Black Currant Seed Oil

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  • Active Oil
  • INCI: Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 0-1
  • Composition: Linoleic acid (up to approx. 45 %), α-linolenic acid (up to approx. 18 %), γ-linolenic acid (up to approx. 16 %), oleic acid (up to approx. 15 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 8 %), stearidonic acid (up to approx. 3 %), stearic acid (up to approx. 2 %), tocopherols, β-carotene.
  • Iodine number: 160-175.
  • Cosmetic use: Dry, mature, oily, blemished, combination skin.
  • Shelf life: In dark and cool storage up to 18 months.



The black currant is native to European and Asian forest areas as far east as Manchuria and the Himalayas and is cultivated in Central Europe. The species of the currant bush belong to the gooseberry family (Grossulariaceae) and grow up to 2 m tall. The black currant is a deciduous bush with three to five-lobed, heart-shaped and serrated leaves. The leaves are hairy on the underside and covered with yellowish glands. The blackcurrant flowers from May to April. The flowers are green-white and hang in a raceme. The fruits of the shrub are small black berries containing oily seeds. Oil can also be obtained from the red currant (Ribes rubrum L.), whose fruits are red berries, in culture also pink or whitish.

Extraction of black currant seed oil

To obtain the yellow to green-brown oil, the seeds are separated from the pulp, washed, and dried. This is followed by a gentle cold pressing of the seeds. The oil can also be obtained by extraction with hexane (ratio 1:3).

Cosmetic use of black currant seed oil

Black currant seed oil is very mild and well-tolerated. Thanks to its polyunsaturated fatty acids, it has cell regenerating and cell-protecting effects. Furthermore, it slows down the skin aging process and stimulates the skin’s metabolism. Due to its high content of stearidonic acid, it is also ideal for blemished skin with tendencies for acne and inflammatory skin conditions. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil effectively soothe sensitive skin in particular. Black currant seed oil can be used against skin irritations as well.

Due to its rather low oxidative stability, the oil releases its effects best in combination with other high-quality oils such as jojoba or marula oil. It is also frequently used as a healing component in products containing shea butter.

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Benefits of black currant seed oil for skin

  • very mild and well tolerated
  • has cell regenerating and cell protecting effects
  • stimulates the skin metabolism
  • has anti-inflammatory and calming effects
  • also suitable for impure and sensitive skin
  • slows down the skin aging process

Internal use of black currant seed oil

Several studies on patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that currant seed oil can have a positive effect.  Interleukin-1β, Interleukin-6 and PGE2 (proinflammatory cytokines) were reduced. Due to the gamma linolenic acid, studies have also shown a reduction in plasma triglyceride, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, as well as an increase in HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”).

Blackcurrant seed oil is also used as a dietary food because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects. It promotes fatty acid oxidation in the liver and has an effective cytotoxic effect against superficial bladder cancer.

Currant seed oil is also a suitable source of vitamin E. The tocopherols it contains are said to prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other diseases.

Other studies have also shown that currant seed oil has a positive influence on blood pressure and cardiovascular reactivity. Due to the influence of gamma linolenic acid on the cardiovascular system, the reactivity of blood pressure is said to be inhibited.

Buy black currant seed oil – what to consider?

As with all vegetable oils, when buying currant seed oil you should make sure that it is a pure oil without any other additives. If you want to avoid possible residues of pesticides, you should use organic oils. These are regularly tested for purity and the risk of unwanted components is very low.

As the shelf life of currant seed oil is much shorter after opening, it is advisable to buy the product in dark glass bottles to protect it from light.

Sources: Krist, Sabine (2013): Lexikon der Pflanzlichen Öle und Fett. WViennaen: Springer Verlag. | Braunschweig, R. (2020): Pflanzenöle - über 50 starke Helfer für Genuss und Hautpflege. Wiggensbach: Stadelmann Verlag.

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