Abyssinian or crambe oil is extracted from the seeds of a beautiful little white flower, called Brasscica Abyssinica, native to Ethiopia, but can be grown anywhere. It has a short growing season, can be grown around other fields, doesn’t require a ton of water to grow and helps to increase biodiversity, making it one of the most sustainable oils around.
Abyssinian oil is pressed from the Crambe Abyssinica seeds without chemical solvents. Abyssinian oil is often compared to Jojoba Oil, yet is higher in Erucic Acid, with a strong concentration of intensely nourishing Omega 9. It also has a unique molecular structure not found in any other naturally occurring substance and contains a high percentage of unsaturated C22 fatty acids, making it highly resistant to oxidation.
This oil is an excellent moisturizer as it’s light and non-greasy, ensuring it works effectively as a sealing oil.
It’s also great for hair as the high Omega-9 (Erucic Acid) content helps to add lustre to hair, boost shine and protect the hair from split ends.
Abyssinian Seed Oil comes from a mustard plant and is native to the Mediterranean region. It’s removed from the Crambe Abyssinica seeds using a mechanical crushing process without heat source, so the nutrients are kept intact. The seeds are approximately 3 mm diameter and contain about 30% Abyssinian Oil.
Abysinnian Oil Properties
The oil is extremely lightweight and absorbent, but it packs up a punch of omega acids, vitamins and antioxidants. Albeit very light in texture, it provides intense hydration without leaving the skin feeling greasy. It’s also non-comedogenic, making it ideal for people with oily skin and those suffering with acne.
Abyssinian oil has a unique molecular structure that can’t be found in any other naturally occurring substance. It contains a very high percentage of unsaturated C22 omega-9 fatty acids and an abundance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids, as well as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and E. It has a very high resistance to oxidation, which means these nourishing ingredients retain their highest potency for a longer time.
From a chemical perspective, it’s structure is one of the closest to that of the human skin, which makes not only the perfect non-greasy moisturizer but it also helps regulating the overproduction of sebum – great for those with particularly oily skin.
The oil is highly anti-inflammatory thanks to its vitamin E contents. It also contains an abundance of both Linoleic and Linolenic acids, which are helpful for skin regeneration and conditioning.
The abundance of micro-nutrients adds lustre to dull skin, giving it a glowing youthful appearance. It provides a light coating on the skin, which helps protect it from pollution and other harsh environmental factors.
Abyssinian Oil contains an abundance of vitamins A and E, plus an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid. This rich combination of nutrients has been said to prevent environmental damage and add elasticity to skin and strands, which makes it more resilient and flexible when brushing and styling and less likely to become brittle and split or break.
It coats the hair shaft, adding moisture and shine, decreasing frizz.
Abyssinian Oil contains very high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, which creates a richer feel and is ideal for thicker, coarser hair. Even with its rich nature, it’s still easily absorbed, never feeling sticky or greasy.
Its high levels of unsaturated fatty acids provide an excellent conditioning effect, smoothing hair and strengthening its fibers so it’s easier to detangle and style.
Comparison to Argan Oil
Abyssinian oil is often compared to Argan oil. Both are easily absorbed help boosting shine and condition even for the driest of locks. The Crambe seed oil has a slightly higher molecular weight and viscosity compared to argan oil because of its high percentage of fatty acids. However, Abyssinian oil offers richer nourishment to both skin and hair.
Abyssinian oil has concentrations of over 60% of C22 omega-9 long-chain fatty acids as well as C18 omega-6 and omega-9, which are doses much higher than in any other natural oil, including Argan oil.
Due to their size, these fatty acids cannot penetrate the hair shaft, and instead create a net-like structure around the hair, keeping cuticles closed and protected, while locking the moisture inside the hair.
These properties, unique to Abyssinian oil, help to achieve even more gloss and bounce than other oils, even at the cellular level.
Good for the environment
Crambe Abyssinica is a beautiful oil, not only because of its benefits for the skin, but also because of its contribution to the social and environmental sustainability in Africa, where it’s predominantly grown. It provides an additional income to farmers during the rain-less season. It doesn’t require a lot of water to flourish, so it’s planted during the dry season giving farmers rotational advantages. It’s a very soil-nourishing plant, meaning that it doesn’t deplete the soil in between the main crop planting. Instead, it feeds it, resulting in a richer soil at the end of its growing season.
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