It seems the pursuit of skin-friendly oils knows no end. Jojoba, argan, pomegranate, and rosehip oil have all surged in popularity as skincare remedies over the past few years.
But have you heard of emu oil?
Hailing from the southern hemisphere, this oil is on the more exotic end of the spectrum, and it’s making a name for itself as an effective addition to skincare regimens.
You see, emu oil – which is sourced from emus – is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. All of these nutrients work together to soothe, moisturize, and even help delay the aging of the skin.
Ready to get exotic with your skincare regimen? Then read on to get the scoop on emu oil benefits.
What Nutrients Make Emu Oil So Great?
So, what exactly is in emu oil that makes it so great for the skin? The answer lies in its abundance of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants1:
Also found in olive oil, shea butter, and coconut oil, oleic acid is an omega-9 essential fatty acid that easily penetrates the skin.The unique ability of oleic acid to penetrate the skin is invaluable. It acts as a carrier for all the following nutrients and compounds, allowing them to also sink in deeply.2
An omega-6 essential fatty acid, linoleic acid helps maintain the structure of the top layer of the skin – the epidermis.3
Often found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, carotenoids influence skin tone and color.4
As potent antioxidants, polyphenols fight off the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that are generated by environmental toxins, such as UV rays, air pollution, pesticides, and cigarette smoke. These harmful molecules can damage multiple body systems, including the skin. In fact, it’s thought that free radicals play a significant role in the development of the visible signs of aging.5
Commonly derived from vegetable oils, tocopherols are a form of vitamin E. They contain antioxidant properties which offer multiple benefits for the skin.6
Emu Oil Benefits For The Skin
So, what can all the nutrients found in emu oil do for your skin? Turns out, quite a bit! Here are a few of the ways emu oil can work in your skin’s favor:
Moisturizes Dry Skin
Do you go through moisturizer like it’s going out of style? Then you might want to try emu oil. Emu oil can hydrate rough, dry skin, thanks to the presence of vitamin E and linoleic acid.
Vitamin E effectively improves moisture levels and helps strengthen your “skin barrier.”7 What’s your skin barrier? It’s the outermost layer of skin, and one of its functions is to help your skin retain moisture.
And linoleic acid is also great for dry skin. Studies have shown that linoleic acid is especially good at moisturizing advanced, aging skin.8
Helps Slow the Signs of Premature Skin Aging
Free radicals are a prime suspect when it comes to the visible signs of aging in the skin. Many of the free radicals that cause this aging are generated by harmful UV rays.9 If your skin is damaged by free radicals caused by UV rays, you’re bound to experience wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots.10
The good news is, antioxidants can combat the effects of these free radicals, and help slow the signs of aging on the skin.11 Emu oil contains powerful antioxidants – like polyphenols and vitamin E – that can help prevent the signs of premature aging.12,13
Diminishes the Appearance of Dark Circles
Dark circles under the eyes can make you look perpetually tired. But a study has shown that a topical application of vitamin E for 8 weeks can diminish the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.14 So, if you struggle with dark circles, you might want to try a little vitamin E-rich emu oil under your eyes.
Helps Decrease Acne
Do you break out regularly? Then there’s a good chance that the oil your skin produces inadequate levels of linoleic acid. Scientists have found that low levels of linoleic acid in skin oil are associated with acne breakouts.15
Further studies have shown that a topical application of linoleic acid, as well as vitamin E, can work to help prevent whiteheads and blackheads.16,17
Improves Skin Tone
Carotenoids are responsible for giving skin a rich, robust color. In fact, research shows that skin with high levels of carotenoids is actually perceived to be healthier and more attractive.18
Since emu oil contains carotenoids, it may be useful in preventing a pale, wan appearance.
Itchy, red, and irritated skin can be downright annoying. But emu oil may be of some help. A study done in 2013 showed that emu oil can work to soothe skin prone to redness and irritation.19
An Unusual Oil With Unusually Good Benefits
Emu oil may seem exotic to us, but it’s actually been a reliable skin care remedy for thousands of years in Australia. This nutrient-dense oil can work to improve the quality of your skin by helping to increase hydration, reduce breakouts, improve skin tone, and soothe irritation. It just may be time to make some room in your medicine cabinet for emu oil!