Sea buckthorn oil is the buzzy multi-benefit skincare ingredient to start using this summer

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The benefits of sea buckthorn oil are not to be slept on. 

Buzzy oils can feel two a penny in the world of skincare, and while there is an abundance to choose from, the latest one to make waves looks set to have staying power. Sea buckthorn oil is popping up on ingredient lists everywhere for good reason – it can hydrate, brighten and improve skin texture, making it an ingredient that truly ticks all the boxes and can work for all skin types.  

What is sea buckthorn oil?

Contrary to public belief (and a misleading name), sea buckthorn oil isn’t actually sourced from the waters deep. It is in fact extracted from the berries, leaves and seeds of the sea buckthorn plant, which is a small shrub that grows across northern Europe and some parts of Asia.

Identified by its small, green flowers and pretty orange berries, it has been used for its healing properties for thousands of years within ancient health systems such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).  

Benefits of using sea buckthorn oil

The oil extracted from the sea buckthorn plant is packed with skin-loving ingredients, hence its use in beauty products. 

Effective hydration

First and foremost, like many other plant oils, it’s an excellent skin hydrator, which aesthetic doctor Dr Usman Qureshi attributes to the fact it contains linoleic acid. “Linoleic acid is found naturally in the sebum and can therefore help to regulate moisture levels and overall help with hydration,” he explained.

Powerful antioxidant properties

If you’re looking to get that glow (who isn’t?), sea buckthorn oil may well be your best friend. “The berries from the sea buckthorn plant actually contain up to 12 times the amount of vitamin C in oranges,” Dr Qureshi highlighted. “This makes it great for brightening the skin and evens out any pigmentation or age spots,” he added.

Skin texture refinement

It can also help in terms of improving skin texture, boosting bounce and preventing premature ageing. “Its warm orange colour is thanks to its high carotenoid content which boosts collagen and elastin formation,” Elizabeth King, Weleda’s skincare expert and a holistic facialist explained. The aforementioned vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that stops free radical damage in its tracks (the main cause of skin ageing), also lends a helping hand.


King also pointed out how it can help with specific skin conditions:“Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, many problematic skin problems can be relieved by sea buckthorn oil, for example, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.” This is down to phytosterols, a plant compound with anti-inflammatory function which reduces swelling and redness associated with these conditions.  

How to use sea buckthorn oil in your skincare routine

All skin types can benefit from sea buckthorn oil however some of the formulas that utilise sea buckthorn oil may not suit everyone. 

“Sometimes it’s used in thicker creams or lotions that can be problematic for those with oily or acne-prone skin,” Dr Qureshi points out.

However, pure sea buckthorn oil or formulas combined with other non-comedogenic oils are great for oily or acne-prone skin. Apply straight to the skin or add a few drops to your favourite go-to moisturiser to boost its powers. Use in the morning before your SPF or as the last step of an evening routine.  

  • The Ordinary 100% Virgin Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil

    If you want the pure benefits of sea buckthorn oil, then this single-ingredient product is right for you. Taken from the pulp of the sea buckthorn berry, this 100% pure organic oil is bursting with skin-nourishing ingredients. Use alone or take a DIY approach and add to other products.  

    Shop The Ordinary 100% Virgin Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil at Cult Beauty, £14.90

    buy now

  • The Seated Queen Restoring Face Oil

    This totally waterless formula is packed with a powerful combination of cold-pressed oils including sea buckthorn. 

    The cocktail locks in moisture and simultaneously strengthens the skin barrier for hydrated happy skin. Suitable for all skin types, it comes into its own for oily or spot-prone skin, thanks to the non-comedogenic formulation that won’t block pores.  

    Shop The Seated Queen Restoring Face Oil at Cult Beauty, £65

    buy now

  • Farmacy Honey Grail Ultra-Hydrating Face Oil

    Pioneering a farm-to-face philosophy, Farmacy’s honey mask has garnered cult status and the face oil is similarly impressive. Combining buckwheat honey with sea buckthorn oil, the hydrating oil leaves skin juicy and plumped. A multi-tasker worth investing in, it can also be used on hair for taming flyaways and adding shine.

    Shop Farmacy Honey Grail Ultra-Hydrating Face Oil at Feelunique, £44

    buy now

  • Herbivore Phoenix Rosehip and Sea Buckthorn Deep Renewal Facial Oil

    This oil pairs sea buckthorn oil with other natural oil heroes like rosehip oil and chia seed CoQ10 to nourish, plump and hydrate the skin. 

    A vibrant orange hue, it makes a lovely nighttime oil that will ensure you wake up with glowing skin. Bonus points, it looks great on any bathroom shelf.  

    Shop Herbivore Phoenix Rosehip and Sea Buckthorn Deep Renewal Facial Oil at Cult Beauty, £80

    buy now

  • Weleda Sea Buckthorn Revitalising Body Oil

    Not just for the face, sea buckthorn oil is a great ingredient to add to your body care arsenal. This intensely nourishing body oil absorbs easily and adds a natural golden radiance to the skin.

    Plus, it ticks the sustainable box. Weleda sources its sea buckthorn oil from a dynamic producer in Tuscany, Italy. 

    Shop Weleda Sea Buckthorn Revitalising Body Oil, £19.95

    buy now

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