What are organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined oils? Does it matter?

Updated: Apr 3



Choosing the right oils for you is like choosing a movie on Netflix: pretty confusing. But a truth bomb: you only need to know the difference among types of oils, whether organic, cold-pressed, refined, and choose what will give you tons of benefits. And that is what I'm here for! Here are the differences between organic, cold-pressed, and refined oils. Let's go!

Unrefined vs. refined oil for skin

The main difference between refined vs. unrefined oils is the amount of processing they undergo.

Unrefined oils are pressed once and undergo no further process or are heated at low-temperature conditions. Refined oils are just the opposite. They undergo further processing and are exposed to extensive heat. Solvent treatments are also used to remove the undesired odor of the oil and bleaching to fade its color.


So, which is more beneficial: Unrefined or refined oils?

Since unrefined oils undergo minimal processing, it retains much of their nutrient components. With refined oils, much of its potent antioxidants and nutrients have been stripped off due to further processing.

However, unrefined oils can carry intense color or smell compared to refined oils because they didn't undergo bleaching or deodorizing. Refined oils also are much cheaper. But, if you want the type of oil that will provide you maximum nutrient benefits, then give unrefined oils a go.




Photo: Rosehip & Hibiscus Face Oil


Cold-pressed vs Expeller-pressed vs Solvent-extracted oils

Both cold-pressed and expeller-pressed techniques are non-chemical ways used to "press" oil from nuts and seeds. The difference is with the amount of pressure and heat they apply.

Expeller-express uses a screw-like machine to extract oil applying high pressure and intense heat while the cold-press technique still "presses" oils but lower pressure and temperatures. While solvent-extracted oils usually use chemicals in oil extraction.


So, which is more beneficial: Cold-pressed vs Expeller-pressed vs Solvent-extracted oils?

Cold-pressed oils retain a high amount of healthy antioxidants and nutrients otherwise taken away during high heat exposure in the expeller-pressed process or the solvent-extracted process. It will deliver the most nourishment to your skin.

However, cold-pressed oils are pretty pricey, but it's the best option if you're into the benefits.


Organic vs Non-organic oil

The main difference between organic and non-organic oils is how they are produced.

Organic ingredients are produced without:

● Synthetic (human-made) pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

● Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

● Antibiotics or growth hormones

● Irradiation or ionizing radiation (a way to preserve food with radiation energy)

Organic oils, in short, are produced by organic farming methods. While non-organic products are often produced using pesticides, fertilizers, or other harmful chemicals.

So, which is more beneficial: Organic or inorganic oils?

Whether it is food or skincare products, including oils, those which are grown organically are proved to be safer than non-organic ones. Organic oils provide natural nutrients and give you tons of science-backed benefits.



Photo: Pomegranate Face Oil



What will you choose?

I hope this article has helped you decide what to look for in oils. For me, organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined oils work best, and my skincare products. How about you? What types of oil will you give a try? Tell us in the comment section.


Disclaimer The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated this information. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article is for educational purposes.

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