Could broccoli seed oil be the next “it”oil? Quite possibly, yes. The health benefits of broccoli nutrition are well-known — as an edible vegetable that is. Broccoli consumption has been shown to help prevent cancer, benefit heart health, improve digestion and so much more. (1) But the broccoli benefits don’t stop there! Now the oil made from broccoli sprouts is gaining traction in the beauty world for its ability to emulate silicone-based ingredients minus the negative health concerns.
When it comes to your skin and hair, you may want to consider getting the benefits of broccoli from its oil in addition to its presence on your dinner plater. Broccoli seed oil is highly moisturizing, non-greasy and absorbs quickly. With its high fatty acid and vitamin content, broccoli seed oil may just be what your dry hair and skin need.
What Is Broccoli Seed Oil?
When you hear “broccoli oil” you might picture someone squashing the green cruciferous vegetable and putting the juices in a container. Don’t worry, broccoli oil is not made this way. Broccoli seed oil is made by cold-pressing the tiny seeds of broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts are how the adult vegetable we all know as broccoli starts out. They typically only grow for about four or five days before they’re harvested. These sprouts may be small, but they are mighty. Broccoli sprouts are said to contain up to 80-100 times more of the antioxidant sulforaphane than broccoli. (2)
Pure broccoli seed oil has a pale greenish-yellow color. Does it smell like broccoli? I will warn you that, yes, it does have a scent similar to broccoli. The good news is that it’s typically very faint and dissipates rather quickly. Personally, I don’t mind the scent because I can tell the oil really has its literal roots in the broccoli plant itself.
Broccoli seed oil nutrition has an impressive fatty acid profile, yet it manages to be light ant not greasy. It absorbs very nicely into the skin and hair. This vegetable-derived oil is almost 50 percent erucic acid, which is is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.
Here’s a full look at the fatty acid profile of broccoli seed oil: (3)
- Erucic acid (omega-9 fatty acid): 49 percent
- Oleic acid (omega-9 fatty acid): 13.5 percent
- Linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid): 11.4 percent
- Alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid): 9 percent
- Eicosenoic acid: 6 percent
- Palmitic acid: 3.25 percent
Broccoli seed oil also contains vitamin A, C and K as well as B vitamins.
Don’t be surprised if you start noticing broccoli seed oil included more and more in some or all of the following:
- Anti-aging oils and serums
- Hair styling products
- Body and hand lotions
- Lip care products
The first and most obvious benefit of broccoli seed oil is the moisture that it can provide to your skin and hair. Broccoli seed oil is loaded with beneficial fatty acids. If you struggle with dry hair, dry skin or both, then adding broccoli seed oil to your daily beauty regimen can go a long way to improve dryness.
Similar to other oils like coconut oil or argan oil, a little goes a long way. When using broccoli seed oil to improve dryness, just start with a couple of drops and go from there. If your hair is on the finer side, you want to be more conservative with how much oil you use, whereas with thick hair you may need to use a little more to reap broccoli seed oil’s moisturizing benefits.
2. Much Healthier than Silicone
Many beauty products, especially hair products and makeup, contain silicone or silicone-based ingredients, like dimethicone. Why are companies using this synthetic and questionable ingredient? Silicone can help make hair look smoother and shinier. It can also help makeup to stay in place. These are desirable characteristics in the world of beauty, but there is still debate about whether or not we really want to put silicone and other silicone-like ingredients on our bodies.
Some experts believe that silicone oils like dimethicone behave similarly to petroleum products by forming a plastic-like, artificial barrier to the skin. This unnatural environment doesn’t allow the skin to breathe and perform as it normally does, which can make skin drier and even make the skin irritated, especially for people who have sensitive skin.
If you love what silicone does but feel iffy about how healthy this synthetic ingredient is, then the good news is that broccoli seed oil is a natural ingredient that’s said to mimic silicone. According to Annmarie Skin Care (a well-respected line of natural, organic, wild-crafted products): (5)
Broccoli seed oil is unique because of its powerful antioxidants, and its unique combination of essential fatty acids. Light, non-greasy, and easily absorbed, it’s actually similar in feel to the chemical silicones you’ll find in other skin and hair-care products.
3. Boosts Hair Health and Appearance
As an alternative to silicone, broccoli seed oil can make an awesome addition to your hair care lineup. Using broccoli seed oil on your hair adds moisturizing fatty acids as well as vitamins that are essential to healthy hair growth. Applying broccoli seed oil for flyaways, frizz, split ends or just as a leave-in treatment adds a noticeable shine to improve the appearance of your hair.
