February 22, 2018


Posted in raw plant-based oils

Raw vs Refined Oils For Skincare. What makes them so much better?

 At Botanic Organic we use raw and organic plant-based oils to create our line of skincare. This is an important feature that sets us apart from other brands. While most of us understand the distinction between an organic versus a common (non-organic) oil, not everyone understands how different a raw (unrefined) oil is from a refined oil and why your skin would care.

Unrefined oils are either cold-pressed or expeller-pressed, which means they are minimally processed using mechanical extraction (pressure) and low-temperature controlled conditions to extract the oil from the seed, nut, etc.

In cold-pressing, the temperatures are controlled at 80-90°F (26-32°C), which is not really a ‘cold’ temperature processing as you might expect, but rather a low-heat processing.

In expeller-pressing, the oil is extracted from the seed or nut using mechanical pressure along with heat (usually from friction created during the pressing), at approximately 120-200°F (49-93°C).

After pressing, the phytonutrient-rich oil is then fine-filtered using a screen, to remove any significant solids or undesired impurities from the oil. No chemical solvents, no high-heat temperatures, and no further refining are used to alter the condition (colour, scent) of the oil.

 Why is this so important to our skin?

These relatively gentle methods of extraction allow oils to retain their plant-specific, non-lipid (non-oily) compounds. These compounds give each type of oil its distinctive color, taste, scent and nutritional value. It is this portion of the oil that contains the vitamins, minerals proteins, waxes, plant sterols, carotenes and antioxidants that make up the healing fraction of the oil.

Why avoid refined oils for skincare?

When an oil is further refined beyond the initial stages of extraction mentioned above, the oil undergoes various further methods of processing using temperature treatments with heat up to 450°F (232°C) or cold-conditions as low as -30°F (-34°C); solvent treatments for deodorization; and bleaching to fade the color or further remove scent. Those precious, non-oily compounds that give individual oils their nutritional and antioxidant values are stripped away during this refining process.

Why do companies prefer to use refined oils rather than raw oils?

The big players in the cosmetic industry often do not want oils that are full of color and scent. Waxes, scent and color are removed to create oils that are uniform for the market, ship and store well in all weather, and keep from going rancid too quickly. The refined oil will still give a similar emollency to the end cosmetic product but sadly the healing benefits have been stripped away along with the scent and color.

Creating skin care products using oils that are rich in phyto-nutrients is key to the efficacy of our products. Raw and organic oils rich in antioxidants, vitamins, tannins, sterols, polyphenols and terpenes guard and nourish your skin in a healthy and holistic way.