But don’t you use cotton to make clothes? Of course, but through the cold pressing of its seeds another product with interesting cosmetic properties is obtained, the cottonseed oil. Cottonseed oil has been known since ancient times in Africa, North America and Asia, in fact, it has been possible to unearth, during archaeological excavations, tools for grinding the cotton dating back to the first century AD! Cottonseed oil can also be integrated into the diet, today, however, we will focus on its properties for the beauty of skin and hair. But let's see in more detail.
Cottonseed oil, characteristics
Cottonseed oil is probably one of the few oils for which the refining process improves the final product. In fact, freshly squeezed cottonseed oil is reddish in color and has a strong odor due to the presence of a substance, gossypol, which is considered toxic. The refining process, on the other hand, allows the oil to be separated from the gossypol. The final oil is light yellow in color and practically odorless. After the extraction of gossypol and in case of good quality products that do not contain heavy metals and pesticides, cottonseed oil is considered safe for cosmetic applications without causing allergic reactions (Int J Toxicol, 2001). In any case, it is always good for the first time to test a small portion of the skin and see if there are any allergic reactions.
Cottonseed oil, properties
Cottonseed oil provides important fatty acids for the well-being of the skin. In fact, this oil contains linoleic acid, almost 53%, palmitic acid, 25%, oleic acid, 16%, and finally stearic, myristic, palmitic and linolenic acid in smaller quantities (Yang et al, Food Sci Nutr, 2019). Linoleic acid is abundant in the epidermis and its deficiency causes itching and irritation to the skin. In fact, linoleic acid is directly involved in maintaining the integrity of the skin barrier, promotes the wound healing and the turnover of cells that make up the stratum corneum, is illuminating and counteracts dark spots (Tzu Kai Lin et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2018 - Ando et al, Arch Dermatol, Res, 1998). On the other hand, as regards palmitic and stearic acid, these are more abundant in young skin and tend to reduce with age.
Therefore, an intake of these substances helps to rejuvenate the tissues and has an anti-aging action (Kim et al, J Korean Med Sci, 2010). Cottonseed oil can help protect the skin from sun damage, since it has shown to block up to 20% of UV rays (Korac et al, Pharmacogn Rev, 2011). Finally, cottonseed oil also contains tocopherol, a natural antioxidant, useful to combat wrinkles (Davis et al, Nutrients, 2012).
Cottonseed oil, uses
You can find cottonseed oil as an ingredient in various cosmetic products, such as creams or balms. In the INCI it appears with the name of Gossypium oil, in fact the scientific name of cotton is precisely Gossypium.
Alternatively, cottonseed oil can be purchased alone in specialized stores or online, in any case always make sure that the product is of good quality. You can apply a few drops of oil in the evening on the damp face, by massaging to make it absorb. And for a more powerful anti-spot and anti-aging action you can add a drop of carrot essential oil. Instead, if your problem is irritated or sunburned skin, you can enrich the serum with a drop of blue chamomile essential oil.
As for the health and beauty of the hair, cottonseed oil can help in case of itchy scalp, it makes the skin elastic, the hair soft and acts with a detangling action. Moisten the scalp with a little water and apply a tablespoon of oil with a massage, distribute it until the tips. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse with shampoo.