Black Seed Oil Benefits For Skin, How To Apply, & Side Effects

Utilize the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-microbial properties of this oil.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Priya Gill, MBBCH, MRCP Dr. Priya Gill Dr. Priya GillMBBCH, MRCP facebook_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 4 years

Black cumin seed oil, popularly known as black seed oil, has long been used in Asian and Middle Eastern skin care regimens (particularly in India). In addition, it was widely utilized by Egyptian royals such as Nefertiti and Cleopatra for its therapeutic, skin care, and health benefits. The advantages of black seed oil for skin are numerous.

Black seed extracts are beneficial due to their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-cancer characteristics (1). It is widely used in traditional folk and herbal medicine and also as a food preservative and spice. The seeds are also called black caraway seeds, kalonji, fennel flower, and habbat al baraka (meaning ‘blessed seed’ described by the Prophet Mohammed).

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Black Seed Oil

What Is It?
A dark amber oil derived from black cumin seeds.

What Are Its Benefits?
It is said to help in the treatment of acne and fine lines.

Who Can Use It?
Anyone can use it, including people with eczema, acne, or psoriasis.

How Often?
Apply black seed oil twice a day, morning and night.

Avoid using this oil during pregnancy.

What Is Black Seed Oil?

Bloomed Nigella sativa flowers
Image: Shutterstock

The seeds of Nigella sativa plant are commonly known as black seeds or black cumin seeds. This annual flowering herb belongs to the Ranunculaceae family, native to the bordering areas of the Mediterranean sea, India, and Pakistan (1). It is widely used in traditional folk medicine and also as a food preservative and spice. The seeds are also called black caraway seeds, kalonji, fennel flower, and habbat al baraka (meaning ‘blessed seed’ described by the Prophet Mohammed).

protip_icon Trivia
Black Seed also goes by the name Siyahdaneh. It is native to Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Cyprus, Iraq, and Iran.

The oil prepared by compressing the seeds (cold-pressed) is identified as having curative properties, as described by Hippocrates and Dioscorides. Black cumin seed oil has a diverse chemical composition and is rich in proteins, minerals, amino acids, and nigellone, a compound with antihistaminici  The property of drugs that can help relieve symptoms of allergies, colds, fever, sneezing, and a runny nose. properties.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Alphahederin, nigellidine, and carvacrol are some components found in Black seed oil. They have pharmacological benefits. (2).

This precious oil from the East has intrigued the Western beauty industry. Many are turning to this ingredient for its skin healing properties and uses in natural remedies. Let’s take a look at why you should also consider including black seed oil in your skin care routine.

Benefits Of Black Seed Oil For Skin

Woman checks out her skin after using black seed oil
Image: Shutterstock

1. May Heal Acne

Black seed oil contains thymohydroquinone, a compound with high activity against gram-positive microbes, especially Staphylococcus aureus, the acne-causing bacteria (2). It also works well with popular antibiotics like doxycycline, erythromycin, ampicillin, and tobramycin in reducing pustular skin infections caused by staphylococcus bacteria.

Using black cumin seed oil on the skin can heal papules, pustules, and other forms of acne.

Shundara, a lifestyle content creator and YouTuber, shares in one of her vlogs her experience of using black seed oil on her face for 10 days: “When I do get breakouts, the acne scars do form from those breakouts but I didn’t get any while using black seed oil (i).” She saw visible changes in her skin as it helped moisturize the skin, reduce hyperpigmentation, and minimize acne breakouts.

2. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Black cumin seed oil can heal and manage inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasisi  An autoimmune condition triggered by cold or stress that causes inflammation of the skin and leads to dry, itchy patches. and eczema (2). It can reduce skin inflammation, irritation, redness, and the appearance of plaques associated with these conditions. An animal study confirmed that 95% ethanolic extract of black cumin seed has antipsoriatic activities and can manage psoriasis (3).

3. Reduces Signs Of Aging

Antioxidants in black seed reduces aging signs
Image: Shutterstock

Topical application of black cumin seed oil reduces skin irritation and improves skin hydration levels and skin barrier function (2). It is loaded with antioxidants, which can reduce oxidative stress. All these effects can keep the skin plump and healthy and diminish premature aging signs like fine lines and wrinkles. Its antioxidant properties may also help reduce dark spots and discoloration.

4. May Minimize Scars

Black seed oil may help reduce the appearance of facial scars. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may promote skin healing and regeneration and possibly reduce the risk of scarring (4). Consistent use may help improve the appearance of facial scars. However, the results can vary depending on the scar type and severity.

