Soybean oil makes up 25% of the total consumed oil in the world, with a large majority of the oil going to livestock feed. Perhaps a less common but potentially beneficial use of fresh soybean oil involves that of soybean cosmetics. Soy skin care products are increasing in popularity due to the many possible health benefits that fresh soybean oil for skin has to offer. This blog will cover a concise history of soybeans, the soy plant, potential medicinal properties, and ways in which one might use soybean oil for skin and hair.
A Brief History
Soybeans were first cultivated in eastern Asia. There are medical records tracing the use of soybeans in China over 6,000 years ago. These records indicate that soybeans were utilized for human diets. One example is that soybeans were traditionally used in China to prevent rickets in infants. The word soybean, itself, has taken on many different meanings throughout China, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Manchuria, and Indonesia. From “Cow of the field” to “Gold from Soil,” it is clear that early civilizations saw soybeans as a valuable source of food (Agarwal et al. 293).
Cultivation of soybeans first began to make its way west in 900 AD via the Himalayas. India and what was known as Burma resulted in western Asia’s use of the plant (Agarwal 294). Today, the majority of soybeans are produced in the United States, Brazil, and Argentina. Soybeans were only recently mass produced in these countries. In fact, in 1921 China was the lead producer of soybeans, providing the world with 80% of the beans (294). The western world did not catch on to the many proposed health benefits of soybeans until the mid-twentieth century.
About the Plant
Soybean, scientifically known as Glycine max, is a legume belonging to the pea family (Encyclopaedia Britannica). The soybean plant stands tall at a height of up to 6.5 feet. It contains white or purple flowers and has seeds that can take on a variety of colors, with tan or light brown being the most common appearance. Within each peapod, there are approximately 1-4 edible seeds that are packed with protein. The seed is composed of 17% oil and 63% meal, of which 50% is protein. Most soybeans are harvested mechanically (Encyclopaedia Britannica). After being harvested, the beans are used for an assortment of products. They can be steamed, roasted, pressed, crushed, or fermented into protein-dense foods.
Soybean’s Health Properties
In the modern world, soybeans offer a plethora of potential medicinal benefits. According to an article called “The Science of Soy: What Do We Really Know?,” by Julia R. Barrett, “soy and soy isoflavones [may] deliver many health benefits, including prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis, as well as treatment of menopausal symptoms” (Barrett A352). This research suggests that there is a potential for soy isoflavones benefits in skin care. Soy isoflavones in skin care is a naturally occurring phytoestrogen that is produced by soybeans. It is a plant compound that has structures similar to that of estrogen (Barrett A353). While it is debatable as to the extent to which phyotestrogen is beneficial to the human body, soy isoflavones skin products may work as an antioxidant, which fights unwanted free radicals in the body. Additionally, soybean oil is rich in many different vitamins, such as folate, iron, zinc, and calcium (Messina 441S).
Fresh Soybean Oil Skin Care Benefits
There are many ways in which one can create soy facial products. Soy skin cream can be made by mixing soya bean oil for skin with other bases such as coconut oil, which is solid at cooler temperatures. For those who want a soybean oil for face or hair that contains more ingredients, make sure that the soy ingredients in cosmetics are of the highest quality so that your skin receives the most out of its soybean oil moisturizer.
The best type of soybean oil skin care one can use is organic fresh soybean oil for skin. With an organic fresh soybean oil for skin, you can avoid potential pesticides that have been used in conventional soybean crops while also potentially keeping your skin looking healthy and radiant.
Soybeans are a versatile legume that can be consumed in a number of ways, fed to livestock, and made into oils. When it comes to cosmetics, there is a potential for soybean oil to offer its many vitamins and isoflavones to the healing and rejuvenation of skin.
Agarwal, Dinesh K., Billore, S.D., Sharma, A.N., et al. “Soybean: Introduction, Improvement, and Utilization in India—Problems and Prospects.” Agricultural Research, vol. 2, iss. 4, Springer India, Dec. 2013, pp. 293-300, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40003-013-0088-0. Accessed 9 Jan. 2018.
Barrett, Julia R. “The Science of Soy: What Do We Really Know?” Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 114, no. 6, PMC, June2006, pp. A352–A358, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480510. Accessed 9 Jan. 2018.
Gray, Alic William, Nair Kusum, et al. “New Crops and Techniques.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Sept. 2016, www.britannica.com/topic/agriculture/New-crops-and- techniques#ref311919. Accessed 10 March 2017.
Messina, Mark J. “Legumes and soybeans: overview of their nutritional profiles and health effects.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 70, no. 3, Sept. 1999, pp. 439S-450S, ajcn.nutrition.org/content/70/3/439s.full.pdf+html. Accessed 9 Jan. 2018.