The Best Guide to Wheat Germ Oil for Skin

Wheat germ oil is an amazing carrier oil. It is thick, luxurious and has one of the highest Vitamin E levels among the carrier oils. And you know Vitamin E is incredible for everything related to beauty.

So you can use wheat germ oil for skin and hair. It’ll make your skin look so amazing and nourished and give you shiny, beautiful hair.

wheat germ oil

Wheat Germ Oil Properties

Botanical name: Triticum vulgare

Color: It’s usually dark yellow to almost brown.

Smell: The smell is a little strong, and wheaty

Texture: It’s super thick and doesn’t absorb fast. That makes the oil perfect for dry, dehydrated skin. But it’s not perfect for normal to oily skin. I find it feels heavy after a while.

The comedogenic rating of wheat germ oil is five. That means it is almost guaranteed to cause breakouts in acne-prone skin. So if you get acne on your face or back, don’t use wheat germ oil there. But do use it on your heels, elbows and other dry areas.

If the oil is too thick, then you can mix it with a much lighter oil. Try it with safflower, watermelon seed or apricot kernel oil. And throw in a few drops of your favorite essential oil to mask the smell. That’ll definitely lighten up the texture and smell of wheat germ oil.

What is in the oil?
Wheat germ oil has a lot of fatty acids in it, along with proteins, lecithin, vitamins (A, D, and E), and minerals.

The main fatty acid here is linoleic acid, which makes up about 50% of the oil. Others include palmitic acid (15%), oleic acid (15%), and linolenic acid (7%).

Wheat germ oil also has one of the highest alpha tocopherol levels among all the carrier oils. And among all the vegetable oils too. Tocopherols are Vitamin E compounds. And it’s the bomb when it comes to having great skin and hair!

Wheat Germ Oil Benefits

The wheat germ oil benefits for skin and hair show the oil:

  • moisturizes dry skin and hair
  • gets rid of harmful free radicals
  • repairs skin
  • boosts skin collagen
  • reduces redness and inflammation
  • improves blood circulation
  • works better with aloe vera and Vitamin C

Here’s more on the benefits of wheat germ oil.

Wheat germ oil moisturizes

moisturizing oil
The oil is thick and slow to absorb so you can use wheat germ oil for skin – dry, irritated, dehydrated skin. Plus it works well for rough, cracking skin too.

Use it for smooth elbows, knees, heels and anywhere else that needs a little extra moisturizing. That also includes dry, brittle hair. Yup! Wheat germ moisturizes hair too!

It neutralizes free radicals

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Free radicals are little chemicals that form when you’re exposed to sunlight and other harsh environments (new evidence: your skin makes free radicals too!). These chemicals can damage skin cells, collagen, and elastin. And besides damaging them, they slow down collagen and elastin regeneration.

Translation: wrinkles!

Free radicals actually cause wrinkles and can increase your chance of getting skin cancer.

Before you start freaking out, you should know wheat germ oil has got your back! Remember, the oil has the highest levels of Vitamin E? Well, the vitamin is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger which means it can neutralize free radicals. So you can use wheat germ oil to prevent wrinkles!

It repairs skin

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Your body needs Vitamin E to repair and regenerate cells and tissue. That is a primary function of Vitamin E.

So when you use wheat germ oil, you are feeding your skin with the vitamin it needs to repair itself. That means you can use the oil for cuts, burns, ulcers, sunburn, scars, stretch marks and dermatitis.

Wheat germ oil boosts collagen and elastin production

Not only can Vitamin E stop free radicals from damaging collagen and elastin, it can also repair and regenerate them. You may know collagen helps skin stay firm, strong and elastic. Elastin helps maintain skin’s shape even after contorting or stretching. These are important for reducing stretch marks, wrinkles, and sagging.

But there’s a problem.

Several studies show when Vitamin E is applied to your skin it gets absorbed pretty quickly. But it doesn’t get very far into the skin. The highest concentrations of Vitamin E are within the first 0.005 millimeters of your skin. So lots of Vitamin E molecules can’t get to the collagen and elastin layers deep inside your skin.

It’s ok though!

You can feed the collagen and elastin layers by eating wheat germ oil. You only need one tablespoon to meet your daily Vitamin E requirements. If you can’t stomach it, no worries. Just add more almonds, spinach, pumpkin seeds, avocados, or fish to your diet. These foods are rich in Vitamin E so they’ll definitely help keep your skin firm, strong and beautiful.

It reduces inflammation

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Vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties. So you can use wheat germ oil to reduce redness, irritation and dermatitis. Skin conditions caused by inflammation like psoriasis and eczema can also be eased with wheat germ oil.

In fact, this Iranian study (2016) found wheat germ oil was one of several local treatments used for psoriasis. Others mentioned were flaxseed oil, black seed oil, and violet oil.

