Have you ever wondered where meadowfoam seed oil comes from and how it’s made? Learn more about the latest natural product for your perfect skincare regimen today!
An herbaceous winter plants
Meadowfoam’s Latin name is Limnanthes Alba, and it’s native to Southern Oregon, North California, British Columbia, and Vancouver. It prefers to grow in swampy marsh areas and can tolerate quite a bit of rain. Its crop takes place in October as the seeds tend to germinate in a colder climate. If it’s too warm, meadowfoam will not grow well. This wildflower has five white petals up to an inch and a yellow center. Usually, its blooming season starts in May. It can also be found in Alaska and usually grown in the summer.
The name ‘meadowfoam’ derives from its appearance at full blossom. Its canopy of creamy white flowers resembles seafoam on the surf if it’s windy. Its main purpose is to serve as a rotation crop for grass farmers. If they grow one crop of meadowfoam, they don’t have to burn the fields before the next crop. Meadowfoam is a renewable crop with little need for fertilizers or pesticides, providing grass farmers with some extra income on the side.
Oil manufacturing process
Once the flowers have reached their height of 10 – 18 inches and their stems are yellow-greenish, it’s harvest time. Then, the flowers need to dry out for up to 10 days until the seeds only contain about 16 % moisture.
Meadowfoam seeds contain up to 30 % oil removed by crushing them and a solvent extraction process. Afterward, the oil is refined to remove the strong odor in its natural state. The refining process makes it almost odorless and gives it a nice light golden color. Meadowfoam seed oil provides outstanding oxidative stability for which it has a shelf life of up to three years. Even though it hardly has any own odor, it can preserve the odor of other ingredients to which it may be added, such as for a cream. Besides, the remaining parts of meadowfoam are food for farm animals.
Why meadowfoam seed oil is so special
The meadowfoam seed oil contains more than 98 % of long-chain fatty acids and higher quality triglyceride levels. These long-chain fatty acids include three previously unknown long-chain fatty acids with a high level of at least 20 carbon atoms per acid chain. The unusual length of its fatty acids doesn’t penetrate your skin too deep and creates a nice protective layer on your skin. That protective layer keeps your skin from drying out and nourishes it with its high vitamin E and C levels. However, the meadowfoam oil components are very similar to the oil your skin creates. It does have the advantage of even out moisture levels in your skin without leaving a greasy feeling. Neither does it clog up your pores, similar to shea butter.
Similar types of oil
Meadowfoam seed oil is very similar to jojoba oil and rapeseed oil.
Jojoba oil is more a liquid wax ester that acts and feels like oil. It penetrates your skin’s uppermost layers without leaving a greasy sensation on your skin either. Like Meadowfoam oil, it’s perfect for any skin type but right out amazing for dry skin types.
Rapeseed oil is a little more saturated than meadowfoam seed oil. Nonetheless, it is a direct competitor to rapeseed oil. As meadowfoam seed oil does offer such a tremendously long shelf life, it’s very useful as a stabilizer for formulas that contain less stable oils. Evening primrose oil or almond oil can last longer on the shelf when combined with meadowfoam oil. Thus, cosmetics made with meadowfoam seed oil usually don’t have chemical stabilizers or preservatives. Obviously, rapeseed oil is not very common for cosmetics. However, it also moisturizes your skin and promotes healthier skin like meadowfoam oil does.
Numerous uses of meadowfoam seed oil
Meadowfoam seed oil is not only popular in cosmetics but also highly desirable for skin and hair care products. Its unique fatty acids also make it perfect for ink, detergents, specialty lubricants, or plasticizers. To reduce whale hunting, meadowfoam seed oil is replacing whale sperm oil in many industrial products. Since it can be turned into a premium solid wax or a sulfur-polymer alternative, meadowfoam seed oil offers a huge potential for the rubber industry. As such, meadowfoam seed oil derivatives can be used as coatings, films, or even for adhesives.
A plant without other Medicinal properties?
While meadowfoam seed oil has its perfect use in cosmetics or even other industrial products, it may seem odd that’s pretty much all to know about the plant. Usually, each plant has a plethora of uses, especially if it comes to healing properties. You can extract oil, use its root for medical benefits, or make a tea with the leaves of most plants. This does somehow not seem to be the case with meadowfoam.
Presumably, different parts of meadowfoam are not poisonous. Since there’s no mention of potential toxic effects in any document, it’s fairly safe for consumption. However, meadowfoam is one ingredient to look out for if you suffer from nut allergies. Even though it is not a nut, it could cause allergic reactions as a cross-allergy to nuts. If you are allergic, you may want to stick to jojoba oil, argan oil, or shea butter. The path for allergics certainly is not an easy one if you want to take care of your skin.