Studies Show Avocado Seeds Have A Bunch Of Skincare Benefits. Here’s How To Use Them

Stop wasting avocado seeds.

Everybody loves avocados — these precious fruits are tasty, highly nutritious, and super beneficial to our general health. But sadly, its best part for skincare is often wasted and tossed in the trash. Yes, I’m talking about the seeds. This may take you by surprise, but the truth is avocado seeds are very rich in fatty acids and contain more classes of phytochemicals than other parts of avocado. They have even higher polyphenol content and greater antioxidant activity than pulp, making them great for protecting skin and body cells from oxidative damage.[1]

Since I learned that avocado seeds are chocked full of antioxidants, vitamins, and other good-for-skin compounds, I have proudly joined the #NoWastingAvocado team and started saving them later for my beauty routine. And I became even more excited when I actually learned how to use avocado seeds for the skin. Intrigued already? 

Here’s everything that has ever been found (and proven) about the benefits of using avocado pits for skincare.

Avocado seeds benefits for skin

Even if considered a low-value waste product, avocado seeds have a series of properties that can boost the overall skin condition. This is because they’re a great source of fatty acids, vitamins (mostly vitamins B5, C, and E), carbohydrates, proteins, and polyphenols. All these compounds imbue avocado seeds with antioxidant, antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory effects.[1][2] Interestingly, the seeds have more phenolic compounds than the pulp and peel and account for 70% of the total antioxidant content found in the whole avocado.[1]

Read on to find out what benefits avocado seeds can bring to your skin and how to use them in your beauty ritual:

Moisturize and soften

The avocado seeds are rich in fatty acids, including linoleic, palmitic, and oleic acids, which have been heavily researched for their moisturizing and emollient effects on the skin.[3] Although there’s no clinical study directly showing that avocado seeds have any impact on skin hydration whether consumed or applied topically, a research paper published by the Current Research in Green and Sustainable Chemistry states that the oil obtained from avocado seeds has higher fatty acids content and better skin penetration power than pulp oil (whose moisturizing benefits are well established).[4] This means avocado seed oil may enter the skin to hinder water loss and hike up moisture levels when used topically.

Provide antioxidant protection

Avocado seeds are a storehouse of antioxidants — they contain more than 70% of the total antioxidants found in the whole avocado fruit.[1] Precisely, the seeds are full of polyphenols, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins, and catechins, which provide high antioxidant protection that can help mitigate the impact of free radicals on the skin — unstable molecules that cause oxidative stress (a process that damage the cells and accelerate skin aging). According to research, the polyphenols from avocado seeds can slow down oxidation by over 60%, working effectively to defend skin cells from free radical damage.[2]

Fight skin aging

Consuming (or applying) avocado seed oil can also help preserve skin elasticity and firmness. It was established that avocado seeds have a greater variety of fatty acids than pulp oil, which can improve the appearance of aged skin by nourishing and hydrating.[5] The antioxidant content of avocado seeds also protects the skin’s proteins and lipids against degradation caused by environmental damage, maintaining the complexion firmer. And if that wasn’t enough, studies point out that avocado seed oil can support the skin’s own collagen network by increasing the soluble collagen content in the body cells.[6]

Improve acne

Avocado seeds have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, which can help reduce the redness and inflammation associated with acne.[7] Also, avocado seeds have astringent properties given by the presence of tannins and are rich in vitamin B6 and antioxidants, both known to improve acne. So when grated and turned into powder, avocado seeds can be used to encourage pimple healing and minimize breakouts.

Exfoliate

Do you love coffee scrubs? Well, avocado seeds can also be used as a scrub to physically exfoliate your body and clear the surface of dead cells, debris, and oil — see here how to DIY. Basically, you have to break the pit into small pieces, let it dry, then blend the pieces into a fine powder and mix them with coconut oil (or any other carrier oil rich in fatty acids). You can directly rub the final product on the skin as an exfoliant or add it to your cleanser or cream to eliminate flakiness. Be sure you do it gently without rubbing the skin too aggressively to reduce irritation risk.

Avocado seeds work amazingly as an exfoliant because they enhance skin penetration, delivering antioxidant, nourishing, and collagen-boosting benefits straight into the skin’s deeper layers.

Brighten dark spots

A study conducted by the Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacognosy Research found that avocado seed extract has a potential activity as a skin-brightening agent due to its content of vitamin C, catechins, and quercetin. These compounds directly reduce the levels of melanin (skin-darkening pigment) in cells by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for pigment production, tyrosinase.[8] Surprisingly, they turned out to be more effective in brightening the skin than kojic acid. However, the study was in vitro, meaning it wasn’t carried out on humans, so it remains unclear how effective it actually is until further research.

