If you are someone who gravitates towards botanically-based solutions for treating your skin and addressing eczema concerns, the wide world of plant-derived beauty ingredients has a lot to offer.
One such option that comes up a lot is black seed oil, which has been called a “miracle oil” for sensitive skin. But is it worth adding to your care routine? Here are some answers to the most common questions about this pretty incredible ingredient:
What is black seed oil and where does it come from?
Found in various regions of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, the Nigella sativa plant is known for its pale purple, blue, and white flowers, but also its precious seeds. Also known as black caraway or black cumin, the plant’s small seeds are sometimes used as a spice or food garnish, but can also be harvested for the oil contained within.
For hundreds of years, black seed oil has been used in medicinal remedies for various health concerns and, today, studies confirm that it can even be very effective for treating skin conditions, including eczema. So, what are the benefits of black seed oil?
● Benefit #1: Black seed oil is anti-inflammatory The main reason black seed oil is believed to work for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and atopic dermatitis is that it has natural calming and soothing properties. This is because it contains a compound called thymoquinone, which is anti-inflammatory and can help to reduce related symptoms of inflammation, including itching, redness, and irritation.
● Benefit #2: Black seed oil encourages skin healing In addition to being naturally anti-inflammatory, black seed oil also has a lot of other amazing properties that troubleshoot struggling skin. Studies have found it to be antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant, which all help to support the skin’s repair processes, while preventing infection and enhancing immunity.
● Benefit #3: Black seed oil is nourishing for dry skin As you probably already know or have experienced, eczema is often made worse by skin dryness, and ingredients that promote moisture retention are key. By infusing the skin with all of the hydrating and moisturizing properties of a botanical oil, black seed oil is also perfect in this capacity and can even help boost the skin’s protective barrier, when used consistently.
How to use black seed oil for treating eczema.
Although, it can also be ingested orally, one of the easiest ways to incorporate black seed oil is by applying it topically and studies suggest this method can do a lot to calm skin inflammation. That said, it’s worth noting that reactions to it as an ingredient can vary from person to person.
If you are new to using black seed oil, experts recommend first patch testing a small amount of about 2-3 drops to a discrete area of skin, and allowing it to sit for 24-48 hours. As long as you don’t experience any negative effects, you can then apply elsewhere. In the beginning, it’s also a good idea to start with just one application per day, and then add more into your routine gradually if your skin is responding well.
A Review on the Cosmeceutical and External Applications of Nigella sativa By Ahmad M. Eid, Nagib A. Elmarzugi, Laila M. Abu Ayyash, Maher N. Sawafta, and Hadeel I. Daana https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5735686/ Association Between
Severe Acute Contact Dermatitis Due to Nigella sativa Oil and Epidermal Apoptosis By Olivier Gaudin MD, Feyrouz Toukal MD, Camille Hua MD, Nicolas Ortonne MD, PhD, Haudrey Assier MD, Arnaud Jannic MD, Elena Giménez-Arnau PhD, Pierre Wolkenstein MD PhD, Olivier Chosidow MD, PhD,and Saskia Ingen-Housz-Oro MD https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6143038/