Black seed oil for beauty: the new, ancient ingredient

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / Vera Livchak
Getty Images / Vera Livchak

Related tags black seed oil Nigella sativa healthy aging Beauty from within Thymoquinone

By 2030, every Baby Boomer will be age 65 or older, meaning 1 out of every 5 Americans will be of retirement age. As a result, the desire to look and feel beautiful will only continue to grow.

A rising number of consumers are taking a proactive approach to health and beauty, creating a high demand for products that cater to the aging demographic. Today, the ‘beauty from within’ category boasts a market value of over $144 million in the US, compared to $89 million In 2018, according to Euromonitor International.

While ingredients such as biotin and collagen are more well known, one ingredient that may fly under the radar is black seed oil (Nigella sativa​).

The annual plant belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. Thymoquinone, a volatile oil, is the most active constituent of black seed. 

Improving mitochondrial function

“Black seed oil has both internal and external benefits that are actually linked together. We discovered that it affects mitochondrial functions. It  basically improves mitochondrial functions that usually slow down with age and if you can improve mitochondrial function, you actually improve respiration, metabolism, and energy production. You just make the cells function better and if you do that, you improve not only the health of the person, but also the way the person looks, because there is a very strong link between the way the way we eat, our lifestyle, the way our functions inside the cells in the body work and  our skin, hair, nails—all the external parameters,”​ explained Dr. Liki von Oppen-Bezalel, Business Development Director at TriNutra. 

Oxidative stress

Oxidative stress causes an imbalance between oxidants and the antioxidant defense system in the body and leads to structural and functional changes in the mitochondria. These changes trigger cell signaling pathways and generate uncontrollable reactive oxygen species (ROS) which ultimately lead to organ failure and diseases. 

“In the mitochondria, there is also a lot of oxidative stress, which may lead to inflammation and so black seed oil’s core mechanism of action is really the effect on the mitochondria,”​ she said.

Oppen-Bezalel explained that black seed oil also balances the immune system and reduces inflammation. 

“Inflammation leads to premature aging. There is a term called ‘Inflammaging.’ The premature aging that is being caused due to inflammation. Inflammation generates oxidative stress, it causes damage to the cell, to the DNA, and it can and it interrupts healthy mechanisms that function within the cells. And this route leads to both generation of additional stress and premature aging.”

ThymoQuin & B'utyQuin

TriNutra has two products that are both standardized, full-spectrum cold-pressed black seed oil with 3% Thymoquione, the main active in black seed oil responsible for many of the benefits.

Mitochondrial functions along with additional benefits of black seed oil such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant makes the ingredient beneficial both as a nutraceutical and cosmeceu­tical.

Clinical studies have shown ThymoQuin is beneficial for oxygen consumption, blood pressure and blood glucose, as well as anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, upper respiratory, and blood-sugar levels. 

B'utyQuin, a cosmetic ingredient, boosts mitochondrial functions that slowdown with aging, improve cell respiration, and protect skin against pollution and sun damage. 

“It's a topical, but it is an edible material so you can use it both topically and as a dietary supplement,”​ noted Oppen-Bezalel. 

“New ancient ingredient”

“Black seed oil actually comes from ancient Egypt. The black seed oil was found In some of the graves of the pharaohs. It's also known that the queens of Egypt, Nefertiti and Cleopatra, we're using it for their beauty regimen. It's an oil that has been used a lot in ancient Egypt, in India, and in Southeast Asia.  It's common as well in the Middle East in Iran and Turkey," ​explained Oppen-Bezalel. “It's a new ancient ingredient, but the benefits are being discovered more and more and the use of it as a dietary supplement mostly is increasing at the moment. 


“But if you want to put claims on products, you sometimes need to combine it with ingredients that are already known,”​ Oppen-Bezalel explained. 

With that in mind, Trinutra has combined black seed oil with a number of ingredients, including omega-3 as well as lutein for inflammation, and vitamin D3 for immune support. 

Of all the combinations, Oppen-Bezalel said black seed oil’s synergism with CBD is the best she’s seen for anti-inflammatory activity. 

“It’s very interesting because it's not accepted everywhere as an ingredient, but wherever CBD is, I think if someone uses them together you actually have almost a medicine in your hand that is very, very powerful.”

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