Unlike chocolate cake or a big bowl of cheesy pasta, avocado is one of the few indulgent snacks that’s actually really good for you. This tropical fruit (yep, it’s a fruit!) contains a plethora of antioxidants, minerals, and fats that can help keep your body strong and healthy. We’re guessing this isn’t news to you—after all, whether spread atop toast or smashed into creamy guacamole, avocado is ubiquitous these days.
What you may not know, however, is that avocados are also great for your skin, whether eaten or applied topically. These bright green fruits are rich in antioxidants and hydrating vitamin E, making them particularly useful for dry and sensitive skin types. Ahead, we’ll break down a few avocado skin benefits that we think you should know. Plus, discover Kiehl’s best avocado skincare products for your face and body. Read on to learn why avocado deserves a spot in your routine.
Why Avocado Oil and Avocado Extract Are Used In Skincare Products
Before we discuss the ways avocado can benefit your skin, it’s important to distinguish the differences between avocado oil and avocado extract. Both are derived from the avocado fruit, which grows in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. The oil is pressed from dried avocado pulp, which consists of the fruit’s outer skin, edible flesh, and large pit. Avocado extract, by contrast, is typically derived from the fruit and leaves of the avocado plant. This concentrated liquid has been in ongoing studies to discover its potential therapeutic benefits in medical settings.
Of the two, avocado oil is used more frequently in skincare. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, including oleic acid and vitamins C, A, and E. The oil’s high fat content makes it a useful ingredient in skincare products formulated for dry or chapped skin. Additionally, avocado oil is edible and possesses notable health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
Avocado oil is the primary ingredient in our best-selling Avocado Eye Cream, which hydrates and de-puffs the under-eye area. According to aesthetician Shamara Bondaroff, the skin around the eyes is “thinner, can get more crepey, [and] shows signs of dehydration” more readily than the rest of the face. As such, she adds, “keeping this area moisturized is really important.” You can use Avocado Eye Cream day and night to hydrate and revive this delicate skin for a brighter-, smoother-looking under-eye area.
3 Avocado Skin Benefits Worth Noting
Avocado’s high concentration of fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants make it a valuable addition to skincare formulations. Keep reading to discover the benefits of adding avocado oil products to your daily skincare routine.
Avocado Skincare Benefit #1: Oil-Rich Avocado Is a Powerful Moisturizer
On average, avocado oil contains about 62% lipids, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Studies show that avocado oil can penetrate the skin barrier more effectively than other popular plant oils, like olive oil or almond oil.I This makes avocado an effective moisturizer, particularly for those with dry, chapped, or flaky skin.
At Kiehl’s, we have several avocado skin products formulated for dry and dehydrated skin. To soothe facial dryness, we recommend incorporating Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask into your weekly skincare routine. This creamy face mask with avocado oil and extract replenishes and softens dry skin. The nourishing formula helps lock in moisture to minimize water loss for softer, more hydrated skin in just 15 minutes.* It’s suitable for all skin types and can be used up to three times per week.
*Consumer perception study in the U.S. on 55 subjects, all skin types, and based on an immediate time point.
If your skin is extremely dry, we recommend Creme d’Elegance Repairateur. This heavy-duty facial cream is formulated with avocado oil, cocoa butter, and sesame oil. It deeply moisturizes very dry skin without leaving behind an oily residue. Additionally, it helps smooth roughness and nourish the skin for a soft, supple finish. This thick, rich cream is fairly heavy and therefore best suited for those with exceptionally dry or dehydrated skin.
For your body, try swapping your usual moisturizer with Creme de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil. This indulgent body oil spray is formulated with a blend of rich botanical oils, including avocado oil and grapeseed oil, and helps nourish dry skin. While it is an oil, it has a unique, lightweight texture that absorbs quickly for a velvety-smooth feel.
Give dry hands an extra dose of luxurious hydration with Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. In addition to avocado oil, this thick cream for dry hands contains conditioning sesame seed oil and eucalyptus oil. It helps form a glove-like protective barrier on dry hands to minimize water loss and lock in hydration. Since it both repairs dry skin and helps protect against further irritation, it’s an ideal treatment for those who frequently come into contact with harsh ingredients or drying cold weather.
Kiehl’s Tip: For more tips on how to keep skin hydrated from head to toe, check out our article, The Best Body Care Routine For Soft Skin.
Avocado Skincare Benefit #2: Avocado Is Rich In Antioxidants
Studies show that avocado is rich in antioxidants, specifically carotenoids, and polyphenols.II These antioxidants help protect against damage caused by free radicals (also known as reactive oxygen species). These compounds form after exposure to environmental aggressors, including pollution, UV rays, and lack of sleep. When free radicals accumulate on the skin, they can damage cells’ DNA and speed up the skin’s natural aging process. Eventually, this leads to fine lines, age spots, and other premature signs of aging. By neutralizing these damaging compounds, the antioxidants in avocado oil help keep the skin healthy and protected from damaging external stressors.
Avocado is one of the primary ingredients in our best-selling Ultra Facial Cleanser, which also contains olive-derived squalane and crushed apricot kernels. This pH-balanced daily cleanser removes dirt, oil, and other impurities without stripping the skin’s natural moisture barrier. It’s suitable for all skin types and helps maintain the skin’s natural balance. After cleansing, tone skin with Ultra Facial Toner, which soothes and comforts skin for a hydrated, more balanced appearance.
Finally, restore hydration with Ultra Facial Cream, our #1 facial moisturizer. This iconic formula with avocado oil and squalane provides lasting, 24-hour hydration for all skin types. The lightweight formula absorbs quickly and softens skin for a smoother, visibly healthier appearance.
Avocado Skincare Benefit #3: It Is Known To Have Soothing Benefits
For those with sensitive skin types, inflammation can be a daily occurrence—whether you notice it or not. It’s one of the skin’s primary responses to irritants, like pollution, extreme temperatures, or harsh ingredients.
Avocado oil skincare benefits include helping soothe the look of irritated skin. Intensive Treatment and Moisturizer for Dry or Callused Areas. This ultra-rich moisturizer with avocado oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter helps soothe and soften parched or callused skin.
Kiehl’s Tip: For a truly indulgent experience, smooth a generous amount of this rich treatment onto dry feet or hands before bed, then top with gloves or socks. This will help prevent the moisturizer from rubbing off on your sheets and lock in moisture for softer, smoother skin by morning.
Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of avocado, read up on another Kiehl’s favorite ingredient in our article, The Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Hair and Skin.
I. Woolf, Allan, et al. “Avocado Oil.” Gourmet and Health-Promoting Specialty Oils (2009):73-125. doi:10.1016/B978-1-893997-97-4.50008-5.
II. Dreher, Mark L, and Adrienne J Davenport. “Hass avocado composition and potential health effects.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition vol. 53,7 (2013): 738-50. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.556759