January 19


Coffee Seed Oil for Skincare

Coffee seed oil has some wonderful skincare properties and so I wanted to dig in and do a little research on this oil.

Here’s some of what I found.

First off, there are two types of coffee been oil, green and roasted.

Producers press coffee oil from both the green beans and the roasted beans and as you can imagine they are quite different!

There is also coffee essential oil, which is not to be confused with the lipid oils we are talking about here. 

Green vs Roasted Coffee Bean Oil

I was experimenting with these two versions of coffee bean oil and here’s what I found.

They are quite different!

The roasted coffee bean oil has the rich aroma we are used to with coffee as you might imagine.

The green coffee bean oil however has no coffee aroma at all.

Rather, the green oil I find to have a raw, woodsy kind of scent. And, when you can find an oil that is not overly refined, it has a medium amber color.

Unrefined or lightly refined green coffee bean oil contains a wide range of beneficial compounds that I am researching at the moment.

Action on the Skin

From my preliminary research, it seems that coffee bean oil can help increase the production of collagen in the skin as well as elastin in the skin and can help against moisture loss.

Elastin and collagen are body proteins that hold our shape and form. This is especially visible in the skin. Collagen and elastin help keep the skin smooth and elastic while slowing the aging process.

Another thing I found in my research is that compounds in green coffee bean oil have been shown to help protect against sun damage, redness from overexposure and oxidative damage on the skin.

Vitamin E, sterols, diterpenes cafestol and kahweol, squalene, and caffeine are some of the many beneficial unsaponifiable compounds in this amazing oil. In addition to these unsaponifiable that directly benefit the skin, let’s look at the unusual fatty acid breakdown of coffee bean oil.

Fatty Acids in Coffee Seed Oil

Here's a little bit of technical details on the unique distribution of fatty acids in green coffee bean oil.

Most oils have a combination of five main fatty acids in different proportions. But coffee bean oil is a bit different. It is a liquid oil with a very low percentage of oleic acid, but high in both saturated palmitic acid and polyunsaturated linoleic acid! Seldom have I seen oils with this unusual ratio.

What we then have is an oil that will protect with the saturated palmitic acid, yet feed and absorb into the skin with the linoleic acid. With oleic acid at 8% or less it is a really useful oil for problem skin that won’t tolerate high levels of monounsaturated oleic acid.

Applied to the skin, I recommend trying it on damp skin, it goes on thickly likely because of the high saturation of the palmitic acid but then it absorbs fairly quickly with its high percentage of linoleic acid.

These are the ranges of this unusual distribution of fatty acids in the oil. The distribution will vary some depending on the variety of coffee and the conditions it has been grown in as is the case with all oils.

Palmitic C16:0 acid               33%     to    40%
Linoleic C18:2 acid               38%     to    50%
Oleic C18:1 acid                   6%      to      8%

Here's a short video on coffee seed oil 

Have you worked with coffee seed oil? Leave a question or a comment below


About the author 

Susan Parker

I'm Susan M Parker, author, teacher and researcher. My life is steeped in the lipid oils, carrier oils, plant butters. Since publishing my book Power of the Seed in 2014 I have been teaching and sharing my work with the botanical and lipid oils with students from around the world.

  • Dear Susan
    As always I learned a lot from your informative discussion and I enjoyed it. But actually I couldn’t understand what about prooerties/ differences or values of roasted coffee beans oil?

    • The differences between the oils is in the healing fraction – not so much in the fatty acid composition. And it is the fatty acid composition that I found so interesting here – the large percentage is saturated and polyunsaturated with a very minor amount of monounsaturated oleic acid. Susan answering

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