Black seed oil: everything you need to know about this blemish-soothing skincare ingredient

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Acne-prone and inflammed skin conditions, like rosacea, may benefit from the calming properties of this skincare oil.

Dealing with rosacea, skin inflammation and an acne-prone complexion comes with an innate desire to scour every online beauty section for those products that really work. But with a minefield of serums, essences, toners and liquid exfoliators available, it can be exhausting.

When we talk about preventing breakouts and inflammation, you may think of some highly regarded acids. Like exfoliating hero salicylic acid and glycolic acid, known for its brightening benefits.

But, there are certain facial oils that can actually help too. As well as providing a hydration hit, some oils have antibacterial properties and can clear unclogged pores. One of the stand-out oils in this arena? Black seed oil. 

While it’s not talked about in the beauty sphere as much as other oils, the benefits speak for themselves. Stylist delves into where exactly this under the radar ingredient comes from, what it does and how we can use it in our skincare routines.

What is black seed oil and where does it come from?

“Black seed oil is an extract from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant that grows in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East. It’s been used for thousands of years as a therapeutic health and beauty aid,” says founder of Harley Street Skin, Lesley Reynolds.  

What are the benefits of black seed oil in skincare for our skin?

Containing over 100 vitamins and minerals, it’s an antioxidant powerhouse. “It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties,” says dermatologist, cardiologist and founder of Meder Beauty Science, Dr Tiina Meder. It contains a few vitamins that you may already know too: vitamins A (retinol) B (niacinamide) and C (ascorbic acid), as well as amino acids and fatty acids. “The oil helps skin to retain moisture, maintain elasticity, and fight the damaging effects of free radicals, which can contribute to fine lines. Used in the right formulation, it can help clear blocked pores and control oil production, making it an option for battling breakouts,” she explains.  

Which skin types and conditions would black seed oil work best for?

Most skin types can use this oil, however it’s particularly beneficial for those with acne-prone or hyper-sensitive skin. “Its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help to achieve great results in the treatment of acne. Black seed oil may also help soothe skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, due to its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Given it’s packed full of fatty acids and moisture-retaining vitamins, it may help in reducing the appearance of fine lines too,” says Dr Meder.

How should we use black seed oil in our skincare routine?

“Look for moisturisers or facial oils targeting dry and sensitive skin. Be careful, in some cases black seed oil can provoke contact dermatitis due to its high capacity of penetration into the skin, so always use with caution and conduct an allergy test before use,” explains Dr Meder. 

So, we know that black seed oil has incredible benefits for skin, but which products should we be using? Well, we’ve curated a list of the ingredient-based beauty products to slather on.

The best black seed oil beauty products

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