Nigella Sativa Seed Oil Average Antioxidant No known benefits Nigella Sativa Seed Oil at a glance Also known as black cumin seed oil and black caraway seed oil Contains bioactive ingredient thymoquinone Antioxidant compounds help curb the effects of environmental stress May contain skin irritating volatile fragrance compounds Nigella Sativa Seed Oil description Nigella sativa seed oil is an emollient yellow-orange oil containing unsaturated fatty acids extracted from the seeds of Nigella sativa, a small flowering plant. This oil, also known as black cumin seed oil and black caraway seed oil, has a long history of usage in traditional herbal medicinal practices in Africa and Asia. Nigella sativa seed oil has been touted as an antioxidant that might have soothing properties when used on skin. On the flip side, it may also contain volatile fragrance compounds that present an irritation risk to skin. Most of this ingredient’s claims stem from a bioactive compound present in its oil: thymoquinone. Thymoquinone taps into cellular pathways to help curb the visible effects of environmental stress. More research is needed to provide sufficient evidence of the compound’s other properties; however, there’s interesting research that suggests that thymoquinone can help visibly improve breakout prone skin. Thymoquinone is susceptible to degradation due to heat, air, and light sensitivities. Currently, there are ongoing studies looking into improving the compound’s stability through methods like encapsulation in lipid-based delivery systems known as ethosomes. Be sure to read the ingredient labels on products including this oil closely, as it can be formulated as both an essential oil and a fixed (carrier) oil. We do not recommend usage of this oil in either state due to the presence of volatile fragrance compounds that can irritate skin.