Meg mulls over this question…I found this Canadian product called FaceDoctor – Rejuvenating Soap that says, “The active ingredient, Seabuckthorn Oil, is clinically proven to kill the Human Demodex parasite.” I’m intrigued! Can you shed some light?
The Left Brain’s mitey response:
Thanks so much for the question, Meg. I love learning more about parasites. If after reading this post you can’t get enough parasite talk, check out the excellent book Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer. Anyway, there are a few things in this question that warrant some Beauty Brains enlightenment. What is the demodex parasite & is it a problem? Is Seabuckthorn Oil anything special?
First, the parasite talk. The human demodex (mite) parasite is a microscopic critter that lives in the hair follicles of 96 – 98% of all people. Yes, you are quite likely a mite motel. It eats oils, hormones and other fluids around your hair follicles.
According to Jerry Butler , professor of entomology, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, these mites are generally harmless. But some people believe that a rapid multiplication of these little free-loaders can cause all sorts of skin problems including acne. However, there has never been a conclusive study to show these might mites actually cause ANY problems. It’s quite possible they are completely harmless.
Of course, that’s not going to stop the marketing machine of some skin care companies. This shameful company claims that 90% of all adolescent acne is caused by demodex mites. Ridiculous! Clearly, they won’t let scientific evidence get in the way of their “feelings” about creepy critters.
But what about the folks over at Facedoctor and their Seabuckthorn Oil? Well, they say that “Seabuckthorn Oil is clinically proven to kill human demodex parasite” but I couldn’t find any peer-reviewed, published research that verifies this. The only ingredients I found proven to kill these mites are alcohol, tea tree oil, caraway oil, and dill weed oil. Not even the primary sellers of Sea buckthorn oil claim it kills the demodex parasite. They say it’s good for skin but nothing about the parasites. It is a bit suspicious.
The Beauty Brain’s bottom line
Despite what the folks over at Facedoctor say, there is no evidence that Seabuckthorn Oil kills the demodex parasite and even if it did, there is no evidence that demodex have any negative impact on skin at all. Their soap may be a fine product but don’t expect it to make your face “parasite free”. Face it, you’ve got mites and they aren’t going away. The good news is that you can live in peace and harmony with your mites. Oh if only the rest of humanity could learn this lesson.
If you just can’t get enough of this parasite talk, click on this link for more mite pictures .