The best avocado oil
Avocados are both delicious and nutritious, not to mention Instagram-worthy when spread on toast. It isn't surprising that avocado oil is as equally yummy and good for you. Similar to olive oil, avocado oil is considered a healthy fat that is also heart healthy. Beauty influencers love slathering it on their skin and hair. But before you pick any ol' avocado oil off the shelf, you'll want to know the difference between food- and cosmetic-grade as well as other considerations. To learn more, keep reading our guide. Our top pick is from AVOHASS, which makes an organic extra virgin avocado oil that's one of the tastiest around.
Considerations when choosing avocado oils
Expeller-pressed vs. cold-pressed
Oil is extracted from the avocado fruit in two ways. Expeller-pressed oil is extracted directly from squeezing the avocado (sans skin and stone) without heat. However, the friction created in this process may cause a little heat, resulting in an oil that tastes milder and retains less of the avocado's original color. Cold-pressed oil is extracted in a temperature-controlled space, so the oil retains more of the fruit's original taste, flavor, and nutritional value.
Refined vs. unrefined
Refined avocado oil is either deodorized or bleached after the extraction process. Sometimes color is added. Refined avocado oils have a lot less odor and flavor, which makes them better-suited for cosmetic purposes. They also have a higher smoke point (as high as 500°F) and are a versatile cooking oil for stir frying, searing, and other high-heat cooking methods. Unrefined avocado oil is filtered after the extraction process for impurities, but otherwise it's left alone. Its flavorful taste is great for salad dressing or drizzling over food. Its smoke point is lower at 375°F.
Food-grade vs. cosmetic-grade
Food-grade avocado oil has been approved by the FDA for ingestion and is usually cold-pressed. Food-grade oils can also be used for external or cosmetic use. Cosmetic-grade avocado oils have not been inspected by the FDA, and therefore they should not be ingested. However, we still suggest you select a cosmetic-grade oil free of impurities and toxins for skin- and hair-care use.
Organic avocado oils are sourced from avocados free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and other agrochemicals. Generally no chemicals or solvents are used in the processing of these oils. Even if you're using an avocado oil for your skin, toxins can still penetrate your dermis, so consider an organic product even for cosmetic uses.
In unfiltered avocado oils, major particles have been removed through a "racking" process in a settlement tank that allows gravity to remove the particles instead of a filter. Still some residual fruit particles may remain, giving the oil a more cloudy appearance. While these oils have a shorter shelf life, some consumers prefer their "raw" taste over filtered products.
Because light exposure can degrade the nutritional value of avocado oil, food-grade oils are packaged in tinted or UV-protected bottles or tins. Some avocado oils come in spray canisters, which are highly convenient for cooking.
Depending on quality, the price of avocado oils typically ranges between $5 and $25. However, some high-end organic varieties can cost as much as $40.
Q. How do I store avocado oil?
A. Opened food-grade avocado oil should be stored in the fridge. If you haven't opened the bottle yet, it's okay to store it in a dark, cool place, such as the pantry.
Q. What are the benefits of putting avocado oil on my skin or hair?
A. Because of the fats and vitamins A, D, and E in avocados, its oil is highly nourishing and hydrating to both skin and hair. Avocado oil on the skin can shrink pores, moisturize dry skin, and even reverse the signs of aging.
Avocado oils we recommend
Best of the best: AVOHASS Organic Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
Our take: One of the best-tasting highest-quality avocado oils on the market.
What we like: Organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined. Rave reviews from consumers for taste. Non-GMO.
What we dislike: Small 8.5 fl. oz bottle comes with a high price tag.
Best bang for your buck: La Tourangelle Avocado Oil
Our take: An affordable avocado oil with an authentic taste and color.
What we like: Artisanal oil at a good price point. Deep green color. Packaged in a tin bottle to protect the oil from light exposure. Can be used for cooking or beautifying.
What we dislike: Not organic.
Choice 3: NOW Foods Avocado Oil
Our take: A cosmetic-grade avocado oil that's perfect for skin-care purposes.
What we like: Non-GMO. Can be used on skin and hair. Bottle is UV-light protected. Light consistency. Can be used as a massage oil.
What we dislike: For external use only. May have too strong of an odor for some users.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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