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Why Watermelon Seed Oil Can Actually Work Wonders For Your Skin

Watermelon image used as part of page design

I have been using the watermelon seed oil for a few months now, and I love it! My hair looks shiny. My skin is glowing too!” I’m especially fond of its versatility. Enjoyed for millennia by native tribes of Africa, this all-natural oil is now available to us too. So what exactly is it?

Densely nutrient, the watermelon seed oil is a light, deeply hydrating emollient characteristic for its clear pale yellow colour and mildly fruity aroma. Rich in unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, it can help nourish, soothe and restore the skin’s barrier by delivering nutrients into deeper layers of skin.

Eager to know more? Scroll down to find out how this multi-tasker goes above and beyond the hydrating call of duty.

About Watermelon

Watermelon, also known as Citrullus vulgaris, is a flowering plant from the Cucurbitaceae family. Native to the plains of Africa, it has quenched the thirst and hunger of African indigenes for millennia and is now grown worldwide. Sweet and refreshing, watermelon is more than a tasty treat. It is a highly nutritious bomb, packed with vitamins A, B5, C, potassium and copper, that offers various health benefits. Its


– fruit can lower blood pressure, reduce insulin resistance but also relieve sore muscles after exercise.
– seeds, abundant in essential fatty acids, are used to extract oil. Highly prized in cosmetics for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, the oil is used in creams, lotions, and various baby formulations.


The watermelon seed oil has been traditionally extracted from the seeds using the cold-pressed method. The collected seeds are cleaned, split opened and dried in the hot African sun until all the moisture evaporates. Once ready, they are grounded to extract ultra-light, golden oil.

Watermelon Seed Oil Composition

QUICK FACTS

INCI: Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Seed Oil
Common extraction method: From the seeds using the cold-pressed method.
Appearance: Ultralight, yellow oil.
Fragrance: Slightly sweet aroma.
Absorption rate: Fast.
Recommended usage: Up to 100%.
Substitute: I would choose another fast-absorbing oil with a similar fatty acid makeup, such as grapeseed oil or camellia seed oil.
Storage: Store in a cool, dark, dry container, away from the sunlight.

Each oil varies in its composition and health benefits. So do fatty acids. Let’s look at the notable compounds found in watermelon seed oil and what they can do for your skin.
Fatty acids:

  • Linoleic acid (Omega 6) is a multifunctional skintreat recognised for its anti-inflammatory, skin-lightening, and moisturising effect. It is a soothing emollient that softens the skin.
  • Oleic acid (Omega 9) is known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing effect. It can nourish, repair, and replenish the lipid skin barrier, protecting it against environmental damage.
  • Palmitic acid functions as an emollient that helps to keep skin moisturised, protect the skin from external stressors and improves the skincare formulations’ texture.

Antioxidants: 

  • Phenolic compounds,natural antioxidants, can penetrate through the skin and gained a lot of attention due to their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing effects.
  • Carotenoids also provide skin antioxidant protection. They are among the most abundant antioxidants found in many fruit and vegetable species, like watermelon.
  • γ-tocopherol (vitamin E) is a highly effective Lipophilic antioxidantthat can protect the cell membranes from lipid oxidation.

Did you know“A single slice of watermelon can increase your energy levels by 23%?”.

Watermelon Seed Oil Skin & Hair Care Benefits

Watermelon Seed Oil Benefits In Skincare

Massaging oil into your skin and hair offers many benefits. Its soothing and nourishing touch will keep your skin moisturised, supple and healthy.

Let’s take a look at 9 ways watermelon seed oil can benefit your skin.

 It is naturally moisturising

Dry skin can quickly become damaged when exposed to harsh environmental elements, such as wind and sunlight. Watermelon seed oil strengthens the natural moisture barrier in your skin by preventing TEWL (Trans Epidermal Water Loss), hence keeping the skin smooth and supple.

Soothe skin irritations, including inflammation 

A combination of the essential fatty acids and antioxidants in watermelon seed oil is beneficial in soothing irritated or inflamed skin. When applied over the skin, the oil can help mitigate inflammation, which is especially helpful in acne treatment. It can help rehydrate the skin and improve the skin’s barrier function. Light and super absorbent, watermelon seed oil will seep into your skin effortlessly, leaving it smooth and soft.

Work wonders for acne-prone skin

Acne-prone skin is characteristic of higher sebum production and clogged pores. If left untreated, clogged pores might become infected and cause inflammation. The high content of omega 6 in the oil is highly beneficial in treating acne as it helps to regulate sebum production and restore the inflamed skin barrier. Hence, if your skin is oily or your pores are chronically clogged, watermelon seed oil can help clear them up.

It can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles

As we age, our skin around, eyes, mouth and neck get thinner, drier allowing fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots to appear. Omega fatty acids and antioxidants present in the oil help repair, rejuvenate the skin’s tissue and improves its elasticity. The oil can help to diminish the appearance of fine lines and puffiness by tightening the skin’s texture and making it look healthy and youthful.

Help to reduce sun damage

Warm sunny days can cause unsightly blemishes and sunburn. The oil can help fight against the sun’s damaging rays by preserving and strengthening your skin’s protective barrier.

It helps improve the appearance of scars and repair skin damage

Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids in the watermelon seed oil are known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and healing properties. They can help boost skin cell growth, prompting regeneration and giving the skin a fresh appearance.

Suit all skin types

Watermelon seed oil is non-comedogenic and suitable for all types, even sensitive ones. Its light texture makes it perfect for oily and acne-prone skin, while its high vitamin E content makes it an excellent choice for ageing and dry skin. Watermelon seed oil’s hydration and nourishing properties can revive dull skin, restoring suppleness and elasticity.

