Raspberry Seed Oil

Red raspberry seed oil has emerged as a multi-tasking skincare superhero.

Written by
Ruby Feneley
Medically reviewed by
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min read
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Feel like every day a new natural ingredient promising flawless skin is being served to you on Instagram and TikTok?

From jojoba oil, which promises to banish blemishes, to argan oil, which provides barrier support for dry skin, there are essential oils and natural elixirs for every skin concern.

Amongst these popular oils, red raspberry seed oil has emerged as a multi-tasking skincare superhero, boasting a host of skin-beautifying benefits.

So, what's the tea behind this slept-on skincare ingredient? Follow along as we break down what red raspberry seed oil is and why it should be in your skincare routine.

What is red raspberry seed oil?

There are many types of raspberries — including black, purple, and golden — but the one we're here to talk about is the one you've probably spotted in your breakfast bowl. The red raspberry, or rubus idaeus, is native to Europe and northern Asia, and its seeds provide us with the precious oil we've come to love.

Using a cold processing method, red raspberry seed oil is extracted from these seeds for use in our personal care products. And, we're lucky it is because raspberry seed oil possesses many health and beauty benefits.

The benefits of raspberry seed oil for health

Red raspberry seed extract has been popular in dietary supplementation products for some time thanks to the myriad of health benefits it provides. The red raspberry has a high concentration of bioactive compounds, including antioxidant properties and fibre. Eaten whole, these berries are packed with magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, calcium, and iron [1].

The raspberry seed also has a unique fatty acid composition. It contains a high amount of ellagic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid, along with gamma tocopherols vitamin E. These are beneficial when consumed in supplement form as they can boost lipid metabolism in the body, assist with healthy hair (which is why you'll also find raspberry seed oil in some shampoos and conditioners), and have excellent anti-inflammatory effects [2]/

What makes raspberry seed oil so unique?

Extracted using the proper methods, raspberry seed oil possesses many bioactive compounds beneficial for skin health.

Firstly, the red raspberry seed oil is antioxidant-packed. Raspberry seed oil has an exceptionally high proportion of alpha gamma tocopherols vitamin E and vitamin A, along with omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids [2]. These essential fatty acids support skin barrier function and help it retain moisture while decreasing inflammation.

This has made it an ingredient of interest for cosmetic pharmacologists [3]. Their research has shown that red raspberry seed oil has both dietetic and cosmetic significance when extracted using a cold pressing method and included in skincare products.

What skin concerns does red raspberry seed oil address?

Raspberry seed oil possesses many ingredients that help your skin glow. Because it's also a lightweight oil, applied topically, it leaves a non-greasy film on the skin that helps your complexion retain moisture without overloading it with heavy oil or causing clogged pores.

So, let's break down the benefits of our favourite red berry:

It is anti-inflammatory

Many of the ingredients in raspberry seed oil are anti-inflammatory.

So what's inflammation, and why is it relevant to your skin?

Inflammation is one of the primary causes of early skin ageing [4]. Likewise, it triggers many skin disorders, from acne and rosacea to other skin conditions like sensitive skin, redness, and early signs of ageing. Essentially, when your skin or body is in an inflammatory state, it's not happy, and it's likely to show it — and everyone's skin is vulnerable to the effects of inflammation.

Using ingredients that are fatty acid rich, with skin soothers like vitamin E, is one of the best ways to ensure a clear, calm complexion.

It fights free radicals

Antioxidants can provide protection to the skin by creating a shield that neutralises the effects of irritating free radicals we're exposed to via pollution, solar radiation, and chemicals in our environment [5]. Ingredients like raspberry seed oil, rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, can form that essential protective shield, preventing oxidative damage to the skin that contributes to early skin ageing.

It helps with oily and acne-prone skin

Raspberry seed also contains linoleic acid, a natural antimicrobial ingredient perfect for people with oily skin or those prone to acne [6].

