The Ultimate Guide To Using Soybean Oil For Skin

Pro tips on using this vegetable oil to make your skin healthy and radiant.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nermeen Bedair, MD, PhD (Dermatology)
By Swathi E, Certified Skin Care Coach

Soybeans are rich in protein and the world’s second-largest source of vegetable oil. They comprise about 90% of the US oilseed production (1). In addition, soybean oil is well-known among fitness buffs for its nutritional benefits, ranging from improving heart health to lowering cholesterol levels. However, is it possible to use soyabean oil for skin care?

Although some people are convinced soybean oil clogs pores, most people use it to improve their skin’s health. So, who should and who shouldn’t use it? In this article, we will go through the advantages of soybean oil for the skin, how to include it in your skin care regimen, and some safety concerns to keep in mind. Keep reading!

What Is Soybean Oil?

A spoonful of soybean and a bowl of soybean oil

Shutterstock

It is an edible vegetable oil derived from soybean seeds. Its consumption is said to help maintain cholesterol and blood pressure levels, improve heart health, and strengthen bones. It is also used for producing paints, biodiesel, plastics, soaps, cosmetics, etc.

Soybean oil interacts easily with the skin surface as it is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids (2). It also helps enhance skin quality and appearance.

Let us take a look at the skin benefits soybean oil offers. Keep reading.

Benefits Of Soybean Oil For Skin

Woman applying soybean oil to her face

Shutterstock

1. Helps With Moisture Retention

Applying soybean oil topically helps hydrate the skin from within. It penetrates the skin’s top layers and seals moisture to prevent water loss. In a study, applying soybean oil was found to decrease the transepidermal water loss of forearm skin and promote moisture retention (3).

2. Helps Repair The Skin Barrier

The stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of the skin) acts as a protective barrier against environmental damage. Any disruption of this layer damages the skin. Applying soybean oil to skin is found to improve the skin barrier function due to its soy phytosterol content (3). Another study suggests that applying formulations with soy phytosterols (naturally occurring compounds) may also help in the recovery of skin barrier function (4).

3. Protects Against UV-B Rays

Happy woman standing under the sun

Shutterstock

Soybean oil acts as a natural sunscreen with a UV-B filter that reduces skin photodamage. This benefit is attributed to the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E (5). Its antioxidant properties fight free radicals that cause sun damage and protect the skin from inflammation (6). Soybean oil may help treat irritation and burns caused by sun damage. It protects the skin from UVB with SPF equivalent to 10.

4. May Reduce Signs Of Premature Aging

As per a study, the isoflavones in soybeans may prevent signs of premature skin aging in postmenopausal women (7). Topical application of the oil may reduce wrinkles and fine lines. However, more information is warranted in this regard.

These are the ways soybean oil can benefit your skin. But how can you use it?

How To Use Soybean Oil On Skin?

Woman applies soybean oil to her face using a dropper

Shutterstock

1. As A Moisturizer

  • Pat 2 to 3 drops of the oil on your skin with your fingertips. No need to rinse it off later.
  • Repeat once every day.

2. As A Sealant

  • Pat 2 to 3 drops of soybean oil on your face after applying your regular cleanser, serum, or moisturizer.
  • It helps carry other essential oils/products deep into the skin.

Tip: Applying soybean oil to your skin should be the last step in your skincare routine. Any product with smaller molecules will not be able to penetrate the larger molecules of soybean oil.

Who Can Use It?

Using soybean oil benefits people with dry and combination skin. However, the oil is not recommended for those with oily skin as it may clog skin pores (8).

Soybean oil is often considered safe and non-toxic. However, you have to follow safety precautions to prevent any adverse effects.

Safety Precautions To Follow While Using Soybean Oil For Skin

A dropper with soybean oil to use a small amount for patch test

iStock

Do a patch test before using soybean oil on your skin if you are allergic to soybean derivatives. Avoid using the oil on infants as it may cause allergic reactions. Also, soybeans are often genetically modified. Hence, look for organic sources.Never apply it to acne-prone skin either on the face or the back.

Summing It Up

Soybean oil can be found in many skin care and cosmetics products. It is low-cost, all-natural, and highly effective. Soybean oil moisturizes the skin and functions as a natural sunscreen. It also efficiently restores and improves the skin barrier function. Its use might help to calm the skin and maintain it smooth. Soybean oil can be used as a sealant in your daily skin care routine. However, if you are allergic to soybean products, don’t use them. Do a patch test if you are using soybean oil for the first time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is soybean oil better than olive oil?

Both soybean and olive oils are nutritious. Soybean oil has a higher content of polyunsaturated fats and vitamin K. Olive oil has a higher content of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. You should choose either oil as per your preference (2), (9).

Which is better: coconut oil or soybean oil?

Studies indicate that coconut oil may be healthier because soybean oil may have a detrimental effect on metabolic health (10), (11).

Is soybean oil good for lips?

Yes, soybean contains essential nutrients that may keep your lips hydrated and soft.

Key Takeaways

  • Soybean oil, a rich source of vitamin E and essential fatty acids, glides smoothly on your skin.
  • It is a natural moisturizer and sunscreen and helps keep the skin barrier intact.
  • You can use soybean oil as a moisturizer or sealant to keep your skin smooth and silky throughout the day.

References:

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. Soybeans & Oil Crop
    https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/soybeans-oil-crops/
  2. Oil soybean
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/748366/nutrients
  3. In vivo investigations on the penetration of various oils and their influence on the skin barrier
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22092829/
  4. In vivo spectrophotometric evaluation of skin barrier recovery after topical application of soybean phytosterols
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18528589/
  5. Preparation and Evaluation of Sunscreen Nanoemulsions with Synergistic Efficacy on SPF by Combination of Soybean Oil Avobenzone and OctylMethoxycinnamate
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6901871/
  6. The topical protective effect of soybean-germ oil against UVB-induced cutaneous erythema: an in vivo evaluation
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16281310/
  7. Dermatological Application of Soy Isoflavones to Prevent Skin Ageing in Postmenopausal Women
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.599.9285&&rep=rep1&&type=pdf
  8. Silicones as Alternatives to Hydrocarbons in Personal Care Formulations
    https://skinident.com/fileadmin/img/spanish-pictures/pdf/Silicones_as_Alternatives_to_Hydrocarbons.pdf
  9. Oil, olive, salad or cooking
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171413/nutrients
  10. Comparative Study of Coconut Oil , Soybean Oil , and Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
    https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Comparative-Study-of-Coconut-Oil-%2C-Soybean-Oil-%2C-Norton-Angerman/e629d5361d6eb457200d42c1756adb74ed27b443
  11. Soybean Oil Is More Obesogenic and Diabetogenic than Coconut Oil and Fructose in Mouse: Potential Role for the Liver
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4511588/
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Swathi has a postgraduate degree in English literature from The English And Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and a diploma in... more

Dr. Nermeen Bedair

(MD, Ph D)
Dr. Bedair is an academic lecturer and a consultant clinician with 17 years of experience in the university hospital and... more

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