I love summer and everything it brings along with it; Long days, blue skies, sunshine, and an abundance of delicious and oh so sweet berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
Not only are berries packed with powerful antioxidants and delightful to eat, when the oils from their seeds are applied topically they offer amazing benefits to the skin.
One of my favourite berry oils (and I have quite a few) is raspberry seed oil (INCI: Rubus idaeus). A relative of the rose, raspberry seed oil offers superior anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, providing protection from harmful free-radicals (a major contributor to the aging process) and may also act as a broad spectrum UV protectant and provide protection against both UV-A, and UV-B damage (Oomah, 2000).
Raspberry seed oil has a unique fatty acid composition with 54% linoleic acid (omega-6), 29% alpha linolenic acid (omega-3) and 12% oleic acid (omega-9). It has high levels of alpha and gamma tocopherols (Vitamin E) and contains 23mg per gram of carotenoides (vitamin A).
In a study conducted by the Hallym University, Korea, polyphenols, in the form of ellagic acid, found in raspberry seed oil, have been shown to reduce the destruction of collagen and the inflammatory response, protect against UV damage and have a chemo-protective effect by reducing oxidative stress.
SOURCED & PROCESSED
Raspberry seed oil (as with other berry oils) is a by-product of berry juice production providing a renewable resource making it a great natural and eco-friendly addition to your skincare formulations. It is generally cold pressed and is available either refined or unrefined.
CHARACTERISTICS & APPEARANCE
Raspberry seed oil is a yellow to yellow-red colour with a soft, fruity aroma.
It is said to be a dry oil but I find it slightly greasier than most dry oils, having a skin feel similar to sweet almond oil. It glides on the skin nicely and is absorbed at a medium rate and being a light oil is less occlusive than some other carrier oils.
Raspberry seed oil is a luxurious oil offering moisturising, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-aging benefits for the skin. I think it would be nice to use in just about any formulation but especially those for dry, damaged, dehydrated, mature or aging skin.
It would also make a great addition to sunscreen products, but remember not to make claims about the SPF without having it tested in a lab.
Although it has been seen to have some UV protection, it should not replace, but be used under your daily sunscreen.
Raspberry seed oil is extremely nourishing and a potent skin healer making it a fantastic addition to many different skincare formulations.
The combination of its strong antioxidant, free-radical scavenging properties and unique essential fatty acid profile make raspberry seed oil a superfood for your skin.
- Natural SPF
Raspberry seed oil has extremely high levels of phytosterols (4220 ppm), offering amazing anti-inflammatory properties that can help with skin barrier repair function, as well as reducing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) increasing skin moisture levels.
The presence of ellagic acid offers anti-aging benefits and has been seen to protect against UV damage. A study conducted at Hallyn University found that the use of ellagic acid reduced the destruction of collagen and inflammatory response, both of which are major causes of skin aging.
A 2000 study by Oomah found that raspberry seed oil, when used at full strength, may have the potential to act as a broad spectrum sunscreen. According to the study, it could offer UVA and UVB protection similar to titanium dioxide with an SPF between 28-50 for UVB, and 6-8 for UVA making it a valuable addition to sunscreen formulations.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage, reducing skin damage and premature signs of aging.
Carotenoids are strong antioxidants that play a crucial role in the health of our skin. ß-carotene, found in raspberry seed oil, is the pre-cursor to vitamin A and helps to protect against UV damage and stimulate cell repair. Vitamin A is also an effective wound healer, can increase collagen production and may be effective in preventing or delaying visible signs of skin aging.
Essential Fatty Acids
Red raspberry seed oil contains a high levels of alpha linolenic (Omega-3) and linoleic (Omega-6) essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are crucial to proper skin barrier repair function. Having high levels of key EFAs helps to reduce trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), improve moisturisation and increase anti-inflammatory activity.
Try this formulation for a beautifully light, natural facial moisturiser.
- Water 73.7%
- Glycerin 4%
- Xanthan gum 0.3%
- Emulsifer (Cetearyl olivate & sorbitan olivate) 4%
- Stearic acid 2%
- Raspberry seed oil 8%
- Rosehip oil 4%
- Preservative (Geogard 221) 1%
- Raspberry extract 2%
- Vitamin E 0.5%
- Essential oils 0.5% (sweet orange 0.25%, geranium 0.15%, frankincense 0.1%)
- Mix the xanthan gum and glycerin into a slurry. Slowly add to the water under constant stirring and continue stirring until the gum is fully hydrated and a gel has formed. Heat to 75°.
- Combine the oil phase in a separate bowl and heat to 75°.
- Pour the oil phase into the water phase and mix under high shear to emulsify. Allow to cool down under constant stirring.
- Once cooled below 40°, add the cool down phase ingredients.
- Allow to cool to 25°. Adjust pH to 5.5 - 5.8 and pour off into packaging.
- Having used a natural preservative with this moisturiser, it is best to use an airless pump for packaging to avoid contamination during use.