Nigella seeds have been used for centuries in the Near and Middle East for their cosmetic and culinary virtues. Due to its gentle extraction, nigella oil retains all the active molecules of this plant, which has a particularly rich composition. Let's discover them together.
Black Seed Oil: What active molecules does it contain?
- In short, black seed oil
- Nigella oil is rich in linoleic acid
- The nigella oil contains oleic acid
- Black seed oil contains saturated fatty acids
- Nigella oil, an extract containing eicosadienoic acid
- The nigella oil contains thymoquinone
- The composition of black seed oil includes nigelline and nigellone
- The nigella oil contains traces of vitamins
- Discover black seed oil in our botanical blend with CBD
In short, black seed oil.
Nigella, also known as black cumin, is an aromatic plant with beautiful blue flowers, predominantly found in Egypt. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, it annually produces a large quantity of aromatic black seeds, commonly found in Oriental dishes. The cultivation of Nigella dates back to antiquity. Under the reign of Nefertiti, around 1300 BC, Nigella was considered a universal remedy and was referred to as the "blessed seed".
The black seed also finds its place in cosmetics, in the form of an oil extracted from its seeds. This oil notably possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and hydrating properties, allowing it to provide numerous benefits to the skin as well as the hair. The virtues of black seed oil come from its biochemical composition, which we invite you to discover.
Nigella oil is rich in linoleic acid.
Black seed oil is primarily composed oflinoleic acid (≈ 56%). This unsaturated fatty acid, belonging to the omega-6 family, is classified as essential because it cannot be synthesised by the body. Yet, it plays a significant role within the epidermis and is involved in the process of ceramide synthesis, the lipids that ensure the cohesion of skin cells in the stratum corneum. Ceramides thus play a crucial role in protecting the skin from external aggressions and dehydration. They result from an amidation reaction between a sphingoid base and a fatty acid. Those carrying linoleic acid are referred to as acylceramides.
Studies have shown that it is crucial for the skin to have an adequate amount of linoleic acid, without which, the epidermal barrier weakens and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) increases. The skin then becomes drier, rougher and more prone to irritation. The loss of skin hydration also promotes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, making them more visible.
The nigella oil contains oleic acid.
Black seed oil also contains monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid, at approximately 24%. Naturally synthesised by the body, this omega-9 is part of the composition of the hydrolipidic film of the skin. This is a watery/oily mixture present on the surface of the epidermis and acts as a shield. The hydrolipidic film indeed allows the skin to remain hydrated and protects it from external aggressions (wind, UV, pollution...). Oleic acid thus has beneficial properties for skin protection, as it helps to strengthen the hydrolipidic film.
Black seed oil contains saturated fatty acids.
The vegetable oil of black seed also contains saturated fatty acids such as palmitic acid, at around 20%, and stearic acid, at 5%. These active ingredients have a film-forming effect on the skin and contribute to the maintenance of the hydrolipidic film. Moreover, these compounds have a structure similar to that of the molecules structuring the horny layer, which allows them to integrate into it and facilitate its restoration. Skincare products containing black seed vegetable oil are thus recommended for dry or atopic skin. They also help the skin to restore its lipid composition after prolonged exposure to the sun or pollution.
Nigella oil, an extract containing eicosadienoic acid.
Black seed oil contains a small fraction ofacid eicosadienoic (≈ 2%). This is a polyunsaturated fatty acid belonging to the omega-6 family. Less known than linoleic acid, it nevertheless has interesting moisturising properties for skin care. Indeed, it forms a film on the skin's surface, similar to the natural hydrolipidic film, and protects it from pollution and external factors.
The nigella oil contains thymoquinone.
The thymoquinone, although present in small quantities in black seed oil (< 1%), is one of its key active ingredients. It possesses numerous properties beneficial for the skin, notably antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Thymoquinone protects the skin from oxidative stress caused by free radicals by upregulating the activity of certain antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase.
Studies have also shown that thymoquinone reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukins 6 and 12 (IL-6 and IL-12) and tumour necrosis factor (TNF-α). These compounds notably play a role in the onset of redness and inflammation of acne spots. The black seed oil helps to reduce these processes and soothe the skin.
The composition of black seed oil includes nigelline and nigellone.
Specific molecules to black seed oil, nigelline and nigellone, account for less than 1% of its biochemical composition. They belong respectively to the family of terpenes and quinones. Little studied for their cosmetic properties, nigelline and nigellone are recognised for their digestive virtues and for inhibiting the release of histamine by mast cells, thus helping to reduce allergic symptoms. Black seed oil is indeed frequently recommended for combating allergic rhinitis.
The nigella oil contains traces of vitamins.
Traces of < 1%) of vitamins A and E can be found in black seed oil. However, their low concentration does not allow us to assert that they can provide real benefits, whether the black seed oil is used in cosmetics or in the culinary field. Nevertheless, as part of a varied and balanced diet and when combined with other vitamin-rich foods, black seed oil is beneficial for health as it improves digestion and supports the immune system.
Discover black seed oil in our botanical blend with CBD.
At Typology, we have incorporated black seed oil into our CBD botanical blend. This treatment is suitable for all skin types, but is particularly adapted for sensitive and fragile skin, prone to redness (redness from hypersensitivity, redness due to the dilation of micro-vessels, and redness due to blemishes). Although they may have different causes, all skin redness share a common factor - skin inflammation.
This night serum soothes the skin and reduces the inflammation that causes various types of redness. It does this by combining the action of six botanical extracts with anti-inflammatory properties: cannabidiol (CBD), calendula oil macerate (Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract), hemp oil (Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil), black cumin oil (Nigella Sativa Seed Oil), sesame oil (Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil) and green tea extract (Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract).
HAUSER M. & al. In vivo investigations on the penetration of various oils and their influence on the skin barrier. Skin Research and Technology (2012).
AL-FARGA A. & al. A Narrative Review on Various Oil Extraction Methods, Encapsulation Processes, Fatty Acid Profiles, Oxidative Stability, and Medicinal Properties of Black Seed ( Nigella sativa). Foods (2022).