Fields of Beauty: Meadowfoam Seed Oil--Ready for its Close-up

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In the lush, green Willamette Valley of Western Oregon grows an unassuming, little, relatively unknown flower. This flower is none other than Limnanthes Alba, otherwise known as Meadowfoam, so named for its prolific white blooms--rendering fields a spectacular, frothy white when in full May flower. 

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The oil extracted from the Meadowfoam seeds is a long-time favorite of seasoned formulators around the globe and, an ingredient new formulators are starting to swoon over as well.  With “naturals” all the rage in personal care, there are lots of reasons to take notice of this particular natural emollient.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil (MSO) is a fast-absorbing, natural oil with a luxurious and silky skin feel. Although the meadowfoam blooms have an intoxicating vanilla-y, marshmallow-y scent, the oil itself is odorless and light colored. MSO can be used in a wide variety of formulations for face, hair, body and lips as a substantive emollient that is rich without being heavy.  As a hugely versatile natural oil, its unique texture maps well to many current beauty trends – clean beauty, naturals, multi-function, athleisure applications, men’s grooming, and J-Beauty -- to name a few.

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According to MINTEL global trending data collected in July 2019, personal care product launches using MSO from 2014-2018 have increased 58% with manufacturers toting moisturizing, brightening and anti-aging as top claims for those formulations. The ingredient is trending well in numerous categories: face/neck care, body care, lip care and lip color. Also, when compared to comparable natural oils, MSO offers a cost-effective alternative to argan, and is a wonderful natural alternative to synthetic emollients.

The chart below shows a variety of formulations using MSO showing the trends they map to. To jump-start product development, the formulation instructions for all the products listed can also be found in Natural Plant Products Guide Formulations Library.

One other notable distinction is that Meadowfoam Seed Oil (MSO) is one of the world’s most stable natural oils--boasting twice the oxidative stability of Jojoba and 8 times that of avocado oil or argan oil. Also, when blended, MSO can extend the shelf life of other natural oils by up to 250%. There are many reasons to LOVE Meadowfoam Seed Oil. Here are a few more of note:

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Graced by abundant annual rainfall and fertile soils deposited by ice-age glacial flooding, over 90% of the world’s Meadowfoam is produced by Natural Plant Products on local, member farms in Western Oregon. These farms favor soil- and bee-friendly farming practices and grow Meadowfoam largely as a rotational crop on the region’s many grass seed farms.

Natural Plant Products produces their flagship, Meadowfoam Seed Oil (MSO). They also produce cold-pressed virgin Meadowfoam CP (MCP) and their latest product, mechanically extracted Meadowfoam XPR (XPR) -- both Ecocert/COSMOS approved (non-organic). The company is well supported by a long established global network of distributors that can supply samples and take product orders.

Learn more about this unique and useful natural emollient and Natural Plant Products


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