When cranberries come up in conversation the next thought is probably a year-end holiday and turkey on the table. Cranberries a native North American fruit and in the same family as blueberries, are highly nutritious, tart and bright red color. Why I’m bringing them up is that they also make wonderful OIL that is particularly great for the skin!

The mass production of foods has spun off side products like the lipid oils from the seeds of fruits like raspberry, blackberry, tomato and cranberry. After all that juice, jam, sauce, and preserve is put into jars for the market shelves, the remainder of the pulp is then pressed for the lipids/oils contained in the seeds. This is to skin care enthusiasts and us lipid lovers, a bonus as these are some of the most balanced and potent oils on the market.

The following, taken from my book Power of the Seed outlines cranberries’ benefits for the skin. Cranberries, Vaccinium macrocarpon, belong to the same botanical family as blueberry, and have a similar composition of phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds beneficial for skin and body health. Cranberry seed oil, has nearly equal ratios of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids, making it an excellent oil for skin conditioning. This very balanced fatty acid profile, and the deeply yellow color, indicate the presence of provitamin A carotenoids containing antioxidant properties that protect the polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Richly endowed with nutrients, including polyphenols, carotenes, quercetin, anthocyanidins, and proanthocyanidins, cranberry seed oil is especially protective against oxidation and free radical damage. This is important for protection against the effects of sun and weather. The impressive combination of plant nutrients provides stability in spite of its ample polyunsaturated and essential fatty acid content. Tannins keep the oil light-feeling on the skin, and provide antibacterial properties. Beta-Sitosterol eases the redness and itching from inflammation and repairs and regenerates tissues.

Vitamin E tocopherols and tocotrienols are active against free radical damage. Phytosterols and phospholipids help the skin remain elastic and flexible, protecting collagen and skin tissues. Vitamin A aids skin health by guarding against free radical damage and supporting elastin and collagen formation, while helping improve skin conditions where blemishes or acne are persistent. Phyto compounds nourish and condition the skin, providing relief from dryness and scaling, and itchy, irritated conditions. This is one of the supreme specialty oils that can be used alone or when added to serums, aids the health of the skin. It is light and absorbs into the skin fairly quickly, a great oil for this season.