Black Cumin Seed Oil Benefits for Skin (and Amazing Skin Elixir Recipe)

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Nigella Seed Oil (more commonly known as Black Cumin Seed Oil) is a real powerhouse ingredient for your skin that you might not know about. But once you read about all of the black cumin seed oil benefits for skin, you are definitely going to want to add it to your skincare routine!

Part of my work creating plant-based cosmetics entails researching ingredients, and nigella seed oil has some of the most impressive qualities I have come across in a single ingredient. The INCI (Latin) name for this herb – also commonly called black cumin or black caraway – is Nigella Sativa (black cumin seed).

The cold-pressed oil has a golden color, deliciously warm, peppery scent and is so rich in essential oil components that it needs to be diluted heavily before application to the skin.

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A Miracle Herb

Nigella received the title ‘Miracle Herb’ from a scientific paper published by the American National Library of Medicine. Because nigella has demonstrated such impressive abilities as battling certain types of tumors and cancers, it continues to hold science’s full attention with numerous ongoing studies.

Scientific studies to date have shown that nigella seed oil decreases blood pressure, promotes wound healing, and can help address blemishes with a reduction of up to 10%. In a 6-month study, topical application of nigella seed oil significantly decreased vitiligo.

Other studies indicate that nigella seed oil is an effective aid for treating psoriasis. A 2010 study showed that nigella seed (in an emulsion combined with borage oil) reduced skin irritation significantly while improving hydration and epidermal barrier function.

Nigella Seed Oil has also been proven to be a great natural remedy for anxiety when compared to placebo.

Current studies are trying to establish whether or not nigella might be able to help relieve:

allergic reactions
epilepsy in children
the rashy skin reaction from nickel allergy

To add to all these positives, nigella has a very low degree of toxicity.

Nigella Seed Oil Benefits

Nigella seeds contain many beneficial actives:

fixed and essential oil
lineolic acid
palmitic acid
oleic acid
vitamin E
and (much) more

In short, nigella seed oil is a multifunctional powerhouse.

Some of the benefits are:

1. Moisturizing

Black Cumin Seed Oil is an excellent source of Vitamin B and promoted cohesion of cells and helps lock in moisture. which helps to retain moisture in skin.

2. Acne

Black Cumin Seed Oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-sceptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce acne.

3. Wrinkles

Black Cumin Seed Oil helps keep skin elastic and fights damaging free radicals so wrinkles are less of an issue.

4. Anti-inflammatory

Black Cumin Seed Oil has excellent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. This makes it a great choice for sensitive skin

5. Dark Spots

The vitamin A, amino acids, and fatty acids found in Black Seed Oil help regenerate skin cells. Over time, it’s possible for dark spots to fade.

Apart from being great for skincare, nigella seed oil also helps strengthen nails and bring bounce and shine to dull, brittle hair.

Tips for Topical Use

Before we get to the elixir formula, following are a few tips regarding the use of Nigella Seed Oil:

Always dilute nigella seed oil before use. Nigella is very potent so never use more than 10% of this oil in any blend.

Do not use nigella seed oil near the eyes.

Why Measure by Weight

Measuring by weight is the only way to be sure of the exact amount of each ingredient, which is vital when making skincare products. It is simply not accurate enough to measure the ingredients by volume.

The reason for this is that every oil has a different density and cannot be accurately measured by volume.

Therefore, ALWAYS measure by weight – it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

1. place container on scale
2. set scale to zero
3. pour oil into container until desired weight is reached

Note that for making skincare, you will want a scale that can handle precise measurements, like this one, which is actually the very scale that Adrienne uses in her kitchen :).)

Nigella Seed Oil (Black Cumin Seed Oil) Elixir

Throughout much of this year, I have been testing nigella seed oil in different cosmetic applications and it has already become a favored staple in my ingredients stockroom. Several clients have started asking for it specifically when ordering a custom face oil blend.

Now you can incorporate this wonderful skin-loving oil into your daily skincare routine. However, I created a formula for a luxurious, nourishing face elixir just for this blog’s readers that can be used by men and women alike – either alone or under a moisturizer.

