Watermelon seed oil is a wonderful, light carrier oil that is great for oily, acne-prone skin. Here’s more about the oil.
Properties of Watermelon Seed Oil
The botanical name for sweet watermelon is Citrullus vulgaris.
You may sometimes see the botanical name as Citrullus lanatus. This name is used for a few species of watermelon and was mistakenly applied to sweet watermelon. The name stuck though, so now you can find both botanical names when buying this oil.
Color and Smell
This oil has a light yellow color and a slight nutty scent.
The comedogenic rating of watermelon seed oil is zero. That means it is perfect for acne-prone skin. And the lightness of this oil also makes it perfect for oily skin.
What is in the oil?
Watermelon seed oil is made up of fatty acids and small amounts of vitamin compounds. The main fatty acid here is linoleic acid. It can make up anywhere from 55% – 65% of the oil.
Other fatty acids in the oil include oleic acid (15% – 20%), palmitic acid (10%) and stearic acid (10%). Lesser amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, palmitoleic acid and myristic acid have also been reported.
This 2015 study found the oil also has moderate levels of gamma-tocopherol. You may know, gamma-tocopherol is a Vitamin E compound that has proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Benefits of Watermelon Seed Oil
Unfortunately, there is little research into the benefits of watermelon seed oil for hair or skin. Bummer!
But we know the chemical composition of the oil. So it’s safe to assume the benefits of the major compounds may translate to the benefits of watermelon seed oil. For instance, from the tocopherol content, we can expect the oil to be mildly antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
It may help with skin repair
This 2017 study did a literature review on the effects of natural oils on repairing the skin-barrier function. It found:
Oils with a higher linoleic acid to oleic acid ratio have better barrier repair potential, whereas oils with higher amounts of irritating oleic acid may be detrimental to skin-barrier function.
Linoleic acid makes up about 55% – 65% of watermelon seed oil, whereas oleic acid can range from 15% – 20%. So we can expect that watermelon seed oil can repair and heal skin better than oils with higher levels of oleic acid, like olive oil.
Watermelon seed oil can reduce comedones
There are lots of testimonials and anecdotal evidence that suggest watermelon seed oil can reduce blackheads, whiteheads and acne. And it may not all be hearsay.
A 1998 study published in the Clinical and Experimental Dermatology Journal looked at the effects of topically applied linoleic acid on the size of tiny comedones in persons with mild acne. It found linoleic acid reduced the size of these comedones by 25% within a month of treatment.
The study concluded that topical linoleic acid may reduce comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) in acne-prone persons. And … as you’ve seen before, watermelon seed oil has high amounts of linoleic acid!
It absorbs quickly
This oil is so light and absorbs fast. It can even be drying for dry to normal skin types. But it is absolutely perfect for combination and oily skin. So if you are looking for an oil that won’t leave you with a greasy feeling, then reach for watermelon seed oil!
These are some great points but, hopefully, there will be more research into the specific benefits of watermelon seed oil.
Where to buy watermelon seed oil
You can try any of these brands if you are looking to buy this oil.
The typical shelf-life of the oil is two years. But as with all oils, you should keep it in a cool, dry, dark place. This will prevent it from going rancid quickly.
Uses of Watermelon Seed Oil
If you have nut allergies, watermelon seed oil is a great alternative for you. But you must always patch test the oil before integrating it into your skincare routine.
Once you know you are not allergic to it, then you can use watermelon seed oil:
What other ways do you use watermelon seed oil? Share your story in the comments below.