We love discovering a little-known beauty secret here at GLAMOUR HQ, so when our Glam Hijabi columnist, Hani Sidow, told us about black seed oil, we made it our mission to find out more.
Writing in one of her columns, she revealed: "In my house, my mother made sure that we all knew the cure for everything was the famous black seed oil.
"If I got a cold, she would mix it in with honey and lemon for me, and if I got a pimple, I'd apply the oil directly on the spot with a cotton bud. Believe it or not, it worked. So it's pretty much become my answer to everything. Black seed oil may not smell the greatest, but I like to call it the miracle oil because it's yet to let me down."
Keen to find out more about this 'miracle oil', we enlisted Marina Nubo, skincare expert and co-founder of BIO-EXTRACTS, to give us a breakdown on why everyone should be adding black seed oil to their beauty and wellness arsenal. You can thank us later.
What is black seed oil?
"Nigella Sativa is a plant that produces large capsule-like fruit with lots of black seeds. The oil from these seeds is also known as black Seed Oil or Black Caraway oil, as well as Black Cumin, Fennel Flower, Nutmeg Flower or Roman Coriander oil.
"Native to Southwest Asia, the health and beauty benefits of the black seed oil were already known in ancient Egypt. Rumour has it that Cleopatra used black seed oil for her famous bath.
"Black seed oil is a powerful antioxidant and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. It was used for centuries as a pain killer and as a wound-healing remedy. The oil replenishes skin moisture levels by reinforcing skin’s water storage capacity, meaning it’s brilliant for hydrating hair and skin, treating acne (thanks to its anti-bacterial qualities) and reducing psoriasis.
What are the key beauty boosting ingredients within it?
"Because this oil has been used for so many centuries in traditional medicine, there is no doubt it contains lots of powerful compounds. Black seed oil is full of exceptionally beneficial components; phytochemicals, vitamins A, B, and C, along with minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
"Recently, black seed oil became a trendy ingredient in food supplements, skincare and haircare. Nowadays you can easily find a range of goods with Black seed oil; from toothpaste or soap to miracle facial, hair or body oil."
Are there any side effects of using it?
"The innovative principle of good skincare is “less is more”. The high dosage of this miracle oil can cause adverse reactions. For people with delicate skin, black seed oil may have a side effect called dermatitis, which is characterised by red, irritated patches of skin across the site of treatment. The skin may also become dry or begin to flake or itch. Nigella Sativa was not tested on pregnant women and cannot be recommended during pregnancy."
Will anyone else be stocking up on this hero oil?