Limnanthes alba Benth., Limnanthaceae
INCI: Limnanthes alba seed oil
Purpose: extremely versatile oil for all skin types, hair care, decorative cosmetics, oil serums, lip balms and emulsion systems.
Price: relatively cheap oil
Healing secret: C20 and C22 fatty acids
My remark: in time it will become the industry standard of cosmetics as well as jojoba. Great texture, really top notch. Really great oil for serums, but it is so versatile that it is difficult to list all the functions.
Oral use: contains a lot of erucic acid. Do not use orally.
White meadowfoam is a wild plant in Oregon, USA. It grows to a height of 30 cm and striking white flowers up to 1.5cm in diameter. Extremely fond of wet areas. The seeds are very small, up to 3mm in length and contain 20-30% oil. White meadowfoam is a real specialist in long-chain fatty acids, as a precise chemist concentrates C22 fatty acids: erucic and docozadienic acid. In addition, it also contains C20 eicosenic acid. That is why it is certainly not edible, but it is excellent in cosmetics.
Elementis Specialties has launched Fancor Meadowfoam Oil as a substitute for jojoba in cosmetics, especially in decorative cosmetics, lip care products, dry and normal skin, and hair care products. In its chemistry and speed of absorption into the skin, it is somewhat similar to crambe oil, but it is far less viscous. The market is dominated by refined oil, sometimes with an eco certificate.
Another great advantage of white meadowfoam oil is its pronounced stability. We have always perceived jojoba as an extremely stable oil (wax) and that is true. But white meadowfoam oil is even more stable, which is very important to us in cosmetic formulations. According to  it is 18 times more stable than soybean oil. The reason for its stability is the “hot” topic because white meadowfoam oil does not contain particularly high levels of vitamin E complex or polyphenols. It is believed that the reason for its stability is C20:1 Δ5-eicosenic acid, which completely dominates the composition- oleic acid is almost non-existent. Δ5-eicosenic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid completely analogous to oleic acid, which is C18 acid, but it is five times more stable to oxidation processes than oleic acid and 18 times more stable than other monounsaturated fatty acids.
Its texture of very slightly viscous and almost colourless oil is great for anyone who likes this type of texture on the skin. Where will it be used?
- in hair treatments with lauric acid oils (coconut, babassu oil…) or oleic acid oils (chufa (tiger nut, souchet) oil, moringa oil, olive oil). Also alone or in combinations in shampoos and hair conditioners.
- in lip balms, most often with butters rich in palmitic and stearic acid (mango, kokum, shea butter)
- in emulsion systems regardless of skin type as a means of protecting, caring for and moisturizing the skin
- in oil serums. As white meadowfoam oil contains mainly C20 and C22 fatty acids, it is wise to combine it with oils richer in vitamin E complex. My favourite combination and suggestion is blueberry seed oil. Also, to keep the texture light, it’s great paired with kukui or Inca nut (sacha inchi) oil. If you like greasier serums though, you can mix white meadowfoam oil with classics like argan oil and intriguing combinations are also possible with avocado and prickly pear oil.
For now, we only have data on the typical composition. Δ5-eicosenic acid makes up about 60% and about 20% makes up C22:1 erucic and Δ13,16 docozadienic acid.
- Meadowfoam derivatives: technologically advanced cosmetic ingredients. Wohlman A.J Cosmet Sci. 2001 Mar-Apr;52(2):149-50.
- Nutraceutical and Specialty Lipids and their Co-Products Nutraceutical Science and Technology. F Shahidi (Editor) 2006 CRC Press
- Effect of processing conditions on the oxidative stability of meadowfoam press oil R., Holser; T., Isbell Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society , Volume 79 (10) – Oct 1, 2002
- The structure of the triacylglycerols of meadowfoam oil Boryana, Nikolova-Damyanova; William, Christie; Bengt, Herslof Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society , Volume 67 (8) – Aug 1, 1990
- Extraction of oil from meadowfoam flakes Kenneth, Carlson; Bliss, Phillips; Terry, Isbell; Terry, Nelsen Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society , Volume 75 (10) – Oct 1, 1998
- Effect of processing conditions on the oxidative stability ofmeadowfoam press oil R., Holser; T., Isbell Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society , Volume 79 (10) – Oct 1, 2002
- The isolation and recovery of fatty acids with Δ5 unsaturation from meadowfoam oil by lipase-catalyzed hydrolysis and esterification Douglas, Hayes; Robert, Kleiman Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society , Volume 70 (6) – Jun 1, 1993