Have you ever heard of tomato seed oil? It is not the most popular oil, that’s for sure! But it has some amazing benefits.
Should I tell you more?
Properties of Tomato Seed Oil
The botanical name for tomato is Solanum lycopersicum. And yes it’s the same tomato we eat everyday. So you shouldn’t find any other botanical name when buying this oil.
Color and smell of tomato seed oil
The color ranges from orange to reddish to even brown. And it has a strong unique odor. It’s a little spicy and woody and a little like … tomatoes.
The oil has a relatively thick texture. I mean it feels light but it still is pretty thick.
The comedogenic rating of tomato seed oil is 2. So it is not likely to cause acne in acne-prone skin. But you should still patch test the oil to be sure.
What is the oil?
Tomato seed oil is mainly made up of fatty acids. The most common one is linoleic acid. It can make up more than 55% of the oil.
Other fatty acids in the oil include oleic acid which makes up 20% – 25% of the oil, palmitic acid (10% – 15%) and stearic acid (5%). Small amounts of linolenic acid and arachidic acid have also been reported.
This oil also contains a lot – and I mean a lot – of antioxidants. It has alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol, which are Vitamin E compounds. It also contains carotenoids like lycopene isomers, lutein and beta-carotene.
This 1998 study also showed the oil contains many sterols. The main one was identified as beta-sitosterol. Others include campesterol, stigmasterol and delta-5-avenasterol. Traces of several more antioxidants have also been found.
Tomato Seed Oil Benefits
As you can expect there aren’t many studies into the benefits of tomato seed oil.
But even with the limited research, one thing is clear:
Tomato seed oil has strong antioxidant benefits.
You saw the list of the antioxidants earlier. Lycopene is a well-known antioxidant in tomatoes. And its isomers are present in its seed oil.
This 2010 study tested the antioxidant benefits of tomato seed oil. It related most of the oil’s benefits to its lycopene isomers: all-trans-lycopene and cis-3-lycopene.
Another study from 2013 looked at the antioxidant capacity of the oil using four different tests. The results corroborated those obtained in the earlier studies. But it went further. It found tomato seed oil had a higher antioxidant capacity than pure lycopene.
The study pointed out the lycopene isomers weren’t the only compounds causing these benefits. It found beta-carotene, lutein and the tocopherols also played an antioxidant role.
So the lesson here is: tomato seed oil is loaded with antioxidants.
Now the studies mentioned here were lab studies. So it is not clear if the oil will have the same powerful benefits when applied to the skin. It could. But the science isn’t there yet to back this up.
When more research is done into tomato seed oil, I’ll definitely update this section.
Where to buy tomato seed oil
This is certainly a novel, unique oil. I haven’t seen many brands carrying it. If you want to try it, then use one of these:
Tomato seed oil is stable due to its antioxidant content. So it can have a two-year shelf life.
Uses of Tomato Seed Oil
The smell of this oil can bother you. So if you can sample the oil, please do before buying it.
And patch test the oil before using it on your skin. Remember it is not likely to cause acne. But it could irritate you. So always patch test.
Once you are not sensitive or allergic to the oil, then you can use tomato seed oil in the following ways:
- For massaging: Tomato seed oil has a really nice, thick texture. But it does not feel heavy or overly greasy. So it works as a great massaging oil. And it has a relatively low comedogenic rating, compared to other thick oils like wheat germ. Oh and add in your favorite essential oils to make a great massage blend. Try tomato seed with spicy oils like black pepper, ginger and marjoram essential oils.
- For oil cleansing: Tomato seed oil is a great substitute for castor oil. It’s thick! And it’s loaded with lots of antioxidants. So it’s perfect to use for oil cleansing.
- For DIY chapstick: You can protect and moisturize your lips with this great oil. Again, the thickness of the oil really helps to make it a perfect moisturizer for your lips. And it absorbs quickly. So you won’t be walking around with greasy lips all day.
Do you use tomato seed oil in a different way? Tell us in the comments below.