Let’s be real… emu oil might seem a bit weird at first. After all, it’s basically distilled bird fat. But don’t let that scare you off! Emu oil boasts beaucoup benefits for your skin and might even have broader health benefits.

Here’s a deep dive into the potential perks, plus tips on how to use it.

Fast facts on emu oil

  • Emu oil is a popular body oil and supplement. It’s made from emu fat. (An emu’s an ostrich-like bird that’s native to Australia.)
  • Emu oil is hella hydrating. It can help lock moisture into the skin and might reduce the visible signs of skin aging.
  • You can buy emu oil at pharmacies, the grocery store, or online. Just be sure you opt for high quality products that don’t contain harsh chemicals or fragrances.
  • Generally, emu oil is considered safe to use on skin. But you should do a patch test to make sure you don’t have a reaction.
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Emu oil is a bright yellow liquid that’s made from an emu. (That’s an ostrich-like, flightless bird native to Australia.) The oil is mostly made of fat, which is taken from deposits under the emu’s skin.

Once the fat is collected, it’s filtered and refined until you get pure emu oil. This process helps remove bacteria and other contaminants. Some oils are more processed than others, which can alter the product’s levels of fatty acids.

Emu oil is chock-full of unsaturated fatty acids. It’s a solid source of:

  • oleic acid
  • palmitic acid
  • linoleic acids
  • antioxidants (like flavones, polyphenols, carotenoids, tocopherol, and phospholipids)

These powerful compounds may help emu oil deliver its pretty dope health benefits.

Emu oil is versatile AF. Here’s a rundown of some of the best benefits.

  1. Hydrates your skin. Emu oil is an occlusive moisturizer. That means it can help lock moisture into your skin while preventing dehydration.
  2. Repels insects. Emu oil contains terpenes, a molecule that can repel insects. While it might keep some bugs at bay, there’s a chance it can attract mosquitoes.
  3. Might treat seborrheic dermatitis. A 2013 study found that emu oil might help improve seborrheic eczema symptoms like itching, scaling, and erythema.
  4. May relieve digestive disease symptoms. In a study with animals, emu oil helped reduce ulcerative colitis symptoms in mice. Another animal study found that a combo of emu oil and aloe vera eased Crohn’s disease symptoms in rats. Psst. We need more research on humans to show the full effects, though.
  5. Could prevent signs of skin aging. Emu oil might help pump up the volume of collagen production. This compound helps keep your skin feeling plump, smooth, and elastic. There’s also a chance the oil’s antioxidant properties can prevent signs of skin aging that are linked to free radicals. But again, we need more research.
  6. May stimulate hair and nail growth. A study with mice backed the idea that emu oil can stimulate hair and nail growth. Just keep in mind, we need more research in this area. Also, even if it works, it can take a few months to see a difference.

Emu oil is super easy to use. Here are some ways you can add it to your regular skin care routine.

  • Brush it into the ends of your hair.
  • Apply it to your cuticles and nail beds.
  • Spray an emu oil solution into your scalp.
  • Mix some into your creams, lotions, or oils.
  • Gently dab some under and around your eyes.
  • Gently massage some into your skin after you use your normal moisturizer.

Emu oil has gotten pretty popular in recent years. There’s a good chance you can find it at your local pharmacy or grocery store. There are also tons of options available online. Most high quality bottles range from $10 to $30 and will last up to 2 years.

Just be sure you stick to the good stuff. Opt for suppliers that use top-notch refinement processes and promote ethical farming. A contaminated product can cause skin irritation like hives, rashes, or a burning sensation.

Pro tip: Try to buy from brands that have been certified by the American Emu Association. They have a list of approved vendors on their website.

Emu oil is generally considered safe for most topical uses. But there’s a small chance it can trigger skin irritation or an allergic reaction, especially if you use a low quality product. You should always do a patch test before applying it all over your skin. Just dab a bit behind your ear or on the inside of your arm. If you don’t notice a reaction after 24 hours, you should be good to go.

Pregnancy PSA: You should talk with your doc before using emu oil if you’re preggo or nursing. There haven’t been enough studies to determine if it’s safe for a growing bébé.

Emu oil is an oil that’s made from emu fat. It has some sweet hydrating properties for your skin and may reduce the visible signs of skin aging. There’s also some research to show it can stimulate hair and nail growth, but we need more proof before we know for sure.

You should do a patch test before using emu oil just in case you have a reaction. Also, it’s important to stick to stellar products that don’t contain contaminants or harsh additives.

Emu oil is generally considered safe to use on your skin. But you should still talk with your doctor before using it if you have a skin condition like psoriasis, eczema, or open cuts. You should also ask them if it’s safe to use if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.