The vegetable oil of hibiscus has been utilised for several centuries by traditional Chinese and North African medicines for its therapeutic properties. This natural ingredient is also attributed with various benefits for the skin and hair. Continue reading if you wish to learn more about hibiscus vegetable oil.
Everything you need to know about hibiscus oil.
- Key points on hibiscus vegetable oil
- How is hibiscus vegetable oil obtained?
- What is the biochemical composition of hibiscus vegetable oil?
- The properties and benefits of hibiscus vegetable oil
- What precautions should be taken when using hibiscus vegetable oil?
- Discover our botanical blend with a tightening effect, based on hibiscus vegetable oil
Key points on hibiscus vegetable oil.
Belonging to the Malvaceae family, hibiscus plants are predominantly cultivated in North Africa, India, and Mexico. Originally, this botanical species was only found in Southeast Asia and Egypt. It was not until the 12th century that it was imported to the West by the Moors of Spain. Hibiscus plants are highly valued for their beautiful ornamental flowers and bloom in autumn. Thehibiscus vegetable oil is obtained from the seeds of the same plant. Organoleptically, it is a golden yellow liquid that is easily absorbed by the skin. Its scent is light and sweet, with some vegetal notes. It also has benefits for the skin and has been used for several centuries by certain traditional medicines. In North Africa, it has been used for several centuries to alleviate wounds and abscesses.
How is hibiscus vegetable oil obtained?
The production of hibiscus oil begins with the harvesting of the plant's seeds. These are first cleaned to remove any impurities that might be clinging to their surface using a cleaning-separator. The seeds are then mechanically cold-pressed to extract the oil. This low temperature prevents the oil from degrading. This extraction is done by compressing the seed in a cavity with openings that allow the oil to escape. The oil is then decanted and filtered to remove any remaining traces of impurities. These steps require no chemical treatment. Thus, hibiscus vegetable oil is an ingredient of exclusively natural origin.
Let's note that this process leads to the production of virgin hibiscus vegetable oil. There are other extraction techniques, such as solvent extraction, typically used in the food industry and involving hexane. The hibiscus oil used in Typology skincare products is exclusively virgin and has undergone no chemical treatment.
What is the biochemical composition of hibiscus vegetable oil?
Thehibiscus oil contains several active ingredients that give it its beneficial properties for the skin and hair.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic acid (≈ 40%): belonging to the omega-6 family, these fatty acids contribute to the formation of the skin barrier by stimulating cellular renewal. They also play a role in the synthesis process of ceramides, lipids naturally present in the skin, ensuring good cohesion between the cells of the epidermis.
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid (≈ 20%): naturally present in the hydrolipidic film of the skin, this omega-9 contributes to its suppleness and elasticity.
Saturated fatty acids (≈ 20%): they give the oil a creamy texture and, their structure being very similar to that of the compounds of the epidermis, they enhance its ability to penetrate the skin.
Tocopherols (Vitamin E) : These are natural antioxidants that combat free radicals, molecules that can potentially promote skin ageing.
Phytosterols : these compounds contribute to the maintenance of the skin's barrier function and have soothing properties.
The properties and benefits of hibiscus vegetable oil.
Nourishing properties : as previously mentioned, the linoleic acid in hibiscus oil promotes the synthesis of ceramides and contributes to the maintenance of the skin's natural barrier structure. The oil is thus described as re-lipidising.
A Protective Action : Oleic acid, naturally present in the hydrolipidic film of the skin and contained in hibiscus oil, promotes the flexibility and elasticity of the skin. The topical application of hibiscus oil thus has beneficial properties for skin protection; as it helps to strengthen the hydrolipidic film. This acts as a shield to keep the skin hydrated and protect it from external aggressions.
Antioxidant power : Particularly rich in vitamin E, hibiscus oil is an excellent antioxidant treatment to protect the skin and hair fibre from free radicals. These are reactive oxygen species, partly responsible for premature skin ageing and weakening of the hair bulb, which can eventually lead to the appearance of split ends or cause early hair loss.
Anti-inflammatory properties : Phytosterols, which are part of the composition of hibiscus vegetable oil, are attributed with anti-inflammatory action. However, the mechanism by which these molecules operate has not yet been fully elucidated and further research is still required. It thus appears that the application of hibiscus oil may help to alleviate certain cuts or minor wounds.
What precautions should be taken when using hibiscus vegetable oil?
As of today, there are no known contraindications to the use of hibiscus oil. Its topical application is suitable for young children, as well as for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Moreover, this botanical extract is suitable for sensitive skin and will be particularly appreciated by dry or mature skin. Its composition, rich in saturated fatty acids, allows it to be easily absorbed by the epidermis, as the structure of these molecules is similar to those of the compounds found in the skin.
It is also worth noting that hibiscus oil is non-comedogenic, meaning that its application does not cause an occlusive effect on the skin, a phenomenon that promotes the appearance of comedones. It is therefore very well tolerated by oily skin types, which are often prone to blemishes.
Discover our botanical blend with a tightening effect, based on hibiscus vegetable oil.
At Typology, we have decided to incorporate thehibiscus oil (INCI name: Hibiscus Sabdariffa Seed Oil) into one of our formulas. This is our botanical firming blend. Based on 7 botanical extracts, this serum tones and regenerates the skin overnight.
Its formula, rich in firming active ingredients, allows it to reduce wrinkles and fine lines while tightening the skin. Suitable for all skin types, this night treatment nonetheless contains essential oils, and therefore should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, nor by children under the age of 6.
BABU M. & al. In vivo and in vitro evaluation of hair growth potential of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2003).
HEINRICH M. & al. Hibiscus sabdariffa L. - a phytochemical and pharmacological review. Food Chemistry (2014).
HASSANEIN M. & al. Evaluation of green extraction methods on the chemical and nutritional aspects of roselle seed (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) oil. Lipids and Health (2019).
POULIOT R. & al. α-Linolenic acid and linoleic acid modulate the lipidome and the skin barrier of a tissue-engineered skin model. Acta Biomaterialia (2022).
SHIMIZU K. & al. Potential of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. and hibiscus acid to reverse skin aging. Molecules (2022).