Are avocado seeds safe for the skin?

Avocado seeds are safe to apply on the skin in the form of a fine powder. The same goes for the oil extracted from avocado seeds, whose topical application is considered safe and unlikely to cause sensitivities. However, the consumption of avocado seeds remains questionable even to this day. This is because some compounds found in avocado pits are known to be toxic when ingested in higher concentrations. Despite that, some research points out that it is safe to eat avocado seeds if the intake is lower than 3 mg per kg of body weight.[9] Theoretically, it can improve the digestive system due to the content of antioxidants and dietary fibers, but the side effects have not been sufficiently researched, so it’s difficult to confirm whether or not it is safe to consume avocado seeds.

How to use

You can reap most of the benefits of avocado seeds either by eating them or applying them to the skin as a scrub.

The avocado seeds can be consumed dried, grated, or roasted. You can turn them into a powder to add to your salad, drink it in teas, smoothies, and shakes, or consume it alone — if you don’t mind the bitter taste. You can also extract the avocado oil from the seed and add it to your beverage or apply it topically — here’s how you can do it. Finally, the best method to use avocado seeds for skincare is to turn them into a fine powder and use it as an exfoliant. To enhance the benefits, mix the grated avocado seeds with grounded coffee and delicately massage them on your skin.


Sources

Women’s Concepts uses reliable sources, including dermatologists’ insights, clinical trials, and scientific journals, to find accurate information and support all the facts shared in our articles. All statements and claims have clear and legit references. Read our editorial policy to learn more about our sources of information, our process of researching and fact-checking the content, and how our team strives to keep all articles updated, completed, and trustworthy.

References
  1. Bahru, Tassew & Tadele, Zinabwa & Ajebe, Eyasu. (2019). A Review on Avocado Seed: Functionality, Composition, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties. Chemical Science International Journal. 27. 1-10. 10.9734/CSJI/2019/v27i230112. 
  2. Segovia FJ, Hidalgo GI, Villasante J, Ramis X, Almajano MP. Avocado Seed: A Comparative Study of Antioxidant Content and Capacity in Protecting Oil Models from Oxidation. Molecules. 2018 Sep 21;23(10):2421. doi: 10.3390/molecules23102421.
  3. Ge, Yu & Si, Xiongyuan & Wu, Bin & Dong, Xiangshu & Xu, Zining & Ma, Weihong. (2018). Oil Content and Fatty Acid Composition of the Seeds of 16 Avocado (Persea americana) Accessions Collected From Southern China and Their Application in a Soap Bar. Journal of Agricultural Science. 10. 69. 10.5539/jas.v10n11p69. 
  4. Current Research in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Beneficiation of avocado processing industry by-product: A review on future prospect, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crgsc.2021.100253
  5. Bora PS, Narain N, Rocha RV, Queiroz Paulo M. Characterization of the oils from the pulp and seeds of avocado fruits
  6. Werman MJ, Mokady S, Nimni ME, Neeman I. The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism. Connect Tissue Res. 1991;26(1-2):1-10. doi: 10.3109/03008209109152159. PMID: 1676360.
  7. Amado, D. A. V., Helmann, G. A. B., Detoni, A. M., Carvalho, S. L. C., Aguiar, C. M., Martin, C. A., Tiuman, T. S., & Cottica, S. M. (2019). Antioxidant and antibacterial activity and preliminary toxicity analysis of four varieties of avocado. Brazilian Journal of Food Technology, https://doi.org/10.1590/1981-6723.04418
  8. Laksmiani NPLL, Sanjaya IKN, Leliqia NPE (2020) The activity of avocado (Persea americana Mill.) seed extract containing catechin as a skin lightening agent. J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 8(5): 449–456.
  9. Ozolua RI, Anaka ON, Okpo SO, Idogun SE. Acute and sub-acute toxicological assessment of the aqueous seed extract of Persea americana mill (Lauraceae) in rats. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2009 Jul 3;6(4):573-8. doi: 10.4314/ajtcam.v6i4.57214. PMID: 20606779; PMCID: PMC2816474.
Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu is the founder and editor-in-chief of Women's Concepts. She has over 5 years of experience working in the beauty editorial industry and dermatological research and was an acne sufferer for over a decade. Ana is now an IAO and CPD-accredited skincare consultant keen to teach others about the importance of a consistent routine. She covers a wide range of topics in skincare—from buzzy ingredients to anti-aging and acne advice. She holds a BA in Sociology and Political Sciences from the National School of Political and Administrative Studies. Find her on LinkedIn or Instagram.
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