Boost your hair’s shine

Watermelon seed oil can help give your hair a natural healthy shine without a greasy feel. Treating your scalp to a regular massage can boost your hair’s shine by making the hair shaft appear smooth and giving it a more voluminous look.

Keep your hair soft and frizz-free.

Providing your hair with the essential nutrients it needs, watermelon seed oil helps maintain its natural moisture. If it is left untreated, frizzy hair can quickly become dry and brittle. If you choose to use it regularly, the oil can help keep your hair soft and smooth.

The Best Ways To Use Watermelon Seed Oil For Hair And Skin

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You can either use it straight up as a facial oil cleanser, nourishing hair treatment or mix it up with other ingredients in serums or moisturisers. If you really love oils and are looking for one head to toe solution, look for cold-pressed watermelon seed oil, as it might have a higher concentration of antioxidants. Thanks to its gentle nature, you can use it daily.

Add it to your eye cream formulations.

Your eyes are often the first thing to show signs of ageing and pollution. Watermelon seed oil is excellent for managing fine lines around the eyes, especially when combined with other anti-ageing ingredients. The quick absorption rate, light texture and high contents of essential fatty acids make it highly suitable for both eye and face treatments.

Facial oil cleanser

A facial oil cleansing loosens up the skin’s dead skin cells, replenishes the moisture levels, smooths and repairs the skin, and gives the skin a healthy appearance. To apply, massage watermelon seed oil into your face for 5 minutes or more. Then carefully wipe it away with a warm damp cloth.

Incorporate it into your moisturisers

Watermelon seed oil can be used as part of your daily skincare regime. Simply take a few drops of the oil and blend it into your daily moisturiser. If you are using the oil for its nourishing benefits, apply it evenly over your entire face, neck and chest area.

Mix it with other carrier oils

Watermelon seed oil blends well with many other carrier oils such as almond, apricot and avocado oils. Yet, you can also combine it with your favourite essential oils. It works well with citrus oils such as grapefruit, bergamot or lemon. Still, you might also like it with pomegranate, raspberry or pear.

Use it as baby oil

A gentle, soothing massage is an excellent way of bonding with your baby. It will allow your baby to relax and drift off after a long day. Watermelon seed oil is a great option for your baby’s skin. Its low viscosity makes it easy to use, while its nourishing touch makes it a great choice for your baby’s sensitive skin.

Hair treatment

Apply a few drops of watermelon seed oil to your palms and evenly massage into dry hair. Leave it on for a few hours and rinse it out with a mild shampoo. It will not make your hair greasy; instead, it will nourish and moisturise the ends of your hair.

Massage it into your scalp

Regular scalp massages can help stimulate the blood flow to the scalp. It will help reduce dandruff, hair fall, and hair follicle infections. Gently massage watermelon seed oil into your scalp with your fingertips in a circular motion for 2-5 minutes. Rinse it out with a mild shampoo.

Side Effects of Watermelon Seed Oil

In general, there’s a minimal risk of side effects with the watermelon seed oil. However, just like with any other ingredient, there is always a risk of an allergic reaction. If you are overly concerned, apply a small amount of the oil on your wrist before smearing it to your face. Still unsure? Please get in touch with your dermatologist with any allergy concerns.

Citrullus Vulgaris Seed Oil vs Citrullus Lanatus Seed Oil

Kalahari melon, also known as Citrullus Lanatus, is a flowering plant from the Cucurbitaceae family. Native to the plains of Africa, this vine-like plant adapted well to the harsh environment of African deserts. To this day, it grows wildly in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Pale green and bitter, wild Kalahari melon is the ancestor of today’s watermelon.
Watermelon, known as Citrullus vulgaris, is a sweet, refreshing watermelon we all are accustomed to. Improved by ancient Egyptian plant breeders, it spread through Egypt to Rome and gradually to the rest of the world.
Citrullus vulgaris seed oil and Citrullus lanatus seed oil are both made from seeds, and their composition is very similar. The main difference between watermelon and Kalahari melon seed oil is that Citrullus vulgaris oil has a slightly higher content of linoleic fatty acids.

Summary

If you like watermelon, the only thing better than eating it is applying it to your skin. With summer just behind the door, this head to natural toe solution should not be missing from your shopping list this summer.
Its rejuvenating effect will leave your skin glowing!

F&A

What skin types would most benefit from using the watermelon seed oil?

Watermelon seed oil works for all skin types, including acne and sensitive ones. Naturally light and ultra fast-absorbing, watermelon oil moisturise, soothe, and protect the skin by delivering nourishing essential fatty acids and antioxidants into deeper layers of the skin. Essentially, giving your skin a natural glow.

What is the watermelon seed oil comedogenic rating?

Abundant in linoleic fatty acids, omega 6, the watermelon seed oil scores 0 on the comedogenic scale. Light, super absorb with anti-inflammatory and moisturising effect, this oil is unlikely to clog pores. In fact, the oil can help mitigate inflammation, rehydrate the skin and improve its barrier function.

How to store your watermelon seed oil?

You should store watermelon seed oil in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to stop oil from going rancid. The oils shelf life is 12 months after opening. However, you can increase the shelf life of your oil by keeping the bottle cap tight, not contaminating it with other oils, and keeping it away from heat.

References: 

  1. Cold-pressed Citrullus lanatus seed oil
  2. The topical efficacy and safety of Citrullus lanatus seed oil: A short-term clinical assessment
  3. Physicochemical characterisation and radical-scavenging activity of Cucurbitaceae seed oils

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