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Can Sesame Oil Help Wrinkles?

By Ellen Douglas

The urge to incorporate natural products like sesame oil into your skin-care routine is, well, natural. After all, compounds like oxybenzone, a product used in synthetic sunscreens, may cause environmental damage, according to a 2010 presentation at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Yet for preventing and minimizing wrinkles, moisturizers and sunscreens are crucial. Sesame oil may provide at least a partial solution to this dilemma, but talk to your dermatologist before going the all-botanical route.


Wrinkles, a natural part of aging, form in part because of the loss of the skin's natural moisture, which causes cells shrink, resulting in lines in your face. Additionally, lack of moisture makes skin more fragile. Sun damage may also add additional lines to your face, notes Depriving your skin of sun protection and moisturizer will likely lead to additional and deeper lines, the medical website points out.


Manufacturers extract sesame oil from the seeds of the sesame plant, Sesamum indicum, which grows about 3 feet tall. Farmers cultivate the plant in several global regions, with Mexico and Guatemala leading the sales of white seeds and Thailand and China providing the majority of the black seeds. Sesame oil's applications include use as cooking ingredient, as a coating for medications and as an ingredient in skin care lines. Because of its popularity as a salad and sauté oil, sesame oil is readily available in supermarkets, but retailers focused on skin care and massage oils also provide sesame oil. Look for refined sesame oil rather than the roasted type that is sometimes used to flavor Chinese dishes.


Sesame oil’s high concentration of antioxidants, including vitamins A and E, as well as its richness in beneficial fatty acids, may help moisturize and nourish the mature skin, notes herbalist Dina Falconi. Given sesame oil’s moisturizing, nourishing and natural sunscreen properties, you may find the oil a good choice for plumping up fine lines and preventing sun-related wrinkles.

Face Cream Formula

Natural beauty author Dina Falconi includes sesame oil in face cream formulas for dry, mature or damaged complexions, citing the oil's antioxidant and sunscreen properties. Falconi notes that sesame oil can be drying, and suggests combining it with more emollient oils for a balanced product. Her "sun butter face cream," for example, combines 3 oz. sesame oil with 3 oz. jojoba oil, 2 oz. shea butter, 1 oz. cocoa butter, ½ oz. beeswax and 9 oz. green tea. It also contains the optional addition of PABA, a B vitamin that provides protection from the sun's rays.


Sesame oil and other botanicals are not well studied for their efficacy as wrinkle treatments. Commercial face creams are federally regulated and indicate their exact SPF factors, which homemade formulas can’t provide. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum” and which carry an SPF rating of 30 or above. The AAD’s other wrinkle treatment recommendations focus on commercial products which contain retinol, alpha hydroxyl acid or salicylic acid.

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