This blend is for adult skin and has a generous 7% nigella seed oil. If you have nut allergies, replace the organic sweet almond oil with either organic jojoba oil, organic thistle oil, or organic hemp seed oil. Be sure to use only cosmetic grade oils for your elixir.

How To Use This Elixir

Place 6-8 drops elixir in the palm of your hand.

Rub palms together to warm and disperse the product.

Apply to freshly-cleansed, damp face and neck using gentle, upward strokes and taking care to avoid the eyes.

Check the mirror.

See that fabulous face? — That’s you plus the magic of Nigella Seed Oil!

Where to Buy Black Cumin Seed Oil

There are a number of places to buy this oil, but one thing to note is the sourcing and the concentration of the active ingredient, thymoquinone.

I always recommend buying organic if possible, to avoid pesticides and for the highest quality ingredients.

Many black seed oils on the market are not organic and most have approximately 1% (or less) thymoquinone.

Some have higher concentrations like this one that hovers around 2-above 3%. I’ve spoken with this company and they seem to be a quality operation.

This black cumin seed oil has 7% thymoquinone. It’s quite strong so you will have to dilute it if you used it on your skin, but the quality is amazing.

For a coupon code for the 7% brand, comment at the end of this post or reach out at

black cumin seed oil in a bottle

Nigella Seed Oil Face Serum

5 from 3 votes
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  • Sanitize your containers and equipment and be sure your work area is clean.
  • Next, weigh each ingredient on a precise scale and transfer to a glass dropper bottle.
  • Cap bottle and shake.
  • Rejoice at your fabulous elixir-making abilities.


Note that if you use a 1% black cumin seed oil for this serum, you’ll use .3 oz. If you use a stronger one, like the 7% oil, you’ll use .04 oz, which is hard to measure, but you could make a double or triple batch to make it easier.  
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholenewmom or tag #wholenewmom!

Please note that this formula is free of preservatives and should be used within 6 months of making.

So, what are you waiting for?

Get some Nigella Seed Oil and get working on having this powerhouse go to work towards making you more lovely, and most importantly, more healthy.

Don’t Want to DIY?

This lovely face serum has Black Cumin Seed Oil as its base. Again, you can reach out to me at or comment below for a coupon code to try it.

Have you ever heard of or used Nigella Seed Oil?

Lise Anderson LisaLise Skincare

Lise M Andersen – LisaLise – is based in Copenhagen, Denmark where she creates plant-based custom cosmetics and formulations. Visit her website where she also offers instructional e-books and DIY skincare kits. Follow along as she develops products at her blog,, which also features many DIY how-to’s and an ever-growing ingredients library.


National Library of Medicine, Review on therapeutic potential of nigella sativa
Pharmacological and Toxicological Properties of Nigella Sativa
Plants for a Future: Nigella Sativa
Journal of Dermatology, Dermatological Effects of Nigella Sativa, 2015
M.S. Hanafi, M.E. Hatem, Studies on the anti-microbial activity of the Nigella sativa seed (Black Cumin)
S. Amin, S.R. Mir, K. Kohli, B. Ali, M. Ali, A study of the chemical composition of black cumin oil and its effect on penetration enhancement from transdermal formulations
Brazilian Journal of Medicine and Biological Research, Antitumor properties of nigella seed extracts
Chopra RN, Nayar SL, Chopra IC. Glossary of Indian medicinal plants. New Delhi: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research; 1956
Mohammad Akram Handawa, AntiCancer Activity of Nigella Sativa
Thymoquinone in the clinical treatment of cancer  – fact or fiction? US National Library of Health and Medicine
Thymoquinine  – 50 years of success in the battle against cancer models, Science Direct
American Journal of Physiology, Thymoquinone, a bioactive component of Nigella sativa, normalizes insulin secretion from pancreatic ?-cells under glucose overload via regulation of malonyl-CoA
Ivankovic S, Stojkovic R, Jukic M, Milos M, Milos M, Jurin M., The Anti-tumor activity of thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone, Sept 2006, PubMed
Use of the naturally-occurring quinones thymoquinone and dithymoquinone as antineoplastic and cytotoxic agents, University of Kentucky Research Foundation Application for Patent
Thymol (Wikipedia)
Nigella sativa L. seeds modulate mood, anxiety and cognition in healthy adolescent males.

