For the longest time, even after I had fully committed to natural, green beauty products, I avoided anything with chia seed oil in it. Why? Well, I’m not totally sure. But the only thing I can think of is that commercial from my childhood, advertising the growable Chia Pet with the annoying “ch-ch-ch-chia” jingle (which, yes, still haunts my dreams to this day). Sure, it’s not exactly a viable reason to avoid the ingredient, especially considering how amazing chia oil is for your skin (more on that later), but I didn’t actually realize how much I was missing out until I gave the stuff a try.
I was pulled in by several brands I’ve long loved, which all seemed to be using chia seed oil in some of their products, or even creating specific products centered around the ingredient. One Love Organics’ Easy Does It oil cleanser is a staple of mine, and I use their Oh Mega Calming Chia Oil whenever my skin feels irritated.
Leahlani Skincare, my favorite “pretend-I’m-in-Hawaii” escapism brand, also uses chia seed oil in its Mahina Evening Replenishing Elixir. Once I tried this deliciously scented treatment and saw its skin-plumping, glow-induing results, I knew I had to be on board with this awesome ingredient.
There are so many “miracle” oils out there, so what exactly makes chia seed oil stand out? I asked Adam Friedman, an associate professor of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. “Chia seed oil is chock-full of important saturated fatty acids, which are both integral to maintaining healthy skin cell membranes and warding off the harmful effects of free radicals,” he explained.
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In a 2010 study published by the Annals of Dermatology, chia seed oil was found to be “the richest botanical source of 18:3 n-3 fatty acid currently known,” which means it has the most alpha-linolenic acid, or omega-3 fatty acid, of all the oils out there. That’s great news for your skin, as omega-3s are known to be powerfully anti-inflammatory when applied topically.
The same study concluded that, when using chia seed oil on the skin, “improvement of epidermal permeability barrier function and skin hydration, represented by trans-epidermal water loss and skin capacitance, respectively, were also observed.” Translation in plain old English? It’s really hydrating for you skin, which makes it the ideal moisturizer. Friedman agrees: “There are even studies showing topically applied chia seed oil can help prevent and treat itchy, dry skin associated with underlying medical problems, like kidney disease, highlighting the multifaceted potential of this natural oil.”
Bottom line? Chia seed oil can help your skin fight irritation, dehydration, and even banish blemishes. You can look for it in skin-care ingredient lists by its Latin name, Salvia Hispanica. Or, if you want to cut to the chase, you can try my personal favorite chia skin-care line, Maya Chia. As you can tell from the name, every product in this gorgeous, all-natural line features chia seed oil, and it’s obtained with a patented process called supercritical extraction. Because it’s free of oxygen and solvents, supercritical extraction results in the purest, most effective chia oil on the market. Each product in this line smells amazing, and every single one is just as soothing and potent as the one before it.
Start simple with its Pure Supercritical Omega-3 Chia Oil, which only contains chia and a blend of aromatic essential oils. But if you want something more complex with even bigger benefits, you’ll love Maya Chia’s Super Blend—Pressed Serum Brightening Moisture Concentrate or its Super Couple Ultra Luxe Face Oil Serum. Whichever you choose, you’ll get the maximum benefit of—and I can’t believe I’m saying this—ch-ch-ch-chia seed oil.
Now, find out how to mix up your own mask at home: