Just after the blueberry harvest finishes, the cranberries show up in the markets. Both berries are of the Vaccinium botanical family and varieties grow across the northern reaches of North America, Europe and Asia. Given the northern adaptability of the family, the oil from cranberries is surprisingly balanced. Lucky us.
Where cranberry seed oil comes from
The berries are highly nutritious, tart and bright red color. Intensive agriculture and production of cranberries have spun off side products including the lipid oils from the leftovers from the cranberry harvest.
Once the juice, jam, sauce, and preserves are put into jars for the market shelves, and holiday tables, the remainder of the pulp is then collected, dried, and the seeds pressed for the lipids/oils contained in the seeds.
A perfectly balanced oil
The balanced nature of this oil is the nearly even split between omega 9, 6, and 3, which is oleic acid, linoleic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid. These are the common fatty acids in oils and the evenness creates a delicate balance between protection by the oleic acid, support for the skin by the linolenic acid and absorption and anti-inflammation properties by the alpha-linolenic acid.
Nutrition in a berry
Cranberries, Vaccinium macrocarpon, are richly endowed with nutrients, including polyphenols, carotenes, quercetin, anthocyanidins, and proanthocyanidins, all contributing to cranberry seed oil’s ability to protect against oxidation and free radical damage, a major contributor to skin aging.
For your skin, a nutrient-dense oil is important for protection against the effects of sun and weather. The plant nutrients provide stability for the oil giving it a healthy shelf life plus nutrition and protection for the skin.
Tannins keep the oil light-feeling on the skin and provide antibacterial properties.
Phytosterols and phospholipids help the skin remain elastic and flexible, protecting collagen and skin tissues.
Beta-Sitosterol a plant counterpart of cholesterol eases the redness and itching from inflammation and repairs and regenerates tissues.
Vitamin E tocopherols and tocotrienols, in particular, are active against free radical damage.
Carotenoids in the oil act as pro-vitamin A, guarding against free radical damage and supporting elastin and collagen formation while helping improve skin conditions where blemishes or acne are persistent. Carotenoids also help protect the skin from environmental damage and repair damage from the effects of too much sun.
Phospholipids nourish and condition the skin, providing relief from dryness and scaling, and itchy, irritated conditions.
Using Cranberry seed oil
Cranberry seed oil is a supreme specialty oil that can be used alone as a highly effective oil serum.
Combined with other oils that complement and enhance its wonderful properties serums become exceptional aids for skin health.
Cranberry seed oil is light, and absorbs into the skin easily, a great oil for the season.
Have you worked with this lovely oil yet? Share your experiences in the comments below.