Meadowfoam Seed Oil

  • Base Oil
  • INCI: Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 1
  • Composition: Eicosenoic acid (up to approx. 65 %), docosadienoic acid (up to approx. 17 %), erucic acid (up to approx. 16 %), oleic acid (up to approx. 2 %).
  • Iodine number: 85 – 105.
  • Cosmetic use: Dry, normal skin; hair care.
  • Shelf life: Approx. 24 months.


Limnanthes alba is a flowering plant species from the family of meadowfoam plants. It is known under the common name of white meadowfoam. It is native to California and Oregon, where it grows in moist areas in grasslands and forests such as vernal pools. It usually grows in poorly drained soils. The annual herb has an upright or decumbent stem that is up to 30 centimeters long. The leaves can be lobed or unlobed. The flower is cup-shaped with white petals 1 to 1.5 centimeters in length. The fruit of the plant are small seeds containing between 20 and 30% oil.

Extraction of meadowfoam seed oil

Meadowfoam seed oil is obtained by cold pressing the small seeds of the plant. The result is a greenish oil with a strong smell. The oil is usually refined due to its pronounced aroma in an unrefined state. In refined form, the oil is light yellowish and almost odorless.

Cosmetic use of meadowfoam seed oil

Due to its very high content of long-chain unsaturated fatty acids, the meadowfoam seed oil is one of the most stable antioxidative of all vegetable oils. The long-chain fatty acids of the oil have exceptional moisturizing and moisture-retaining effects. The oil, therefore, does not penetrate deeply into the skin, instead, the long-chain fatty acids form a protective film without having a sealing (occlusive) effect. The double bonds of the unsaturated fatty acids give the oil a fluid consistency similar to jojoba oil. Meadowfoam seed oil thus resembles jojoba oil in how it feels on the skin and in its absorption properties. It causes a very silky, smooth, and non-greasy feeling and is very suitable for the care of normal to dry skin. Since the oil is not particularly spreadable, it is also very suitable for use in eye care. The oil has applications in hair care as well.

Tip: Due to its high oxidative stability, it is an ideal base oil in mixtures with oxidation-sensitive, linoleic-acid-rich oils such as evening primrose, borage seed, or rosehip oil.


Benefits of meafowfoam seed oil for skin

  • suitable for normal to dry skin
  • moisture retaining/preserving properties
  • forms protective, non-sealing film on the skin
  • has antioxidant effects
  • makes the skin feel smooth
  • suitable for the eye area

Buy meadowfoam seed oil – what to consider?

When buying meadowfoam seed oil you should make sure that it’s a pure oil without further additives. You should also look for a cold pressed oil which contains all important nutriants and vitamins since it was not exposed to high temperatures. To protect the oil from light it should be sld in a dark glass bottle.

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

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