5. May Offer Sun Protection

The active ingredients in black seed oil may shield the skin against UV-induced damage. They also may combat oxidative stress and inflammation and potentially prevent cell death. This protective mechanism is linked to the oil’s ability to inhibit the enzymes that promote inflammation (5).

The skin barrier protective properties of black cumin seed oil make it an excellent choice for taking care of your skin. Here is how you can use it.

How To Apply It On The Skin

Black seed oil is cold-pressed and can be used as a carrier oil. Before using it, do a patch test to prevent the risk of allergic reactions. Follow these guidelines to use black cumin seed oil for your skin:

1. As A Facial Oil

  • Cleanse your skin and pat it dry.
  • Massage your face and neck with a few drops of black seed oil.
  • Leave it on overnight.

The black seed oil has a strong fragrance. If it is too sensitive for your nose, you can follow this method:

2. Combine With Other Ingredients

Woman applying face cream with balck seed oil
Image: Shutterstock
  • Combine 2-3 drops of black seed oil with your favorite facial oil, cream, or lotion.
  • Massage your face and neck with the blend.
  • Leave it on overnight.

3. As The Last Step Of Your Skin Care Routine

You can use black seed oil as the last step of your skin care routine to lock in hydration. Use it after applying serum, essence, night cream, or any other product.

Are there any risks of using black seed oil for the skin? Let us understand in the next section.

Side Effects And Risks

Woman developed itchy rashes due to side effect black seed oil
Image: Shutterstock

There is not much research about the side effects of topical application of black cumin seed oil. Hence, it is better to do a patch test before using it as it may cause:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Irritation
  • Hives

Also, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid using black seed oil as its effects are still unknown, and it may cause sensitivity.

Infographic: How To Make Black Seed Oil At Home

With so many black seed oil benefits for the skin, you may want to make it fresh at home. Along with having the purest form of black cumin seed oil, you can alter the carrier oil or quantity as per your needs and requirements. Click on the infographic below to learn the steps in detail.

how to make black seed oil at home (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Black seed oil has been used as a traditional folk medicine with several health benefits. But its benefits for the skin are unparalleled. Its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties contribute to your skin’s health. It helps reduce skin inflammation and redness, may heal acne, and has anti-aging properties. Black seed oil can be mixed with any of your creams or moisturizers or used as a facial oil. However, black seed oil may cause allergies in some individuals, and it is best to conduct a patch test before use. Consult a skin specialist before including this excellent oil in your daily skincare routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does black seed oil make your skin glow?

Possibly. Black seed oil helps nourish your skin, boosts its hydration, and adds radiance to it.

Does black seed oil grow facial hair?

Possibly. It has been suggested that black seed can nourish your skin, as well as create a nurturing environment for your facial hair to grow. But there is no scientific evidence to prove the same.

Can black seed oil remove stretch marks?

Possibly. Black seed oil is packed with beneficial nutrients like antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that may help boost skin rejuvenation and reduce stretch marks. But there is no scientific evidence to prove the same.

Does black seed oil darken skin?

Possibly. Studies have shown that the thymoquinone found in black seed oil can help solve skin problems such as the decline in skin pigmentation and vitiligoi  Loss of skin pigments caused due to a deficiency of melanin that manifests as patches that tend to get bigger over time. as it increases the intensity of melanin (6).

Key Takeaways

  • Black cumin seed oil is rich in proteins, minerals, amino acids, and nigellone.
  • It is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Black cumin oil helps heal acne and reduce the signs of aging.
  • However, it is better to avoid the oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
black seed oil benefits

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Unlock the incredible benefits of black seed oil. From boosting immunity to promoting healthy skin, discover the natural wonders of this potent oil. Watch this video now and elevate your well-being!

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The medicinal potential of black seed (Nigella sativa) and its components
  2. Dermatological effects of Nigella sativa
  3. Antipsoriatic activity and cytotoxicity of ethanolic extract of Nigella sativa seeds
  4. Nigella sativa and Its Active Compound, Thymoquinone, Accelerate Wound Healing in an In Vivo Animal Model: A Comprehensive Review
  5. Thymoquinone, extract from Nigella sativa seeds, protects human skin keratinocytes against UVA-irradiated oxidative stress, inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction,be%20reversed%20by%20TQ%20treatment.
  6. A Review on the Cosmeceutical and External Applications of Nigella sativa
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Dr. Priya Gill

Dr. Priya GillMBBCH, MRCP

Dr. Priya Gill is a consultant dermatologist in Klang, Malaysia, with over 16 years of experience. She specializes in the management of all medical and surgical dermatology issues and has a special interest in laser therapy and phototherapy. She has more than 25 publications in local and international journals to her name. She is passionate about public and patient full bio

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