Breakthrough Skin Care Ingredients Part 1: Black Soldier Fly Larvae Oil
One-of-a-Kind, Unlikely Sustainable Ingredient
Looking for beauty product ingredients which are also beneficial for a healthier planet?
Sustainability is more important than ever today, and this ingredient performs double-duty, being extracted from a process which cleans organic matter and up-cycles it into nutritious protein and essential fatty acids.
The ingredient is Soldier Grub Oil, also often referred to as black soldier fly larvae or BSFL oil, and yes, it’s actually extracted from an insect!
Insect Oil... In Your Skin Care?
Not just any insect though - these grubs are farmed in modern facilities under controlled conditions, and scientists have been undertaking vast amounts of research the past few years to better understand the amazing capabilities the grubs have to fight bacteria and clean up microbial pathogens through their unique enzyme composition.
And while your first response to the idea of using insect oil in a beauty product might be one of surprise, digging a little deeper into the chemical makeup of the oil itself reveals a host of natural benefits - for your skin and for the planet.
It’s important to note that these insects are incredibly safe to farm, as the adults live for only a few days, simply to ensure reproduction of the species.
Because they do not feed their only goal is to seek out a mate and then place the eggs of the next generation in a safe, dry location where the babies will have plenty of food - and scientists have figured out how to streamline this process for maximum efficiency with near-zero waste (when the adults pass on, they can be collected and used in gardens as organic soil for plants).
The grubs themselves, which is where the oil is extracted from, are nature’s most efficient janitorial staff! In the wild, they would live on the forest floor, consuming plant matter and other organisms, but in modern farms they are fed a sustainable, specially formulated diet rich in the nutrients they need to grow quickly and efficiently.
While the grubs’ daily menu is different based on the purpose they are destined for, it’s always benefiting the environment by ensuring plant materials which would otherwise go to waste are being up-cycled into something of higher value and more beneficial use.
In this case, that use is the oil from the insect, which is extracted through a chemical-free, cold-press process and then filtered for purity. This produces an oil which is naturally rich in essential omega fatty acids including 3, 6, and 9.
It’s particularly high in lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid you might be familiar with in coconut oil - and similarly, soldier grub oil is one of the world’s richest sources of this highly antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral compound.
Black Soldier Fly Larvae - A Nutrient Powerhouse
Scientists have discovered a whole host of powerful immune responses present in the soldier grubs, with one recent study identifying four separate antimicrobial peptides which contain antibiotic properties, and which have inhibitory effects on various bacteria.
Even more exciting, scientists have discovered that soldier grubs actually “produced over 90 different antimicrobial peptides in response to being inoculated with E. coli,” and believe that more extensive research will lead to discoveries of additional medically important microbes the grubs contain - some of which will undoubtedly be peptides useful for cleaner, healthier skin!
In its current form, soldier grub oil has also been demonstrated in Thai university tests to support skin rejuvenation and healing, leading to firmer, more youthful-looking skin with daily application.
Clean-beauty ingredients come from many fascinating organically derived sources, including algae, fungi, and even snail residue.
With research beginning to more deeply understand the myriad skin health benefits of insect oil, would you incorporate this unique, purified natural ingredient into your daily routine?