Furthermore, because raspberry oil has a fine, lightweight consistency that leaves a non-greasy film on the skin, it won't clog pores, meaning those with oily skin can enjoy its hydrating and anti-ageing benefits without breakouts.

It is rich in essential fatty acids

The essential fatty acids in raspberry seed oil are crucial for skin health. They provide moisture and support wound healing. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have been shown to provide an essential role in the structural integrity and barrier function of the skin [7], and furthermore, have an effect on molecules that trigger the skin's inflammatory response, dialling reactivity right down [8].

How to know if you're using the right raspberry seed oil

It's essential to check that the raspberry seed oil in your skincare products has been cold pressed — that means it's been extracted from the raspberry fruit using very little heat. This method preserves the raspberry seeds many benefits, all of which can be damaged by heat. The raspberry seed oil should have a yellow and slightly cloudy appearance (that's thanks to the high amount of carotenoids found in the oil).

Is red raspberry seed oil a natural SPF?

Suppose you're curious about raspberry seed oil and you've been exploring the internet. In that case, you may have come across information suggesting the natural occlusive can provide UV protection.

Can it be true that raspberry seed oil offers sun protection? It's complicated. To be clear, when it comes to sun protection, there are no substitutes for broad-spectrum SPF50+.

However, some skincare ingredients provide a small amount of natural sun protection. There is research that demonstrates red raspberry seed oil, along with carrot seed oil, can absorb some types of UV or ultraviolet rays [9].

Raspberry seed oil has been shown to absorb some UVB. For this reason, raspberry seed oil can be found in many natural sunscreen formulas as a complement to physical, mineral sunscreen blockers like titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide [10].

Why you shouldn't rely on raspberry seed oil for sun protection

Consider raspberry seed oil a "nice to have" for sun protection. Raspberry seed oil does not provide broad-spectrum protection. It does not affect damaging UVA rays, which penetrate deeply into the skin and increase the risk of premature skin ageing and skin cancer [11].

Additionally, on its own, raspberry seed oil will not provide sufficient protection from UVB rays to be effective. Instead, evidence shows it is effective when used to boost the efficacy of natural sunscreens, complementing physical sun protective blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide [12].

Raspberry seed oil does, however, contain ingredients that are beneficial to reversing the signs of ageing caused by sunlight. Vitamin A accelerates skin cell turnover, increasing the production of collagen and elastin and decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles [13].

How to use red raspberry seed oil in skincare

So, how do you use raspberry seed oil in skincare? Firstly, select skincare that contains high-quality cold-pressed raspberry seed oil.

Cold-pressed raspberry seed oil has oxidative stability. It will have a long shelf life — meaning it won't become ineffective after a few months.

Consider looking for raspberry seed extracts in a facial oil. Adding a few drops of oil to body or face lotions will give your skin a moisture boost while supercharging skincare benefits.

Raspberry oil is a multi-tasker with many benefits, one of which is in your makeup bag. If you have dry skin, consider layering the facial oil over a serum to provide a smooth base for makeup and an extra hit of hydration and moisture.

The other alternative is looking for skincare products that contain raspberry seed oils as an ingredient. Including raspberry seed oils in lotions, eye creams, and serums means you're receiving all of the benefits of raspberry seed oil, along with plenty of others.

Finally? It's an exceptional ingredient to look for in your cleanser. Because raspberry oil is lightweight and non-comedogenic, it's the perfect addition to an oil cleanser. It will gently dissolve makeup without clogging pores, all while providing plenty of moisture for a balanced, clear complexion.

Software's Hydrating Cleansing Oil features raspberry seed oil, along with other nourishing ingredients like fatty acids for their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and moringa seed oil to mimic the skin's sebum composition.

Suitable for all skin types (even oily!), this oil-to-milk cleanser gently removes makeup and daily build-up without stripping away your skin's natural oils, while also helping its flora to flourish and supporting your skin barrier.

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