Wheat Germ Oil

  • Base Oil
  • INCI: Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Germ) Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 5
  • Composition: Linoleic acid (up to approx. 54 %), oleic acid (up to approx. 19 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 17 %), α-linolenic acid (up to approx. 9 %), stearic acid (up to approx. 1 %), tocopherols (primarily α tocopherol) and phytosterols.
  • Iodine number: 115 – 128.
  • Cosmetic use: Mature, dry skin with poor circulation.
  • Shelf life: In cool and dark storage approx. 6 months.


Common wheat is a herbaceous plant that grows up to 150 cm tall. The stalk is thin-walled and hollow and the leaf blades are initially hairy, but over time become hairless and rough. Wheat blooms from June to July. The ears are usually four-flowered and have four sides. The shortleaf tubes, which do not enclose the stalk, are a distinguishing feature from barley. The fruits of the wheat are golden-yellow to brownish grains. The egg-shaped grains have a lengthwise furrow on the inside and a tuft of hair on the tip. They have an embryo (seedling) which contains up to 12 % fatty oil.

Extraction of wheat germ oil

The dark yellow wheat germ oil is obtained from the seedlings of wheat. These are mechanically separated from the rest of the wheat fruit. The oil can then be extracted either by hydraulic pressing of the seedlings or by solvent extraction. The oil can then be refined afterward. During the gentle cold pressing method, no important ingredients are lost. Another possibility of oil extraction is a solvent-free extraction with critical CO2, after which the oil no longer needs to be refined.

Cosmetic use of wheat germ oil

Due to the complex extraction process and the high content of tocopherol and linoleic acid, wheat germ oil is one of the most valuable oils. The vitamin E it contains serves as a radical neutralizer and has an antioxidant effect. Thus, the oil is very well suited for the stabilization of less oxidation-stable accompanying oils. In skincare, the oil provides the skin with moisture, makes the skin firmer and younger, and promotes the natural elasticity and blood circulation of the skin. The oil supports cell renewal and has a good protective and nourishing effect to prevent signs of aging, especially for dry, mature, and pale skin. The oil can also counteract the stretching process which increases the strain on the skin and leads to unwanted stretch marks (especially during pregnancy).


Benefits of wheat germ oil for skin

  • suitable for dry and mature skin
  • has antioxidant effects
  • moisturizes the skin
  • tightens the skin
  • promotes elasticity and blood circulation of the skin
  • supports cell renewal
  • can counteract stretch marks

Buy wheat germ oil – what to consider?

As with other vegetable oils, when buying wheat germ oil, you should make sure that the oil has been obtained by gentle cold pressing. Only with this gentle cold pressing method all important ingredients in the oil are preserved. The extraction of the oil is rather laborous and a lot of wheat is needed, so high-quality wheat germ oil is usually more expensive than refined wheat oil. With organic products, the used plants are not treated with pesticides in contrast to conventionally grown plants. Organic products also don’t need genetic engineering and are better for the environment and the climate. In addition, products from organic farming generally contain more nutrients, since the cultivation areas are treated gently and no conventional pesticides are used. Regarding packaging, it is important to make sure that the oil is purchased in a dark, light-protected 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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