Hazelnut oil


Corylus avellana L. Betulaceae

INCI: Corylus avellana seed oil

Purpose: care for oily and combination skin, cellulite, emulsion systems

Price: medium expensive oil

The secret of healing: linoleic acid, sterols

My remark: fast absorbing and extremely pleasant oil, intriguing foody smell.

Oral use: no spectacular action, but a great culinary idea.

I don’t eat them often, but I adore hazelnuts. Do you remember I said to think of cosmetics as food? The usage in food in very obvious for hazelnut oil. The scent simply entices you to take a sip while you’re working with it. Why not, it is as healthy as it is delicious in salads, cakes and even sauces. You can find a range of oils of different intensity of fragrance on the market, from intense to very discreet. It depends on the cultivar from which the oil is obtained. I leave it to you to choose, I personally love the smell of hazelnuts. Just be careful not to buy extremely intensely fragrant hazelnut oils obtained from roasted hazelnuts. It is used in cooking, but not in cosmetics.

Want some scent chemistry? The Italian authors concluded that the main odorous substances of unroasted hazelnuts are linalool, 5-methyl-4-heptanone, 2-methoxy-3,5-dimethylpyrazine and 4-methylphenol. Roasting hazelnuts produces 3-methylbutanal (malt odor), 2,3-pentanedione (butter odor), 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (popcorn odor) and (Z) -2-nonenal (greasy odour). The highest quality hazelnuts come from the province of Giresun in Turkey, which is a major exporter of hazelnuts.

Hazelnut oil, the same as macadamia oil, belongs to a group of oils that are easily absorbed. It has an emollient (softening) effect and regulates fat secretion. For these reasons, hazelnut oil is ideal for the care of combination and oily skin. But it is good for all skin types.

The question remains why is hazelnut good for greasy skin? The dominant fatty acid is oleic which is by no means spectacular; the amount of linoleic acid may be curative, but we have oils with higher levels of linoleic acid. Then why is it good? We got the answer 20 years ago. Phospholipids appear to be responsible for this effect, although there are very few (286ppm or parts per million). Phospholipids completely disappear during the refining process and such oil no longer has a beneficial effect [5].

The chemical composition varies depending on the cultivar, so American cultivars are usually richer in saturated fatty acids, and European ones are richer in linoleic acid. Tocopherol is dominated by classic α-tocopherol (about 40mg/100g) and sterols by β-sitosterol (about 134mg/100g).

It is sometimes used as an extremely pleasant massage oil. Due to its fast absorption, it is a good carrier of medicinal essential oils. It has a mild astringent (tightening) effect, at least you will find this information in books, but honestly it cannot be measured with other herbal substances like tannins. Personally, I think a better description is that it improves the tonus od skin and subcutaneous tissue. Therefore, this oil is very welcome in preparations against cellulite and stretch marks. Hazelnut is an interesting oil for making macerates, precisely because of its absorption properties into the skin.

Taken orally, in a dose of 1-2 teaspoons, it supposedly improves digestion and bile secretion, but it has been poorly tested for this purpose and for such applications, and we use literally dozens of other herbs for this purpose anyway. In any case- it is delicious and harmless. I suggest it as an addition to a sponge cake dough, made without baking powder in the Austro-Hungarian way, a real delicacy.

Caution is required in case of allergy to hazelnuts. In general, be careful with people with atopic dermatitis and people who show allergic reactions to a number of other ingredients.

Quality requirement*
Basic characteristics 
Organoleptic characteristicsClear oil, pale-yellow to yellow in colour, with a characteristic taste and aroma, which may be more or less intense (the taste of unroasted hazelnuts.)
ColourPale-yellow to yellow.
Relative density0.907 - 0.920
Absorbance at 270 nmmaximum 0.2
Acid number mg KOH/gmaximum 2.0
Peroxide number mEq O2/Kgmaximum 10.0
Iodine number85-96
Content of unsaponifiable mattermaximum 1.0
Fatty acid content (%)
C14:0 myristic acidmaximum 0.1
C16:0 palmitic acid4.0 – 9.0
C16:1 palmitoleic acidmaximum 0.3
C17:0 heptadecanoic acidmaximum 0.1
C18:0 stearic acid1.0 – 4.0
C18:1 oleic acid70.0 – 85.0
C18:2 linoleic acid7.0 – 25.0
C18:3 α-linolenic acidmaximum 0.6
C20:0 arachidic acidmaximum 0.3

*based on multiple manufacturers and [2]. Deviations are possible.

Useful references


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