Ingredient Spotlight: Black Cumin Seed
Also known as Black caraway and black seed (INCI- Nigella Sativa). Great for problematic and acne prone skin.
I believe that ingredients matter when making product comparisons or purchasing decisions. In these posts I will be profiling key ingredients that are wonderful in addressing specific concerns to help you fight against your specific skin problems, be it acne, ageing skin, hyperpigmentation or sun damage. This is my personal research based on the issues that I am facing or have faced over the years which really led me to explore ingredients. Some have yielded amazing results and hopefully will be beneficial to you too.
(Disclaimer:anyone suffering from severe acne or extreme breakouts please consult a doctor/dermatologist as this post does not replace professional advice)
Growing up in an Ayurvedic household with ancestral heritage in farming for centuries, this oil is embedded in Ayurvedic medicine and used for so many ailments from stomach aches, and bloating to common colds. In Latin, it is referred to as the seed that “cures all”. In the Bible it is known as “seed of blessing” and in Arabic texts it is “a cure for every disease except death”. It has been used since the Pharaohs as part of ancient healing remedies. This oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant, and contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, and Zinc, among other components.
PUR OPULENCE PICKS
Odacite Black Cumin + Cajeput- Pimple Concentrate
SUNDAY RILEY U.F.O ULTRA CLARIFYING FACE OIL
ORENDA SKINCARE ILLUMINATING FACE SERUM
OSMIA FACIAL CALIBRATION SERUM
Black Cumin unclogs pores, improves the epidermis layer and reduces the swelling of pimples due to the presence of vitamin A. Vitamin A and amino acids are the power duo in reducing acne scars and dark spots. Omega-3 fatty acids penetrates deep and moisturizes the skin, quickly healing acne blemishes. It is high in Zinc which fights infections and clears acne. Its anti-inflammatory property reduces acne inflammation.
Reverses Aging Signs
Black Cumin restores the skin’s acid mantle. Vitamin C enhances collagen production, improves skin texture and reduces fine lines and scars. Its antioxidant property thwarts free radicals and stimulates cell regeneration and its nutritive property restores natural health and vitality of skin.
Fades Dark Spots
Regular application can inhibit melanin production, fading dark spots.
Helps With Allergies
Being a natural antihistamine, it treats skin conditions relating to allergy.
Best suited to
This oil is best suited to those with problematic skins who are looking to clear blemishes and fade marks. It is high in Linoleic acids and you will usually see this oil blended in carrier oils that are also high in Linoleic acid. Acne prone skin is shown to have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin surface lipids (Downing et al 1986) and Linoleic fatty acids (or polyunsaturated fatty acids) are seen as working towards the unclogging of pores (see study below).
A Nigella Sativa oil lotion of 10% concentration significantly reduced the mean lesion count of papules and pustules after 2 months of therapy. In the test group, the response to treatment was graded as good in 58% & moderate in 35%. (Abdul-Ameer and Al-Harchan, 2010)
Nigella Sativa oil is high in Linoleic fatty acids (approx 58%). A study found a significant effect of topically applied linoleic acid leading to a 25% reduction in overall size of follicular casts and microcomedones. It concluded that topical linoleic acid might play a role inhibiting the formation of microcomedones and blemishes in acne-prone patients. (Letawe et al, 1998)
Black cumin oil has high amounts of anti-inflammatory compound called thymoquinone which is effective against multiple acne-specific inflammatory pathways/immune responses. (Mansour & Tornhamre, 2004)
Whilst Tree Tea oil is only effective on Type 1 p.acne, black seed oil is seen as being special in that it is effective against both types 1 and 2 p.acne. So if you did not see results with tea tree oil you might have a better chance with this.
I use this as a preventative measure to kill acne bacteria before ever getting to the pimple/pustule/papule stage. It is not drying and for those sensitive to Tea Tree oil this might be a better alternative. Since it also helps with scarring and fading dark spots, it's such a power oil to use if you are looking to fade acne scars.
Downing, D. T., M. E. Stewart, P. W. Wertz, and J. S. Strauss. "Essential fatty acids and acne." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 1986. Web. 25 July 2017.
Hadi Al Harchan, N. A. A. "Treatment of Acne Vulgaris with Nigella sativa oil lotion." Iraqi Postgrad Med J9 (2010): 140-4.
Letawe, C., M. Boone, and G. E. Piérard. "Digital image analysis of the effect of topically applied linoleic acid on acne microcomedones." Clinical and experimental dermatology.U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 1998. Web. 25 July 2017.
Mansour, M., and S. Tornhamre. "Inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase and leukotriene C4 synthase in human blood cells by thymoquinone." Journal of enzyme inhibition and medicinal chemistry.U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2004. Web. 25 July 2017.