At Nine Naturals, we’re on a mission to make beauty simple, smart and safe for moms and moms-to-be. Integral to that is understanding our ingredients’ science and benefits. Today’s Nine Naturals Ingredient Story, featuring Flaxseed Oil, is part of an ongoing series featuring the natural, plant-based ingredients behind our high performance beauty products.
Flaxseed oil (Linum Usitatissmum) is as versatile as it is healing. It is used for a multitude of purposes and has a long history as a health and wellness supplement. The flax plant has been cultivated for nearly 30,000 years, with its more widespread cultivation recognized about 5,000 years ago. Though it has achieved fame as a superfood to add to your daily meals, flaxseed oil also boasts many benefits as a skincare ingredient. Look for it as a pure oil, which is perfect for a soothing massage, or in personal products like shampoo and body wash.
The Science and Extraction of Flaxseed
Flaxseed oil is rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which is important for your physical health, as well as for your skin and hair. The main reason why flaxseed oil is so extensively used is its potent level of powerful omega-3 fatty acids. The primary omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseeds is alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, which has metabolic benefits. Another component of flaxseeds is fiber-like compounds called lignans. Lignans are polyphenols, which are micronutrients with antioxidant properties.
The flax plant itself is tall and leafy with pale blue flowers and is grown in temperate climates in cool weather. One of the oldest cultivated crops, it’s grown for both its fiber and its seed, though the seed is where the rich oil is extracted from. From the flaxseeds, flaxseed oil is extracted through a cold press process. This is important to note, because very high temperatures can cause the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds to deteriorate.
Flaxseed Oil's Benefits for Skin and Hair Care
Because of flaxseed oil’s high omega-3 fatty acid levels, the oil is an ideal ingredient in hair and skincare products. The omega-3 fatty acids nourish hair follicles, contributing to hair growth and strength. It doesn’t hurt that another benefit of omega-3 fatty acids is the sleek, shiny quality they give to hair. Flaxseed oil also seals in and maintains moisture levels in the hair and in the skin, combating dryness and brittleness. It’s a soothing, nourishing oil, which is always important, but becomes crucial as the physical changes of pregnancy and nursing can lead to stressed skin and hair.
The Many Other Uses of Flax
Flax is a surprisingly multi-purpose crop, and the oil from flaxseed is used for many purposes, beyond hair and skincare. Flaxseed oil is used to treat a spectrum of ailments, and in preventative care. The oil can be ingested on its own, found in capsules, used in recipes, and of course, blended into topical care items. Flaxseed oil is commonly taken to maintain heart health and support brain health. Additionally, the fiber in flaxseed oil makes it helpful for digestion. The ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and lignans are useful in combating inflammation. However, flaxseed oil, unlike other seed oils like sunflower or sesame seed oil, should not be used in high-heat cooking. Fortunately, there are more than enough other uses for the hearty oil.
Why Nine Naturals Loves Flaxseed Oil
With the myriad benefits of flaxseed oil, we can’t help but make it a staple component in our product lineup. Most importantly to us, flaxseed oil is safe and gentle, and we’re proud to use it as a Nine Naturals ingredient. Additionally, its therapeutic effects on skin and hair is transformative. Find flaxseed oil in all of our shampoos and conditioners for pregnancy and nursing-safe hair care that will leave your hair nourished and revitalized. We also blend flaxseed oil into our Citrus & Geranium Soothing Body Wash.