Regardless of their gender, one concern that many people have nowadays is the way they look. This is because many beauty products are available in the market and promise anti-aging effects that consumers desperately want. One particular effect that they want to achieve would be to look younger than their actual age, hence the production and popularity of anti-aging creams. In order to deliver this result, researchers are doing everything that they can to discover the best ingredient for providing the desired results. One fairly recent discovery that has been made in the search for this ingredient would be the discovery of the meadowfoam seed.

What is it?

The meadowfoam seed comes from the meadowfoam plant (Limnanthes alba). The flower is yellow at the center, and the petal tips are white. It is native in some parts of Canada (specifically in Vancouver Island and British Columbia) as well as in the United States (specifically Oregon and Northern California). This plant was classified as early as the 19th century by an English botanist and it was only known as an ornamental plant before it was discovered to contain useful components.

The research and development of the plant’s viability started in the 1950s partly due to the need to find a renewable oil resource. Its cultivation for commercial purposes began only in 1980, but its development has slowed down because of inconsistent and insufficient funding. It is only now that the meadowfoam seed is found out to be useful in making beauty products, along with being used as a vegetable oil alternative and a substitute for sperm whale oil.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil

The meadowfoam seed, when extracted, produces meadowfoam oil, known as one of the most stable vegetable oils because of its chemical properties. It is only when the oil is extracted from the seed that it can be used as an ingredient in making cosmetic products. This is because meadowfoam oil can withstand refrigeration or other elements, and it has a longer shelf life than other types of oils, thus making it quite stable.

Components of the Meadowfoam Seed

When the seed is examined carefully, it is found out to contain the following useful components:

  • Tocopherol – This compound is the primary component of Vitamin E which is known to keep the skin from aging. It is also known to protect the different organs of the body or slow down its degeneration as it is also known to be an antioxidant.
  • Docosadienoic Acid – As it is a polyunsaturated fat, it is known for the benefits that it gives to the heart (Specifically, it can lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the body as well as lower blood pressure.)
  • Eicosenoic Acid – This acid, along with other fatty acids, is known for its many properties. It is non-comedogenic (does not block the skin’s pores), it can be readily absorbed by the skin, and it balances the oil in the skin, making it less oily. This component is also present in jojoba oil and hence produces a similar effect.

Products that Use Meadowfoam Oil

Here are some of the beauty products where meadowfoam seed oil can be used:

  • Anti-aging Cream – Almost all components of the meadowfoam oil allow it to be used in anti-aging creams and primarily because it contains anti-aging properties. The amounts of tocopherol and antioxidants that it contains are helpful in reducing the damage that the skin experiences due to exposure to the elements. It also hydrates the skin and makes sure that water doesn’t easily come out of the skin (since more moisture contributes to a more glowing and elastic skin). This, in turn, reduces the occurrence of lines, scars, and rough areas on the skin, most especially on the face.
  • Body Scrub – The body scrub is known for the purpose of exfoliating your skin, but aside from this effect, body scrubs that contain meadowfoam seed extracts and oil are found to have the ability to repair and hydrate your skin.
  • Hair Conditioner and Mascara – Shampoos and conditioners with meadowfoam oil are known to hydrate the hair and scalp as well as make it fuller and shinier. It also reduces the occurrence of scalp dryness and dandruff primarily because it helps retain the moisture in that area. It can also prevent hair loss and reduce brittleness. With these benefits to your hair, it may even produce the same effect on your eyelashes.
  • Lip Plumper – Having good-looking lips is dependent on the moisture that they contain as well as on having balanced oil content. A lip plumper with meadowfoam ensures that the water and oil in this area are balanced, making the lips look smoother and fuller.
  • Massage Oil – Meadowfoam oil can also be used in its raw form as a massage oil. This is because it can easily be spread throughout the body (A single drop of meadowfoam oil can be used to massage a large area of the body.), it is a very good lubricant, and it is easily absorbed by the skin, thus contributing to a less greasy feeling after the massage.
  • Moisturizer – Meadowfoam contains Vitamin E and tocopherol, both of which are known to prevent skin dehydration and make skin “look” younger. It can also replenish the oil in your skin or control it if there’s an overproduction of sebum. Also, it can prevent or reduce damage from harmful elements because of the antioxidants that it contains.
  • Stretch Mark Creams – Aside from meadowfoam’s ability to moisturize the skin, it also has the ability to maintain the moisture that your skin already has. It is a useful ingredient for stretch mark creams as it helps in improving the texture of the affected area, nourishing it, and inducing the fading of these marks.

Benefits of Meadowfoam Seed

As it is used as an ingredient for beauty products, it is known to produce the following benefits for its user:

  • When used in conjunction with a sun protection lotion, it is also known to protect the skin from ultraviolet rays which can cause skin diseases especially in the case of prolonged exposure.
  • As it is readily absorbed by the skin, it doesn’t give the greasy feeling when applied onto the skin.
  • It moisturizes skin as well as protects it from being dehydrated. This is because, unlike water, meadowfoam oil does not evaporate when exposed to the elements. This quality makes it qualify as an ingredient for products that are aimed at preventing acne. It also makes it easier for your skin to “breathe” by removing the blockages in the pores.
  • Oil from meadowfoam seed is mild; hence, it produces the same benefit even if you have sensitive skin.

Other Benefits of Using Meadowfoam Seed Oil

Aside from the benefits that the use of meadowfoam can give to its user, it can also produce the following non-health benefits:

  • Because of its stability, it can be used as an additive to some beauty products whose ingredients are less stable and thus extend the shelf life of the products and their other ingredients. This quality is never diminished, regardless of the condition (i.e. whether the product or the oil is exposed to heat and air and even if it’s put in the refrigerator).
  • It acts as a binding agent to the product, making its scent last longer compared to those without it.
  • It is used as an alternative to sperm whale oil. This is because before the discovery of plant oils, it was this product that had many uses such as in metal lubricants and oil lamps. The oil is also utilized because of some of its qualities such as stability even under high temperatures and low freezing point. Plus, the oil also contained important components. However, with the discovery of plants that can be used as renewable resources of oil, it paved the way for the banning of the use of sperm whale oil and for its protection as well.
  • The cultivation of meadowfoam has very little need for fertilizers and pesticides, thus making it easier on farmers. It can also provide them an additional source of income since they can use them as a rotation crop without the need to burn grass seeds.
  • Meadowfoam seeds can also benefit animals. Small animals such as mice, insects, and birds can feed on the seeds from the flowers, while large animals such as cows can benefit from the seeds that were pressed to extract the oil.
  • The best part of using products that contain meadowfoam oil is that no known side effects can be attributed to it. Therefore, you can assume that its use is beneficial and safe to the user.

Although the research when it comes to the uses, composition, and benefits remains inconclusive, we can say that the discovery of the meadowfoam seed is a breakthrough in the world of science and cosmetics. Hence, researchers should follow through and continue to explore more about the benefits and any possible side effects that the use of this natural ingredient can bring. 


For those interested in trying the product, you can find large bottles of the oil available for cosmetic use in major online stores, as well as on specialty beauty and skin care sites. You can usually find it in bulk at stores where you find ingredients to make your own soaps or cosmetics. Also, recipes for making your own skin care products with it are now widely available.

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