It improves circulation

Quite a few studies show wheat germ oil improves blood circulation to your skin. Improved blood flow ensures more nutrients and oxygen get to your skin. And more toxins are taken away. That means your skin will look healthy, nourished and radiant.

You will also experience improved blood flow if you apply the oil to your scalp. When this happens, more blood flow causes healthier and stronger hair follicles. And who doesn’t want strong, healthy hair?

It works better with aloe vera

A small 2010 study looked at the moisturizing effects of herbal blends on six volunteers. It found wheat germ oil is very moisturizing on its own. But it was even more moisturizing when added to aloe vera. Amazing right?

This is pretty useful for damaged, dry skin, sun burn, stretch marks, and wrinkles.

It works with Vitamin C too

Remember Vitamin E in wheat germ oil is a powerful antioxidant? When it reacts with free radicals it can form its own radical. So it needs another antioxidant to counteract it.

Vitamin C does this job very well. That’s why so many skin care and beauty products contain both vitamins. They’re better together!

Isn’t this oil impressive? Here’s a quick summary of a few wheat germ oil benefits:
wheat germ oil benefits

Where to Buy Wheat Germ Oil

You can find wheat germ oil in most health stores and there are several options on Amazon like these:
NOW Wheat Germ Oil, 16-Ounces Edens Garden Wheat Germ Oil

How to Make Wheat Germ Oil

To make wheat germ oil, you’ll need:

  • wheat germ, which you can get from any health store or Amazon
  • an oil press (like the ones from HappyBuy, Piteba or Nutrichef)
  • a bowl for waste
  • a clean glass bottle
  • cloth to strain any particles in the oil (optional)

With these

  • Simply add the wheat germ to the oil press hopper and flip the switch (or move the handle, if it’s a manual press).
  • Position the bottle to collect oil exiting the press. You can use a funnel here to make sure there aren’t any spills. If you think you’ll get bits of wheat germ in the oil, cover the funnel with the cloth.
  • Place the waste bowl to collect the spent wheat germ.
  • Once you’re done, cover the bottle and store it in the fridge or in a dark area to make sure it lasts.

That’s it! Oil recovery is about 30%. So if you use 3 parts of wheat germ (e.g. 3 cups), you should get close to 1 part of wheat germ oil (about 1 cup).

Wheat germ oil (either DIY or store bought) will last for about six to eight months provided it is not over exposed to light, heat and air.

Just a quick note: there is no such thing as wheat germ essential oil. Essential oils have light, volatile compounds. But this oil has large, heavy, non-volatile compounds like fatty acids and vitamins.

Uses of Wheat Germ Oil

Do a skin patch test to make sure you’re not allergic or sensitive to wheat germ oil. This is really important! If you have a wheat allergy, you should not use this oil. If you are not sensitive to the oil, then you can try any of these blends:

  • For dry and mature skin: You can use wheat germ oil for skin, especially dry skin. Simply mix the oil in a 1:1 ratio with another thick, moisturizing oil like avocado oil. While avocado is thick, it absorbs quickly so it won’t leave you feeling overly greasy.

  • For combination and oily skin: Use a lighter oil like jojoba oil or safflower oil in a 6:1 ratio with wheat germ oil. That means you can mix 6 tablespoons of the lighter oil with 1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil together. Use this blend on your skin and hair.

  • Can’t stand the smell? Mask it with another strong scent that you actually like. Five drops of an essential oils to any of the above blends would work. My favorites are lavender, sandalwood, and peppermint.

  • For a moisturizing face mask: Mixing equal parts of honey and wheat germ oil makes a super moisturizing face and skin mask. It is perfect to add to your natural skin care regime. Simply apply the mix to your face and let it sit for 15 – 20 minutes before rinsing off. But remember, wheat germ has a high comedogenic rating so you should use this mask with caution if you have acne prone skin.

  • For strengthening hair: Using equal parts, mix coconut oil with pure aloe vera and wheat germ oil. Massage this mix on your scalp for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.

  • For stretch marks: Use wheat germ oil directly on your marks. You can also use a 1:1 ratio of wheat germ oil and calendula oil or an 8:1 ratio of cocoa butter to wheat germ oil.

Have fun with wheat germ oil! It’s amazing! If you use the oil in another way, let me know in the comments below.

  Disclaimer: This post has Amazon affiliate links and the site will earn a small commission for any purchases made using these links.  


  1. July 20, 2015 / 7:15 am

    Truly useful information on essential and carrier oils.

  2. October 21, 2015 / 4:27 pm

    Thanks for info excellent article

  3. March 1, 2016 / 1:28 pm

    I use wheat germ oil on my face and take a teaspoon 2 -3 times a day. I love it. The only thing is I can't get it close to my eyes, they start to water and get a bit irritated. But my skin does look and feel younger. Been using it for two weeks now. I love the taste and don't mind the smell.

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