Sea buckthorn oil is a popular ingredient in skin care products due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and skin healing properties. Some people with seborrheic dermatitis have found that applying sea buckthorn oil to their skin helps improve their symptoms. However, there is no clinical evidence to support this. In fact, sea buckthorn oil is rich in long-chain fatty acids which can encourage Malassezia growth and aggravate seborrheic dermatitis.
Let’s take a deep dive:
What is sea buckthorn oil?
Sea Buckthorn oil is a natural oil that is extracted from the berries, seeds, and leaves of the sea buckthorn plant. This plant has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine to treat a variety of ailments
Sea buckthorn contains a range of compounds including omega-3, omega-6 and omega-7 fatty acids. All these fatty acids are important for maintaining overall health. In fact, sea buckthorn is one of few plant foods on earth to provide all 4 omega fatty acids.
Is sea buckthorn oil antifungal?
Sea buckthorn oil was shown to have some antifungal activity against Mucor and Tilletia fungus. There is no evidence that sea buckthorn oil is active against Malassezia.
In fact, sea buckthorn oil is rich in palmitic acid, stearic acid, linolenic acid and oleic acid. These are long-chain fatty acids which Malassezia can metabolize to use as food.
Skin benefits of sea buckthorn oil
Sea buckthorn oil is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. It also encourages the production of collagen, leading to smoother, plumper skin with a more youthful appearance.
In fact, sea buckthorn oil has been found to have a variety of benefits for skin ageing, such as increased elasticity and healing wounds faster. It is also shown to help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Studies suggest that sea buckthorn may be beneficial for eczema by reducing the inflammation while healing the skin barrier.
Sea buckthorn overall promotes healthy hair health such as reduced damage to strands during heat styling, less frizz and more shine.
Is sea buckthorn oil good for seborrheic dermatitis?
There is no research on whether sea buckthorn oil is effective in treating seborrheic dermatitis. Anecdotally, many SD sufferers claim their skin condition improved with the oil. It’s also one of the ingredients in BIOM8, a popular oil for SD.
However, I’m concerned about the high levels of long-chain fatty acids in the oil. These compounds are metabolized by Malassezia for food and may encourage fungal growth.
Sea buckthorn oil may have many skin benefits but I still don’t recommend it for seborrheic dermatitis.
Side effects of sea buckthorn oil
Sea buckthorn oil is generally well tolerated, but some people may experience skin sensitivity or allergic reactions.
While there are few reports of side effects while using sea buckthorn oil, proceed with caution if you have an inflammatory skin condition like seborrheic dermatitis because it may be exacerbated by external oils.
It is always a good idea to test new substances by patch testing a small area of your skin before applying it more liberally.
To wrap up
Sea buckthorn oil is a popular topical treatment for seborrheic dermatitis. However, some people with the condition may find that it aggravates their symptoms. Sea buckthorn oil contain high levels of long-chain fatty acids which can encourage Malassezia growth and aggravate seborrheic dermatitis. Sea buckthorn oil is not to be confused with sea water, which is also bad for seborrheic dermatitis.