Carrier oils are highly popular when used with both essential oils and alone and Abyssinian oil is one that we keep hearing more and more about. But what is Abyssinian oil and what can it be used for?
Abyssinian oil, or Abyssinian seed oil, is made from the Crambe abyssinica plant and is commonly used in the cosmetic industry for adding moisture to hair, hands, and nails. It can be used both alone or as a carrier for essential oils.
In this article, we’ll give you a deeper insight into what Abyssinian oil is, how its made, its uses, and potential substitutes. You’ll also learn how it’s best stored and what it looks/smells like.
Keep reading to learn all about this fascinating carrier oil!
What is Abyssinian oil made from?
Abyssinian oil is made from the Crambe abyssinica crop, which is an oilseed plant from the Brassicaceae family. This plant is native to the Ethiopian Highlands known as Abyssinia in eastern Africa and is now also cultivated in southern Europe and southern Africa.
These plants produce seeds which are then pressed to allow Abyssinian oil to be extracted. The oil is particularly sought after due to its containing erucic acid, a fatty acid that is particularly good for smoothing hair and cuticles.
Abyssinian oil is just one of many carrier oils, here’s some info on 63 of our favorite carrier oils!
Uses for Abyssinian oil
Abyssinian oil is most popularly used in the cosmetic industry, primarily as a smoothing product for the hair and skin.
It’s important to note that while some carrier oils are edible, Abyssinian oil is not and should therefore only be used as a cosmetic product and not in a culinary way.
Chemically, Abyssinian oil is very similar to oils that are naturally produced by our skin, making it safe for most skin types and providing an excellent source of natural hydration.
It’s also great for smoothing cuticles, making it very popular in beauty salons when performing manicures and pedicures.
Abyssinian oil can also be used in combination with essential oils – if you’re an essential oils buff, take a look at this guide to 112 essential oils.
Abyssinian oil is very popular within the hair care industry, as it is easily absorbed adding moisture without leaving a greasy finish.
It can also act as a shield against potential irritants, as it’s thought to be antifungal, and therefore helps to prevent flaky buildup and fungus in the hair/scalp.
Benefits of Abyssinian oil
There are many benefits to Abyssinian oil, here are some of the key advantages of using Abyssinian oil on your hair/skin:
- Thought to be anti-inflammatory, which can help to soothe inflamed/burned skin
- Can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles due to the presence of fatty acids
- Is lightweight and therefore absorbs easily into the skin
- Highly nourishing for the skin
- Can help to protect the skin from free radicals, which can cause cell damage and premature aging
- Helps to moisturize hands and smooth cuticles in nail care
- Won’t clog pores as it has a comedogenic rating of 0
- Can be used as a natural heat protectant and detangler due to the presence of fatty acids
- Contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and E which are great for the health of your hair
- Thought to be naturally anti-fungal which can help prevent irritation to the hair/scalp
- Lightweight and therefore won’t leave a greasy finish to the hair
- Helps to keep hair/scalp moisturized due to the presence of omega fatty acids, which limits hair frizziness and can repair split ends
Appearance and scent of Abyssinian oil
Abyssinian oil is generally pale yellow in appearance and very light in texture. Some manufacturers will add different colorings to Abyssinian oil, but it’s naturally yellow in color.
Naturally, it has little to no scent, which makes it highly appealing for those that prefer their cosmetic products to be lightly fragranced or unfragranced. As with colorings, some manufacturers will add different scents to their Abyssinian oil products, so it’s worth bearing this in mind if you’re sensitive to highly-fragrant cosmetics.
Substitutes for Abyssinian oil
Some popular substitutes for Abyssinian oil include the following:
- Argan oil
- Jojoba oil
- Coconut oil
- Baobab seed oil
Argan oil is most commonly recommended as the best substitute for Abyssinian oil as it offers similar benefits – if you’re confused about argan oil, take a look at this guide on what argan oil is!
Shelf life and storage of Abyssinian oil
Abyssinian oil tends to have a shelf life of around two years from manufacture when stored correctly.
It should be kept in a cool, dark place that is dry and free from direct sunlight.
If your Abyssinian oil shows any signs of expiry such as a bad smell or strange texture, we recommend you dispose of it – when purchased from a cosmetic company there should be either an expiry date clearly visible on the product or storage/shelf life information upon purchase.
Take a look at the below frequently asked questions to learn more about Abyssinian oil!
Abyssinian oil is highly beneficial for the hair and skin, adding moisture and potential anti-fungal benefits.
It contains many vitamins including Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and E, which all promote good health for the skin/hair, keeping it nourished and healthy.
Abyssinian oil is also known as Abyssinian seed oil or Crambe oil.
Abyssinian oil is great for dry skin as it helps to promote healthy oil production keeping your skin nourished and moisturized. It helps to mimic the natural skin barrier, which can moderate oil production, therefore, making it suitable for oily skin types too.
Abyssinian oil is an effective sealing oil as it is light, non-greasy, and super moisturizing. This allows it to seal moisture within the skin and hair and is absorbed easily and quickly.
Abyssinian oil is very good when used on the face as it contains many beneficial fatty acids such as erucic and linoleic acids, which help to regenerate the skin and potentially reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
It’s also non-comedogenic with a comedogenic rating of 0, which means it won’t clog pores. This makes it a great option for oilier skin types as it shouldn’t lead to breakouts/acne.