3 Reasons to <3 Black Cumin Seed Oil
Updated: Mar 8
How can you tell when an ingredient is effective? When it stands the test of time and continues to dazzle modern science.
Black cumin seed preparations have been used for hundreds of years in different forms. More recently discovered, isolations of key components in black cumin seeds have shown to be more effective at benefiting certain situations. For the sake of clarity, I will only discuss the attributes found in the cold pressed seed oil, since that is what we use in our formulations. There is more benefits than listed in this post. I may update as I become more familiar with other extraction methods.
Benefit #1- ANTIMICROBIAL
Black cumin seed oil or N. sativa is effectively antibacterial against gram positive and gram negative bacteria, specifically antibiotic resistant bacteria that inhabits the skin (Staphylococcus, Psuedonomas, and Propionibacterium acnes)
P. acnes is responsible for most types of acne lesions. Trapped by un-shed keratin, sebum (your skin's natural oil secretions) creates an anaerobic environment that allows P. acnes to proliferate. P. acnes is a usually harmless bacterium that lives on the surface of your skin. Keratinization is the process by which skin cells reproduce and move through the maturation process. When skin cells reproduce, some daughter cells are recruited to parent new cells, others are signed up to protect us against the elements. These cells are martyred to undergo a transformation from a simple skin cell to a keratinized protective cell ,reinforced with a thicker cell membrane and an interior densely packed with proteins. This type of cell modification makes it highly effective at protecting you from UV radiation. Within 60 days this slow march to the surface is complete, where the sacrificed keratinized cell is shed and cleared away by your exfoliation routine. You can disrupt this process of P. acnes mutiny by adopting a regular routine of exfoliating and cleansing with an antimicrobial oil like black cumin seed.
Benefit #2- MELANIN DISPERSAL
We talked a bit about the effect of hydroquinone on melanin here. It just so happens black cumin seed contains a variation of quinone, thymoquinone. Thymoquinone has a distributing effect on melanin dispersal. (One of melanin's duties is as a protective response to damage to the skin) This is beneficial for spreading out melanocytes, offering a more even distribution and thus more even protection from UV radiation. I havent found any information on how this effects existing hyperpigmentation in humans, but the melanocyte distribution effects seen in lizards leads me to believe this ingredient could potentially darken skin. My opinion is when using black cumin seed oil, care must be taken to avoid damage that leads to hyperpigmentation and other aspects of your skincare system may need to address this concern for you. Our AHA rich Spotless toner is a good countermeasure.
Benefit #3- ENHANCES PERMEATION OF SKIN
Black cumin seed oil acts as a vehicle, soaking up
other constituents to move across the epidermis through a high concentration of linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. This has potential for good and harm, when using in conjunction with other chemicals. When adding black cumin seed oil into your routine make sure to follow up only with constituents you consider safe and beneficial. I personally try to avoid fragrances, parabens, petroleum, and glycerin. On the other side of the scope, I love to pair black cumin seed with lipophilic (fat loving) vitamins like Vitamin E and Vitamin D.
This last benefit requires a pitch about the importance of using fresh oils. Rancid oil causes more inflammation and can speed up destruction of skin cells, which leads to all those pesky skin problems we are trying to avoid. Polyunsaturated fatty acids like the ones prominent in black cumin seed oil are prone to going bad if not handled with care. That’s why we opt for UV resistant cobalt glass bottles, slow infusions, and fortifying all infusions with herbal antioxidants.