Vegetable butters and oils in skin wound healing: Scientific evidence for new opportunities in dermatology

Phytother Res. 2020 Feb;34(2):254-269. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6524. Epub 2019 Oct 27.


The use of vegetable butters and oils shows promising results in the treatment of skin wounds, as they have an effective impact on the phases of the wound-healing process through their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative activities and by promoting cell proliferation, increasing collagen synthesis, stimulating dermal reconstruction, and repairing the skin's lipid barrier function. In this article, in vitro and in vivo studies of argan (Argania spinosa), avocado (Persea americana), black cumin (Nigella sativa), calophyllum (Calophyllum inophyllum), coconut (Cocos nucifera), cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), grape (Vitis vinifera), green coffee (Coffea arabica), lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus), linseed (Linum usitatissimum), lucuma (Pouteria lucuma), mango (Mangifera indica), olive (Olea europaea), pomegranate (Punica granatum), pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo), rapeseed (Brassica napus), sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), and sunflower (Helianthus annuus) oils were reviewed. In many cases, vegetable oils proved to be more effective than synthetic wound-healing compounds used as controls. The fatty-acid components of vegetable oils are assumed to play a major role in the wound-healing process, in particular polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid. Evidence shows that oils with a higher linoleic to oleic acid ratio are more effective for lipid barrier repair. However, in depth studies are needed to gain knowledge about vegetable oils' effects on the skin and vice versa.

Keywords: fatty acids; skinskin woundskin wound healingvegetable buttersvegetable oils.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Calophyllum
  • Cucurbita
  • Dermatology
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry
  • Flax
  • Humans
  • Linoleic Acid / chemistry
  • Linseed Oil
  • Mangifera
  • Oleic Acid / chemistry
  • Persea
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Skin
  • Skin Diseases
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon
  • Vegetables
  • Wound Healing*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Plant Oils
  • Oleic Acid
  • Linseed Oil
  • Linoleic Acid