Been waiting on these for a while now. I’ll explain why I’m excited…
Abyssinian oil comes from the seeds of the Crambe Abyssinica, a plant native to the Mediterranean. While its use in cosmetics and hair care is relatively new, it’s been used in industry and manufacturing for decades.
When spread on to the skin or hair the oil spreads quickly, has a drier, less tacky feel, and a thinner texture. This is in part because of its high erucic acid content.
Erucic acid is removed from oils destined for consumption, but topically it has a unique skin feel and presents no dangers. The fatty acid also polymerizes slightly, allowing it to create a film on the surface of the skin or hair. It’s also more stable than other unsaturated fatty acids, because the double bond isn’t conjugated.
The Holy Grail of many vegetable oils and lipids is to mimic the skin feel of silicone. More and more consumers are turning away from synthetic silicones like dimethicone, and we are learning of more risks associated with cyclic silicones, like cyclopentasiloxane.
Many of these natural alternatives still can’t compare to the smoothness, spreadability, and powdery touch of silicone, but honestly I think they’re close enough. I’ve been very impressed by some of the extracts that are being produced from seaweed as well.