] antioxidant properties can help protect against free radical damage from UV rays and pollution.” “Plus, some studies 4 suggest that plant oils may also help promote hair growth and protect hair from damage,” Simpson says.
Hydration, hydration, hydration.
“Drink more water” might be your mom’s go-to cure-all method, but hydration is a legit key to keeping your hair and skin healthy. To keep your skin hydrated, which water does help with, using ingredients that promote a strong skin barrier can help lock in that sought-after moisture. That’s where the fatty acids in cottonseed oil come into play, and the same principle also applies to hair.
“Cottonseed oil contains high concentrations of vitamin E and fatty acids,” Dr. King says. “These ingredients can help moisturize the hair and […] increase luster and help decrease hair breakage as well.”
Cottonseed oil is generally considered the most insecticidal of the vegetable oils 25.
- Certain oils, diluted with water and applied as sprays, can be effective controls of many plant pests.
- Horticultural oils are usually highly refined petroleum oils combined with an emulsifying agent. Some plant-derived oils are also used.
- Advantages of horticulture oils include low toxicity and their ability to break down quickly 5.