Skin Benefits of Wheat Germ Oil

Add a nutrient-rich, age-defying boost to your skincare routine by incorporating wheat germ oil into your regimen. Whether you take this oil as a supplement, add it to your recipes or use it topically, this type of oil offers numerous benefits, ranging from softening and moisturizing your skin to boosting its regenerative powers. If you're interested in natural ways of supporting a healthy, glowing complexion, wheat germ oil is worth investigating.

Wheat germ oil is a good moisturizer for your skin, and when added to your diet, is a good source of vitamin E. (Image: marrakeshh/iStock/GettyImages)

Wheat Germ Information

Wheat germ oil is derived from wheat germ, which is considered the "heart" of wheat since it's found at the center of the wheat berry. It feeds the wheat plant with nutrients to help it germinate and grow.

Wheat germ benefits are many. Wheat germ is the most nutritious component of the wheat kernel and contains 23 different nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, iron and calcium. Its dense nutritional benefits make it a healthy addition to your diet. The oil is also nutrient-packed, which makes it particularly well-suited to moisturizing and soothing your skin.

Benefits of Topical Use

Wheat germ oil is readily absorbed by your skin, which makes it an effective moisturizer and an appropriate topical treatment. When applied to your skin, wheat germ oil delivers a healthy infusion of vitamin A, vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids.

These nutrients not only moisturize and heal dry or cracked skin, they also help prevent scarring. In particular, wheat germ oil is a rich source of vitamin E, which helps reduce skin damage, fight free radicals, support healthy collagen formation and maintain even skin tone.

Using Wheat Germ Oil

If you're using wheat germ oil topically, it's best to use it as part of a blend. Because of its strong aroma, add no more than 10 to 15 percent wheat germ-oil to your mixture. Also try base oils, such as jojoba or carrot, and essential oils, such as sandalwood, geranium, cedarwood, fennel, lavender and patchouli — all of which support healthy skin. In addition to using the oil topically, you can also drizzle it on vegetables or salads, or incorporate it into other dishes to give your recipes a nutritious boost.

Nutritious Addition to Your Diet

Consuming wheat germ oil has lots of nutritious benefits. The oil has no effect on your glycemic index, so if you're concerned about blood sugar, you don't have to worry about adding wheat germ oil to your diet. Wheat germ oil is a polyunsaturated fat, which, when substituted for a saturated fat, may boost heart health.

One tablespoon of wheat germ oil has 119 calories and 13.5 grams of fat. The fat content breaks down to 3 grams of saturated fat, 8 grams of polyunsaturated fat and 2 grams of monounsaturated fat. Although saturated fat isn't as healthy, you still need some. Wheat germ oil provides 12 percent of your recommended daily intake of saturated fat, based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet.

By incorporating 1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil into your diet each day, you'll get 135 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E. Not only does vitamin E help your skin health, its ability to neutralize potentially harmful free-radicals in your body may protect you from some diseases.

Taking Wheat Germ Oil

Heating wheat germ oil causes it to lose its nutritional benefits. So instead, use it in salad dressings, and drizzle it on vegetables, pasta or other cooked dishes. You can use it in marinades or add it to smoothies.

Things to Consider

In addition to wheat germ oil's dark color and strong, heavy fragrance, those with a wheat or gluten allergy or sensitivity should avoid using it. Also, because of wheat germ oil's sensitivity to light, temperature fluctuations and oxidation, it's best to store it in the refrigerator, where it can stay fresh, for up to one year.

Even though a study published in 2016 in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal failed to show benefits of topical vitamin E for chronic skin disorders, the study didn't show any negative effects to using such topical applications. Also, consuming wheat germ oil provides a healthy source of fat, along with all the vitamin E your body needs, and a small amount of vitamin K.

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