Meet the Beauty Oil Giving Argan a Run for Its Money

First there was Argan oil, then coconut and then Marula, but now, when it comes to the best oil for your skin and hair, it’s all about Abyssinian.

cela skincarephoto credit: céla

For a long time, people were afraid of oils. But it didn’t take long for the beauty industry to make us realize the nourishing, moisturizing, frizz-defying, anti-aging benefits of nutrient-rich oils. Argan oil, with its omega fatty acids, was one of the first on the scene, and we started slathering it on our faces and hair for a hit of hydration. But lots of new oils have joined the ranks, and some are arguably better. Here, we fill you in on the benefits of the buzziest new oil that’s popping up in your favourite products, Abyssinian oil, and get two experts to weigh in.

What is Abyssinian oil?

Abyssinian oil comes from the Brassica Abyssinica plant, which is native to Ethiopia and a variety of the European mustard plant. Little white flowers grow on the plant, and the Abysinnian oil is extracted from the seeds those flowers produce. The oil that’s extracted is lightweight and absorbs quickly into both hair and skin, it resists oxidation, and it’s loaded with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and E.

What skincare benefits does it have?

When Celine Tadrissi, director of the Hammam Spa in Toronto, decided to launch her skincare brand Céla, she spent years researching ingredients before she landed on Abyssinian oil. “We wanted to use an oil that provided intense hydration without leaving the skin feeling oily, and Abyssinian oil helped us achieve that,” says Tadrissi. “This oil is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are remarkable ingredients for your skin, improving texture and hydration, reducing inflammation and delivering antioxidants for an anti-aging results.” Abyssinian oil is what makes her hero product, Crème de la Crème ($37 at, richly moisturizing without any heaviness or greasiness. Along with being lightweight, it’s also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores. (Here’s how to find the best facial oil or serum for your skin type.)

How can it boost hair health?

In the same way Abyssinian oil is great for your skin, it can benefit your hair, too. Those fatty acids add moisture to hair, and its lightweight texture adds shine without weighing hair down. That’s why Marilisa Sears, artistic director at Marc Anthony, loves using the brand’s Bye.Bye Frizz collection formulated with Abyssinian oil on her clients. “Abyssinian oil is a more natural replacement to synthetic ingredients like the silicones found in many other anti-frizz hair products,” says Sears. “While silicones have the benefit of coating the hair, they also have the dubious honour of not allowing hair to breathe, which can cause frizz.” Spraying a product with Abyssinian oil through your hair not only nourishes strands and adds lightweight shine, but it can also protect it from heat and pollution.

marc anthony productphoto credit: marc anthony

Next, don’t miss 8 things your hair is trying to tell you about your health.