Meadowfoam oil is an odorless, light golden colored oil, extracted from Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) plants. Limnanthes means “marshflower” and its common name of Meadowfoam is derived from its likeness to white foam moving over the ocean.
Meadowfoam an annual herbaceous winter plant that blooms white flowers with yellow centers. It is a native of northern California and southern Oregon. Meadowfoam has adapted well to mild winters and warm, dry summers and largely grows in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Meadowfoam is also found in parts of Canada such as Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
While growing in the wild, meadowfoam serves as a source of food for birds, mice, insects, and other wild animals. It was researched in the 1950s as a renewable, biodegradable alternative to vegetable oil and sperm whale oil.
Meadowfoam seed oil has been used industrially since the 1980s and entered the cosmetic market in the 90s.
Although Meadowfoam oil is still mostly unknown mainstream, its popularity is growing rapidly over the recent years, largely thanks to ongoing active research on the extent of its benefits.
In fact, many experts predict that Meadowfoam oils will soon become as popular as jojoba oil and argan oil in the skincare market.
Meadowfoam seeds contain 20%-30% oil. When extracted via cold-pressing, it contains over 98% long fatty chain acids (20-22- carbon), which makes it a highly stable oil that is resistant to oxidizing and heat. This unique quality makes Meadowfoam oil to be more stable and has a longer shelf life of three years.
Chemically, meadowfoam seed oil is similar to Jojoba containing cis-5-eicosenoic Acid (61%) and cis-5- and cis-13- docosenoic acid 16%.
However, it differs in that it contains 18% cis-5- and cis-13- docosadienoic acid. It has been found that this unique blend of fatty acids does not occur naturally in any other plant.
Other elements found in meadowfoam seed oil include:
- Vitamin E, an oil soluble antioxidant, adds a layer of protection to the epidermis and improves overall skin texture.
- Vitamin C, a water soluble antioxidant, helps to boost immune function and increase collagen production. It also protects against free radicals.
- Oleic Acid protects against skin damage.
- Linoleic Acid promotes cellular regeneration and turnover.
Meadowfoam oil has a high percentage of omega 9 fatty acid, Eicosenoic acid, which is similar to human sebum.
The presence of Eicosenoic ace helps to balance the oil production of the skin which benefits those individuals who are struggling with oily skin or have oily T-zones.
For individuals with drier skin types, meadowfoam oil moisturizes the skin and slows down transepidermal water loss in the skin. This helps to keep the skin supple and gives it a dewy feel.
Meadowfoam oil is beneficial for halting the aging process worsened by excessive dryness and other intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Another major benefit is that it provides mild degree of UV protection. Researchers at Oregon State University found meadowfoam compounds known as glucosinolates prevented sun-induced aging by blocking enzymes responsible for collagen degradation.
It also found that these compounds exhibited anticancer properties by preventing the cross-linking of DNA. This inhibits the creation of cancer-initiating mutations. Precancerous cells were reduced as well as hyperplasia of soft tissue.
Individuals presenting with conditions such as burns, blisters, eczema, or psoriasis will benefit from meadowfoam oil due to its high content of antioxidants Vitamin E and C.
The anti-inflammatory benefits extend to acne-prone skin since it has a low comedogenic rating and aids in soothing redness.
When added to face cleansers, it removes blackheads and unclogs pores. When paired with other ingredients, meadowfoam oil increases the absorption properties of other active ingredients.
According to the Environmental Working Group, Meadowfoam seed oil has no known side effects and is edible.
It is advised that those with nut allergies avoid products containing the oil. It is best to consult a physician before introducing it into your skin and hair care routine.
How to Use Meadowfoam Oil
Meadowfoam oil can be used in small doses due to its potency. A few drops can be applied directly to the face or it can be used as a massage oil.
2–3 drops will suffice if combining with other products such as serum, moisturizer or skin creams.
Because of its long shelf life, meadowfoam oil increases the stability of essential oils by working as a carrier oil and prolonging the fragrance.
Infants with skin irritations and those that are experiencing discomfort with teething can benefit from this oil as well.
Meadowfoam oil is currently used in skincare products such as stretch mark creams to provide moisture, improve skin texture, and complexion.
Cosmetics such as lip plumpers and mascara also contain meadowfoam seed oil for its moisture-retaining and conditioning properties. The moisturizing and restorative properties can be seen in hair care products as well.
Meadowfoam oil hydrates and rebuilds damaged hair creating a smoother, shinier hair shaft. In addition, it protects against further damage caused by extreme weather conditions, the sun, and other elements.
Blending Western science and Eastern medicine, we’ve incorporated this oil into our award-winning Radiance Facial Oil. This product has surprised many individuals with its incredible fast absorption profile and amazing anti-aging benefits.
Steven Wang, MD and Gui Wang, LAc have been working together for over 20 years to provide potent, herbal remedies for spas and individuals around the world. The father-son duo mixes Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with cutting edge scientific advances with the aim of bringing relief, comfort and happiness to our customers. Our products are the result of decades of dedicated research.
We believe that utilizing both modern Western medicine and time honored Eastern medicine allows us to provide unique skincare solutions. To learn more, read what experts from The New York Times, Allure, Reader’s Digest, and more have to say about our revolutionary products.