Review: The Ordinary Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil

Note: I originally intended to make this into my first video review, but had a lot of equipment issues. I promise I’m working on video content for you all! 🙂 

So awhile back, before things got… uhh… weird… with Deceim, I placed an order for a bottle of the Ordinary Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil.

It is $14.90 USD + Shipping for 30mL, which is roughly 1/3 the price of the brand from Amazon (Sibu — $15.95 per 10mL at the time of this writing) that I see most recommended on MakeupAlley boards.

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It comes in a glass, UV-protective bottle with a dropper, and like every product I’ve ever used from the Ordinary, feels sturdy. No weird screw-cap issues with this bottle!

I’ve outlined the benefits of Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil in one of my previous posts, but the too-long-didn’t-read of it is that there are studies that back-up claims of wound healing (to a degree) as well as some UV-protective qualities (though not enough to ditch your sunscreen!). Any other claims being made are bogus.

When I first tried this oil, I put it on with a 1:1 ratio with my jojoba oil. BIG MISTAKE. As you can see from the photo above, I am pretty fair, so the generous ratio of sea-buckthorn oil to jojoba turned my face orange. And not like the warm glow of a good fake tan, but the yellow of “holy hell this turmeric mask just turned me orange dear god what have I done.” After this first night, I began to dilute it in a 1:5 sea-buckthorn to jojoba ratio, but it was still quite noticeably yellow-orange.

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That dropper isn’t yellow — that’s the oil!

My boyfriend swore he couldn’t see it in low lighting, but later brought in my white pillowcase to shame me and ask if I had been doing something less than appropriate with my pillowcase at night. Thankfully these stains washed out easily.

This strong red-orangey hue is due to the high contents of beta-carotene in the oil. It’s the same coloring that gives the famed Stratia Liquid Gold it’s color.

In the morning, my skin still appeared a bit yellow, and indeed, when I swiped a cotton across my face with some Hada Labo, the cotton square pulled back with a light yellow tint.

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Unfortunately, after a couple of days, the oil did begin to break me out. At first, it was just a small cyst on my forehead, which I discounted as being due to hair products and my new cut sitting on my skin a bit. However, as the days went on, one cropped up on my jawline during a normally clear timeframe of the month. This is when I realized it was probably due to the oil.

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As soon as I stopped using the oil every night and went back to my typical routine, the spots began to subside.

This is not entirely surprising for me. I had a hunch that macadamia nut oil wasn’t a good fit for me years prior, and sea-buckthorn oil is pretty similar to it, as I mentioned in my previous post. I also just don’t seem to do well with high oleic oils in general, as I’ve had breakouts from argan oil in the past.

I’d recommend it for night use only, especially fair skins. If you do well with macadamia nut oil, argan, tamanu, olive, hazelnut, sweet almond, apricot, or even coconut, you may do well with sea-buckthorn oil.

Tracking it down in health food stores is difficult. I found mine online from The Ordinary, though there are growing concerns over the stability and behavior of the CEO. If you have this concern, I’d recommend the Sibu brand from Amazon.com, which seems to be favored among many on the MakeupAlley boards.

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Game developer by day. Real-life gremlin. Amateur photographer. Mental health advocate. Skincare lover and science devotee. In 2011, I began a journey into skincare that became a life-long passion. I've written numerous articles on reddit.com on skincare and helped hundreds of people as they begin their own journey into a better understanding of their skin. I am an advocate for science-based skincare, and want to help others achieve their goals of better skin.

2 thoughts on “Review: The Ordinary Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil

    1. It is definitely orange! Only at night and diluted is the key. It will still give you a golden glow, but it won’t be nearly as bad as when applied straight. 🙂

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