The Ultimate Guide To Using Soybean Oil For Skin

Written by Swathi E , Certified Skin Care Coach

Soybeans are the world’s second-largest source of vegetable oil and are rich in protein. They comprise about 90 percent of the US oilseed production (1). Soybean oil is quite popular among fitness enthusiasts for its health benefits — from improving heart health to managing cholesterol levels. But it has expanded its horizons to the world of skin care products too.

While some believe soybean oil may clog skin pores, most use it for improving skin health. Who should use it and who should not? In this article, we discuss the benefits of soybean oil for skin, how to incorporate it into your skincare routine, and the safety precautions to consider. Read on.

What Is Soybean Oil?

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 ForSkin

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

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.

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?

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

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.


Soybean oil helps the skin retain moisture and acts as a natural sunscreen. It also repairs and improves the skin barrier function effectively. Its application can soothe the skin and keep it smoother. You can include it in your daily skincare regimen as a moisturizer or a sealant. Avoid using it if you are allergic to soybean derivatives. Always do a patch test if you are trying it for the first time.


1. Can soybean oil be used to treat eczema?

Soybean oil can soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. You may use it to reduce irritation or moisturize the skin. Its properties may help with eczema treatment.

2. Does soybean oil brighten your skin?

Soybean oil helps repair the skin barrier and fights against UV-B rays. It helps reduce sun damage and blemishes, and may keep your skin bright.

3. Can soybean oil cause acne?

Soybean oil is comedogenic and may clog pores. Hence, it may cause acne in those with oily or acne-prone skin.


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  1. Soybeans & Oil Crop
  2. Oil soybean
  3. In vivo investigations on the penetration of various oils and their influence on the skin barrier
  4. In vivo spectrophotometric evaluation of skin barrier recovery after topical application of soybean phytosterols
  5. Preparation and Evaluation of Sunscreen Nanoemulsions with Synergistic Efficacy on SPF by Combination of Soybean Oil Avobenzone and OctylMethoxycinnamate
  6. The topical protective effect of soybean-germ oil against UVB-induced cutaneous erythema: an in vivo evaluation
  7. Dermatological Application of Soy Isoflavones to Prevent Skin Ageing in Postmenopausal Women
  8. Silicones as Alternatives to Hydrocarbons in Personal Care Formulations
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