4. Prevents UV Damage
Broccoli seed oil may protect the skin from UV radiation and sunburns and therefore possibly help prevent skin cancer. Broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane, an organic sulfur compound found in cruciferous vegetables. A scientific study published in 2007 revealed that in both animals and human subjects, sulforaphane up-regulated enzymes that protect skin against damage by UV radiation. (6) This is promising research when it comes to skin cancer.
Broccoli extract works differently from other antioxidants — rather than scavenging free radicals it is directly absorbed into the cells of the skin when applied topically. Inside the cells, it produces a matrix of protective enzymes that defend against damage from UV exposure. It works at the cellular level to reduce skin redness and inflammation caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
5. Natural Alternative to Retinol
Broccoli seed oil doesn’t just contain helpful fatty acids — it also contains beneficial vitamins like vitamin A. Some people are turning to broccoli seed oil as a healthier alternative to prescription or over-the-counter retinoid or retinol products. These products all utilize a form of vitamin A that helps the skin renew itself faster.
This speedier skin cell turnover rate is why so many people love these products for anti-aging. However, these retinoids are not without their concerning side effects. Retinoid risks include redness, dryness, irritation, skin color changes, sunlight sensitivity, swelling, crusting or blistering. Broccoli seed oil provides vitamin A without undesirable side effects.
6. Anti-Aging Effects
In addition to vitamin A, broccoli seed oil also contains linoleic acid, which promotes ceramide synthesis. Why is this great for skin health? Ceramides, found in the top layer of the skin, not only regulate the skin cells, but they also help form a protective layer that retains moisture and visibly plumps the skin.
By promoting ceramide production, broccoli seed oil can be especially helpful to mature skin that’s looking for added moisture and a more youthful appearance — another way to help naturally slow aging.
How to Use
- Flyaways or frizz — To tame those annoying stray strands of hair, simply put a couple of drops of broccoli seed oil on the palms of your hands, rub your hands together, and distribute evenly throughout hair or just on the problem areas. Use more or less oil depending on the length and thickness of your hair.
- Split ends — To help keep split ends under control until your next haircut, try putting a couple of drops of broccoli seed oil on your finger tips and running them over the ends of your hair as needed.
- Scalp treatment — With all its fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, this is a great oil to massage into your scalp for an easy at-home treatment. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes, then wash and condition as usual.
- Conditioner booster — You can also add a few drops of broccoli seed oil to your favorite conditioner.
- Dry skin — Apply a drop or two of broccoli seed oil into any dry areas of your body. Use more oil if the area of concern is larger. Massage the oil in lightly until it is absorbed. It can also help calm skin inflammation and irritation.
- Wrinkles or dryness on face/neck — Put several drops of broccoli oil across the palms of your hands and rub your palms together to warm up the oil. Now pat and press the oil all over your face and neck. If you use a moisturizer, put it on before the oil.
- Overnight skin care treatment — Apply in the same manner at night for an overnight skincare treatment.
- Razor bumps and burns —Wondering how to get rid of razor burn? Warm a drop or two of the oil in your hands and lightly massage into the affected area to promote healing.
- Nails and cuticles — To give your brittle nails and cuticles a therapeutic treat, dot a fraction of a drop of broccoli seed oil directly onto each nail, one at a time, and rub into the nail bed and cuticle. Leave on until all nails have been treated. Make sure to remove any nail polish and rinse thoroughly before applying the oil.
Risks and Allergies
Before using any ingredient on your skin, it’s always a wise idea to perform a patch test to make sure you don’t have a negative skin reaction. Try testing one to two drops of oil on an area of your skin that isn’t sensitive, such as your feet or calves.
If you do find you have any unwanted response to broccoli seed oil, discontinue use immediately. If you’re allergic to broccoli, then you may likely have an allergy to broccoli seed oil.
Always store broccoli seed oil in a dark, cool place away from heat and light.
Loaded with moisturizing essential fatty acids, yet light, quickly absorbed and non-greasy, broccoli seed oil is an easy-to-use, easy-to-love, natural addition to any skin or hair care regimen. With the availability of pure broccoli seed oil as well as its inclusion in natural body care products, the benefits of broccoli can be experienced both internally and externally now.
After years of consuming broccoli as a healthy addition to your meals, isn’t it hard not to wonder how this green veggie might naturally improve your skin and hair? Find out, as research shows it just may do wonders.