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Sesame Seed Oil - A Brief History and Information For Using It In Handmade Soap and Cosmetics

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Sesame Seed Oil - A Brief History and Information For Using It In Handmade Soap and Cosmetics

About Sesame Seed Oil



Sesame seed oil is a fixed oil that is obtained by pressing the seeds of Sesamum indicum. Sesame seed oil is sometimes called teel oil, gingle oil or benne oil. Sesame seeds have a rich history of use as a cosmetic ingredient and are thought to be one of the oldest seeds used for their oil. The word "sesame" comes from the Arabic word "simsim," the Coptis word "semsem" and the early Egyptian word "semsent." During the fourth century, the Chinese were using sesame seed oil to treat toothaches and gum disease. The early Egyptians, Greeks and Arabs used sesame seed oil as a base oil for perfumes. In South America sesame seed oil is sometimes called the "Queen of Oils" because of its use in cosmetics.

Fatty Acids, Antioxidants, and Vitamins in Sesame Seed Oil


Sesame seed oil is rich in linoleic acid, oleic acid and Vitamin E. It also contains vitamins A, B1 and B2. In addition, it is the only source of the compounds sesamin, sesaminol, and sesamolinol. These compounds are all antioxidants and have been shown in some studies to be more powerful than Vitamin E. They also contribute to the excellent stability of sesame seed oil. In some countries sesame seed oil is used as a substitute for olive oil or almond oil.

The fatty acid profile of sesame seed oil is as follows:

Palmitic acid: 7 - 12%
Stearic acid: 3.5 - 6%
Oleic acid: 35 - 50%
Linoleic acid: 35 - 50%
Linolenic acid: 1%
Arachic acid: 1%

Using Sesame Seed Oil in Cosmetics


When using sesame seed oil in your cosmetics be sure to purchase cold-pressed or expeller pressed sesame seed oil. This type is clear and almost odorless. Avoid roasted sesame seed oil which is dark in color and has a strong smell. This type is used in cooking.

Ancient Rose Perfume Oil

The Greek botanist Theophrastus said that the scent of roses was captured by sesame seed oil better than any other oil. Here is a recipe for a perfume oil made with roses.

You will need:
  • 1 bowl of fresh fragrant rose petals
  • sesame seed oil

Pour enough oil over the rose petals so that the petals are covered. Let sit for a day. The next day strain the oil and remove the rose petals. Replace with more fresh rose petals. Continue for a few days until the sesame seed oil has absorbed the scent of the roses. Bottle the oil and store in a cool dry place.
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