Ingredient Spotlight: Broccoli Seed Oil

There’s a new skincare superfood on the block, and its name is broccoli seed oil. Your favorite cruciferous stir-fry veggie has taken on a second life in serums and facial oil blends. But why did it make the jump from your crudité platter to high-end skincare? Read on for all the details on broccoli’s skin benefits.

Broccoli became a dietary staple because it’s chock full of vitamins. These same compounds are present in the plant’s seeds and yield a potent antioxidant punch to the resulting oil. Broccoli seed oil is positively brimming with skin-friendly, lipid-soluble antioxidants—chief among them, vitamin A. Like the retinol form of vitamin A, broccoli seed oil fights free radical damage and promotes smooth, youthful-looking skin, but without the risk of irritation that some retinols carry. The oil is also rich in vitamin E—a natural component of your skin that soothes and protects against environmental exposure.

All these health benefits mean nothing if the ingredient doesn’t have sensory appeal; just ask any parent trying to force their kids to eat healthy greens. The same is true in skincare. When a product is a pleasure to use, you’re more likely to consistently make time for it—and consistent use is key in all skincare. That’s where broccoli seed oil’s exquisite texture comes in. It has a light, yet luscious and protective quality that compels me to reach for it again and again. The unique blend of omega-9 fatty acids present in broccoli seed oil provides a uniquely silky, non-greasy feel, earning it a starring role in my Olio per il Corpo body oil.

Those omega fatty acids offer more than just a sumptuous texture. Broccoli seed oil’s omega content also soothes and reinforces a healthy skin structure. It’s primarily composed of omega-9 fatty acids, known for their anti-inflammatory effects to help calm irritable skin. However, it also features a healthy dose of omega-6 essential fatty acids. These are fatty acids that body isn’t capable of producing on its own, yet play a crucial role in skin’s barrier composition and structural integrity. The overall effect of these combined omegas is soothing, softening, and highly nourishing.

Broccoli seed oil is fairly new to the skincare scene. As such, research into its topical benefits is ongoing. Some emerging research shows that broccoli seed oil can help protect against UV exposure, thanks to the antioxidant sulforaphane. This could be great news for people like me whose skin doesn’t tolerate other UV protective antioxidants like vitamin C very well. However, the results on live human skin are far from conclusive. I look forward to see what new research shows us about this powerhouse antioxidant oil in the future!