If you have sensitive skin, most likely you react to the slightest irritation. Your skin becomes red and inflamed, and you have to try to figure out what sparked the reaction.
What those with sensitive skin need are products made with ingredients that constantly give a calming feeling. Perilla seed oil is one of those ingredients. Containing high levels of essential fatty acids, the oil not only helps soothe and calm sensitive skin, but also provides a number of other benefits that will help your skin look plump, hydrated, and glowing.
What is Perilla Seed Oil?
This oil is made from the seeds of the Perilla frutescens, a leafy, bushy herb in the mint family that’s also known as “wild basil” (because it’s often mistaken for basil), “purple mint,” “rattlesnake weed,” and “Shiso.”
Traditionally grown in Asian countries, Perilla came to the U.S. in the late 1800s, brought by Asian immigrants. It has a strong, minty smell (though some have described it as more similar to cinnamon or licorice), and likes light to medium moist well-drained and rich soil, along with a lot of sun. It can grow up to four feet tall, with serrated leaves that turn purple to red in the fall.
Both the young leaves and the seedlings are edible on this plant, raw or cooked. The leaves are often used as a spice, cooked, or fried, and may be combined with rice, fish, soups, and vegetables. You can add the seedlings to salads, and older leaves for flavoring in just about anything.
In Asia, immature flower clusters are used in soups and chilled tofu, and the seeds to spice up tempura and miso. The Japanese also use it to make pickled plums, called “umeboshi plums.” In the U.S., perilla essential oil is often used to flavor foods, candies, and sauces. Both the leaves and the seeds have many good-for-you nutrients, including protein, fatty acids, and disease-fighting antioxidants.
Perilla seed oil is also a healthy cooking oil, commonly used in Korean cuisine. You can use it to sauté vegetables, in salad dressings, or in other low-temperature cooking settings.
Historically, perilla was used internally to treat asthma, to soothe a stomachache, to relieve muscle spasms, and to treat coughs. Today, new research has shown the plant has exciting potential for your skin.
How Perilla Benefits Skin: Fatty Acids
Perilla stands out as far as what it offers the skin—especially sensitive skin.
We’re talking now about the oil pressed from the seeds. This is considered a “carrier oil” (read more about carrier oils here), and it’s a great source of several different essential fatty acids, which are especially helpful for sensitive skin.
Perilla was acknowledged as a powerful source of essential fatty acids in a 2011 study. “In comparing to other plant oils,” researchers wrote, “perilla seed oil consistently contains one of the highest proportion of omega-3 (ALA) fatty acids, at 54-64%. The omega-6 (linoleic acid) component is usually around 14% and omega-9 (Oleic acid) is also present in perilla oil.”
These EFAs protect against environmental stressors to keep your skin looking young and refreshed.
Other Benefits of Perilla Oil
Could there be any ingredient more perfect for sensitive skin?
Perilla also provides the following skin benefits:
- Antioxidants: If you want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, antioxidants are key.
- Cleansing: This means the oil can help minimize the appearance of large pores, giving your skin a smoother, more flawless look while helping to reduce the risk of oily skin and clogged pores.
- Removes dirt and impurities: Because of its cleansing properties, this oil is well known as a powerful skin cleanser.
The next time you’re looking for the perfect oil to take your sensitive skin from weary to looking lively, moisturized and vibrant, try some perilla oil!
SF Gate – Benefits of Perilla Frutescens
NCBI – Discovering the Link Between Nutrition and Skin Aging
NCBI – Health Effects of Omega-3,6,9 Fatty Acids: Perilla frutescens is a Good Example of Plant Oils
NCBI – Anti-allergic Effect of Perilla frutescens and its Active Constituents
Institute for Traditional Medicine – Perilla Leaf, Seed, and Stem