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Recipe Rating



  1. What about a post on the actual seeds? I have heard that the oils taken internally is pretty nasty tasting and that the seeds are easier to take…Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Carol! I would think that the seeds would not be as easy to digest. In fact, yes, I just looked it up and the oil is more bioavailable and more concentrated. You would have to take more of the seeds. Encapsulating the oil works well. Hope that helps!

  2. 5 stars
    Very helpful article on what many consider to be a health miracle. A few years ago I bought 3 bottles of $$$ black cumin oil and then lost track of two. They have resurfaced, but I wonder if anyone has firm knowledge of the shelf life? Would love to use the oils but got the standard/safe answer from the company of “use within two years.” With its medicinal properties, though, I wonder if that can be stretched?

    1. Thank you! I think it will go rancid and so going beyond that isn’t a great idea. It will start to smell bad after 2 years typically. That’s pretty much the case with any liquid oil. Hope that helps!

      1. 5 stars
        I expect you’re right. Might open a bottle and give it a sniff, but better to be safe… Appreciate the reply, you’re always good about that.

        1. You’re so welcome and thanks for the kind words. I’ll remember them as I respond to / moderate the 187 pending comments still left to deal with LOL – well, a lot of them I won’t likely approve since they are spam!

  3. 5 stars
    I am so thankful to find this recipe and article! Thank you so very much for your generosity in sharing it. I am hopeful that Black Seed Oil could help me clear up my skin, I have dry skin with breakouts all over. May I respectfully request the coupon code for the 7% brand, as mentioned earlier in this post? If it is still available, I will put it into use. 🙂

    1. Hello Steffanie! Sure thing I just reached out with it and some more information. I hope it’s helpful to you!

  4. Thanks, a lot…. Your article is very valuable and Informative,,,,,I am working as a Professor of Organic Chemistry at a college in Pakistan. I have done a lot of research on medicinal plants for skin disorders in the light of Holy Quran,,,,,, Bible and Tibb_E _ Nabvi(Medication by the Holy Prophet). Your article relates somewhat with my applied research……..

  5. It is complete wellness informative article. Nigella seed oil is another name of black cumin seeds oil. More than six hundred case study showing Nigella seed oil controls immune diseases.

  6. it is an interesting article and the benefits of nigella seeds seem quite similar to black seed oil, which I use. Black seed is great for allergies, inflammation, bloating and weight loss. Is there any study on whether these two oils can be combined?

  7. Is there anything in the literature about nigella seed being able to reverse or fade sun spots (liver spots)?

    1. Hi Monika – I haven’t come across anything specific on this during my research, but have done a series of products and tests using vitamin C for fading spots that had some success. If you visit my blog and do a search, there are a couple of case studies and more information.

      1. Monika try adding some Carrot Seed oil, Frankincense, Rosehip, Lavender, Helichrysum, sandalwood, vetiver (not much as smell is very strong…. but it doesn’t last). Add these essential oils with a carrier oil you like to make a serum. Either use the serum under your lotion or and/or add a further drop or two of Carrot Seed oil to your lotion before applying to your face or body. I found that this oil is fantastic for hyperpigmentation, scarring and has a high sun protection factor.

        Dont forget to scru your face twice a week and apply a face masque once a week.

        Good luck


  8. WHat’s a good scale to use when making cosmetics? A regular kitchen scale seems to need something more “weighty” than such delicate things as oils. Perhaps you can provide some examples (?) Thanks!

    1. Hi Monika – I’m guessing you are in the USA, so you might try some of the America cosmetics ingredients suppliers such as Lotioncrafter and Mountain Rose Herbs. If you want to get into real detail with smaller batch amounts, you can search for a jewelry/gold scale. Best of luck with it!

    1. Hi Candyce – I would have to hazard a guess as I haven’t worked with it for vitiligo, but imagine it would be topically in a blend with other oils.