Hazelnut, also known as Corylus Avellana is the third most cultivated nut crop in the world. It is the seed from the fruit of the Hazel tree which is usually found in Turkey, Italy, Azerbaijan and the United States. Turkey is the world’s largest producer of Hazelnut (1).
Hazelnuts are also known as Cobnuts or Filberts which are spherical to oval in shape. After 7-8 month of pollination the ripe nuts fall out of the husk. These kernels are roasted or made into a paste. It is widely used in confectionary industry.
Physical and Chemical Characteristics
Hazelnut oil has high amounts of Oleic acid (76.3-82.6%) and linoleic acid and lesser amounts of palmitic acid. Oleic acids are un-saturated fatty acids. Hazelnut Oil Shampoo is also a rich source of Vitamin-E and has high amounts of proteins, dietary fibres, iron, thiamine, phosphorus, manganese and Magnesium. Oil can be extracted using cold expression/screw pressing or supercritical C02 extraction.
Health Benefits of Internal Use
Hazelnuts are packed with fats and proteins. They also contain phytic acid which can limit the bodies ability to absorb certain minerals such as iron and zinc. Antioxidants, such as tocoperols in hazelnut seeds reduces LDL cholesterol, the risk of atherosclerosis and helps prevent obesity (3) and hazelnut skin has been investigated for its anti cancer properties (4).
Hazelnuts contain a series of antioxidants that may cooperate in concert, providing the body with potential help in hindering the free radical threat, thus improving human well-being by countering the initiation and progression of oxidative stress-mediated disorders and disease (5)
Skin and Hair Care Benefits
Hazelnut oil has moisturising and antioxidant properties so is good for most skin types, but is a good choice for oily and acne prone skin. It is the ideal base oil for facial and body oils for most skin types.
Masson and Bardot (1990) investigated the moisturising effect of hazelnut oil phospholipids. They note that there is s considerable difference in levels of phospholipids in refined and unrefined oils, with refined only having trace amounts compared to unrefined which had 286 ppm. They compared the moisturising effects of refined and unrefined oils on 56 subjects and found, “A significant increase in the moisturizing effect of the emulsion containing virgin hazelnut oil was found and this was itself significantly greater than the emulsion containing refined oil.” They then compared the moisturising effect of unrefined oil with refined oil enriched with 234ppm isolated hazelnut phospholipids and found there was no difference between the two. This indicated that hazelnut phospholipids concentration was directly connected to its skin moisturising effect (6)
Hazelnut is considered an astringent oil due to the catechins and tannins (healthy flavonoids). This quality makes it perfect for oily and acne prone skin (7).