Which avocado oil is best?
In recent years, avocados have become a popular food because they’re not only a tasty, versatile fruit but incredibly nutritious, too. Avocado oil is just as healthy and much easier to work into your diet — or your skincare or haircare routine — than whole avocados, so you can get all the same benefits with less effort.
Choosing an avocado oil can be tricky, though. You can find food-grade and cosmetic-grade options, but some oils are versatile enough to be used for both. The top choice, AVOHASS avocado oil, has been a favorite for years because it is cold-pressed and unrefined for higher quality. It’s suitable for both cooking and cosmetic uses, too.
What to know before you buy an avocado oil
Avocado oil is usually extracted from ripe avocados by separating the flesh from the skin and the pit. Then the flesh is smashed to begin the oil extraction process, and the pulp goes through a centrifuge to remove the oil from the pulp and water. The oil is further filtered to remove any impurities.
Avocado oil can be extracted in two ways: the expeller-pressed method and the cold-pressed method.
The expeller-pressed method doesn’t use any extra heat to extract the oil because the oil is squeezed directly from the avocado. Friction is used in the process, though, generating heat that can affect the flavor and color. As a result, avocado oil made with an expeller usually has a mild taste and doesn’t have the avocado’s original color.
The cold-pressed method is a temperature-controlled process, so the temperature doesn’t go above 120 degrees. The lack of heat allows cold-pressed avocado oils to keep more of the avocado’s natural flavor, color and nutritional benefits.
Refined vs. unrefined
You can find both refined and unrefined avocado oils. Both types are beneficial, so it really depends on how you plan to use the oil when you’re choosing.
Refined avocado oil is bleached, deodorized or both after the extraction process. As a result, it can lose its scent and flavor, or it can have color added to it. Refined oils are best for cosmetic use on your skin or hair, but they also have a smoke point of 550 degrees. That makes refined avocado oil an excellent option for sauteing, stir-frying, searing or grilling.
Unrefined avocado oil isn’t altered after the extraction process, so it retains much of the flavor and aroma from whole avocados. Its distinct flavor can help improve the taste of your food, so it’s an ideal option for cooking and drizzling over finished food. Keep in mind that unrefined avocado oil has a lower smoke point than refined oil, smoking at just about 375 degrees.
If you’re wondering why you should be cooking with or treating your skin and hair with avocado oil, it helps to understand the health benefits before buying a bottle. Avocado oil is rich in vitamins A, D and E, along with beta carotene, protein and oleic acid. Avocado oil actually contains 70% oleic acid, a fatty acid that benefits heart health.
Some studies suggest that avocado oil can help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It can also help lessen joint inflammation if you have arthritis. Avocado oil is known to help with the absorption of other nutrients too.
What to look for in a quality avocado oil
Food-grade vs. cosmetic-grade
Avocado oil can be ingested and/or used externally on the body, so it helps to know what grade of oil you’re buying.
Food-grade oil is meant for ingestion, so it’s suitable for cooking. It’s typically cold-pressed and undergoes FDA inspection and approval. You can usually use a food-grade oil externally, too.
Cosmetic-grade oils aren’t always intended for ingestion, so they aren’t subject to FDA regulations. As a result, they’re more likely to contain impurities. Cosmetic-grade avocado oil is frequently mixed with other oils, such as lavender or orange blossom.
Food-grade avocado oil typically comes in a dark glass bottle or metal container to limit exposure to the light, which can degrade it. Some avocado oil meant for cooking has spray bottle packaging to make it more convenient to use.
Cosmetic-grade avocado oils generally come in a plastic bottle. However, you can find some in a glass bottle with a medicine dropper top.
How much you can expect to spend on avocado oil
Depending on the quality and size of the container, you’ll usually pay between $5-$40 for avocado oil. Medium to large bottles of cosmetic-grade oil or smaller bottles of food-grade oil generally cost between $5-$15. For cold-pressed, food-grade avocado oil, you’ll usually pay between $15-$25. Large quantities can cost as much as $40, though.
Avocado oil FAQ
How long does avocado oil stay fresh?
A. If you store your oil correctly, an unopened bottle can stay fresh for up to a year. An opened bottle usually has a shelf life of approximately eight months. Opened food-grade oil should be stored in the fridge, while unopened food-grade oil can be kept in a cool, dark location like a pantry shelf. Both opened and unopened cosmetic-grade oil should also be stored in a cold, dark spot.
How should I use avocado oil?
A. If you’re cooking, you can use avocado oil just as you would any cooking oil. Coat your pan with a small amount when sauteing or stir-frying. Avocado oil also works well drizzled over veggies before you roast them.
Externally, you can use avocado oil as a hair mask after washing. Apply the oil to your damp hair, place a shower cap over it and let it sit overnight. As a skin treatment, you can mix the oil with your usual moisturizer or apply it directly to your skin for added hydration.
What’s the best avocado oil to buy?
Top avocado oil
What you need to know: A pricier avocado oil, but it offers top-notch quality, taste and color.
What you’ll love: Stands out as a cold-pressed, extra virgin, unrefined, organic oil. Offers a smoke point of 482 degrees. Buyers praise the flavor and color. Can work for cooking, hair and skin.
What you should consider: Some buyers feel it’s expensive for the size of the bottle.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top avocado oil for the money
What you need to know: Offers an excellent flavor, aroma and color, especially considering its budget-friendly price tag.
What you’ll love: Offers 16.9 ounces of oil in a metal bottle. Oil is 100% pure and natural. Suitable for cooking, skin and hair. Boasts a deep green color.
What you should consider: Some buyers aren’t fans of the flavor and odor.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Works extremely well as a massage oil or moisturizer, but it’s not a food-grade option.
What you’ll love: Contains plenty of nutrients for your hair and skin. Packaging is clear but offers UV light protection. Offers a lightweight consistency. Cruelty-free.
What you should consider: Only suitable for external use. Some buyers aren’t fans of the odor.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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