WTF Is Avocado Oil And Why Is It So Special?

January 7, 2016

In recent memory, when it came to the power of oils, olive oil reigned supreme. Then, we began hearing about the fabulousness of coconut oil. Well, there’s a new oil stirring up a fuss, and it goes by the name avocado oil. Don’t know much about the stuff? We’ve got the details on how it takes care of you, inside and out.

Where Does It Come From Exactly?

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Let me guess. Photo: @paleototherescue / Instagram

As the name would imply, it’s oil pressed from avocados. Possessing a year-round harvest makes this an especially accessible ingredient. Most oils extract their goodness from seeds. In the case of avocados, the pit is ignored, and oil is pressed using the fleshy pulp surrounding it (aka the goods in guacamole).

As with olive oil, the quality varies depending on what brand you buy and which press you use. You can find both refined and unrefined varieties, with unrefined ones going through minimal processing compared to its counterpart. Some will have a stronger aroma or taste, but it comes down to personal preference, depending on how you plan to consume it.

So How Do I Cook With It?

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Teach me the ways! Photo: @kristyk0510 / Instagram

With a high smoking point, avocado oil is an excellent alternative oil for multiple cooking methods like sautéing and deep frying. If you plan on going gonzo in the kitchen, know that unrefined varieties do smoke at a lower temperature (closer to 375 degrees versus refined’s stellar 500 degrees).

Those who follow a paleo diet will benefit from its blending attributes when concocting something like mayonnaise. Avocado oil’s mild flavor is also compatible with uses typically reserved for olive oil.

Comprised mostly of a monounsaturated fat known as oleic acid, an Omega-9 fatty acid, means that it’s good for you. It’s also nutrient-dense, so you’ll reap the rewards every time you use it. Shake it up with some balsamic vinegar, and you have a new go-to salad dressing.

If prepping a heated dish, try creating a tasty marinade for steak with this stuff. Squeeze in some lemon for acidity along with fresh herbs like basil before leaving your meat overnight in the fridge to soak up its goodness.

Avocado Oil As Beauty Product

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So good on so many levels! Photo: @glamorganicgoddess / Instagram

Seeking smoother, shinier hair? The vitamins and minerals found in avocado oil such as Vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium, nourish both scalp and hair follicles. From curly to thick tresses, you’ll find much praise for this all-natural hair care serum.

Also known for its regenerative qualities, avocado oil absorbs well into the skin, making it useful for delivering softness – just apply it like you would face moisturizer. You don’t need much, either. An unexpected bonus – it contains a natural (albeit low) SPF between 8-15. Not quite enough for sunscreen on its own, but a nice boost to your existing skincare regimen.

Oleic acid in avocado oil is also an anti-inflammatory, relieving many skin conditions when used on contact. Think insect bites, sunburn, or even eczema. Dab it on with a cotton ball, after thoroughly cleansing the affected area.

For an affordable makeup remover, look no further than a bottle of this emollient. Once you’ve got a fresh face, make yourself a home spa treatment. Many DIY-types combine avocado oil with other grocery products (due to its thicker consistency), finding it effective in whipping up facial masks.

If you’re not quite ready to go full avocado, we understand. Take it one step at a time by applying a few drops to your nail cuticles for softening and make ‘em happy. You can go marinade stuff another day.