While you may have heard people talking about oils such as coconut oil and grapeseed oil, have you ever heard anyone mention sunflower oil for skin? You probably know it best as the oil used in the kitchen, but it actually comes in many different forms and has various purposes and benefits, especially for the skin. Even though it’s been around since ancient times, only recently has an increasing number of skincare brands started including the nutritious oil in their products. Its popularity is growing thanks to its skin-loving properties. Sunflower oil helps with skin conditions such as acne, and many people swear by it.
What is sunflower oil?
Sunflower oil is a non-comedogenic carrier oil that can be used by all skin types, even the most sensitive kinds. It comes from the gorgeous Helianthus annuus (sunflower) plant and is obtained by pressing the seeds of the sunflower, usually cold-pressed extraction, which is the best kind for your skin.
Sunflower oil contains several elements that are beneficial to the skin, including:
- Vitamins A, C and D
- Vitamin E - an antioxidant that acts as an anti-inflammatory for skin
- Linoleic acid - strengthens skin’s barrier
- Oleic acid - calms skin and reduces dryness
- Sesamol - brightens skin and protects from hyperpigmentation caused by the sun
- Palmitic acid - hydrates skin
- Steraric acid - smooths and softens skin
Containing beneficial ingredients such as these, it is clear why sunflower oil is at the top of every skincare guru’s list of magic skincare ingredients.
10 benefits of sunflower oil for skin
The compounds in sunflower oil have many benefits that perk up skin. A few of these benefits include:
- Reduces signs of ageing
- Fights acne
- Keeps skin moisturised
- High in vitamin E
- Soothes skin
- Strengthens the skin's barrier
- Heals wounds faster
- Suitable for any skin type
- Contains beta-carotene
Let’s dive into these benefits a bit further.
1. Reduces signs of ageing
In our search for eternal youth (or at least its appearance), it can be tough to find a natural way of fighting pesky signs of ageing, such as crows feet and fine lines. Unfortunately, people resort to bringing out the big guns and going for Botox or extremely expensive cosmetic procedures to maintain their youthful appearance.
Thankfully, with the help of the all-natural movement and the scientific community's involvement, a more natural way of living and dealing with everyday issues, such as the appearance of ageing, is gaining popularity. More and more people are turning to organic or natural products to deal with their signs of ageing, and it has been a great success.
Sunflower oil is especially beneficial for helping reduce and protect against signs of ageing, thanks to its many antioxidant properties. The vitamin E found in it helps skin maintain elasticity by protecting collagen and elastin found in the skin. It also protects the skin from free radicals and sun damage. This helps reduce the appearance of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles.
2. Fights acne
As a non-comedogenic oil, sunflower oil does not block pores, making it suitable for people that suffer from acne. It is rich in fatty acids and vitamins such as vitamin A, C, and D. These compounds help fight acne-causing bacteria and generate new skin cells, leading to smoother, healthier skin and fewer breakouts. It also helps keep acne-prone skin moisturised, which is essential in the prevention of acne breakouts. It may sound counterproductive to moisturise already oily skin, but it is crucial to keep your skin hydrated, even if it is oily. If your skin gets too dry, it will lead to the overproduction of oil as your skin tries to compensate for the lack of moisture. This will obviously lead to a breakout.
Sunflower oil is a brilliant alternative for people scared of the chemicals found in over-the-counter acne-treating products.
3. Keeps skin moisturised
As mentioned before, it is important to keep skin hydrated to avoid breakouts or dehydrated skin. Sunflower oil has emollient properties, which means it helps skin retain its moisture by forming a hydrating layer over the skin. This works well with other compounds found in sunflower oil, such as vitamin E, which locks in moisture, helping skin stay hydrated. Furthermore, the linoleic acid found therein is also beneficial for dehydrated skin, as it limits water loss by maintaining the skin’s natural barrier. It also protects against bacteria.
4. High in vitamin E
Vitamin E is a powerhouse vitamin. It contains so many benefits for the skin and can be found in most skincare products that are worth their salt. It is an antioxidant known best for protecting the skin from harmful UV rays and free radicals, but it has many more benefits.
Other vitamin E benefits for the skin include:
- Combats acne
- Reduces signs of ageing
- Prevents hyperpigmentation
- Soothes and heals skin
- Keeps skin hydrated
- Smooths and softens skin
The list goes on. Vitamin E is one of the most beneficial ingredients found in sunflower oil and is probably one of the main reasons sunflower oil is getting so popular.
5. Soothes the skin
Sunflower oil contains anti-inflammatory properties, which soothe irritated and inflamed skin. This makes it ideal for helping people suffering from skin conditions such as sensitive skin, psoriasis and eczema, thanks to the vitamin E and omega-6 found in sunflower oil. These ingredients reduce inflammation and soothe red, irritated skin. Furthermore, the omega-6 acid helps generate new skin cells.
6. Strengthens the skin's barrier
Sunflower oil contains linoleic acid, which strengthens the skin’s barrier and limits water loss. Likewise, it protects from bacteria and germs. A study done in 2013 found that sunflower oil is effective in maintaining the strength of the skin’s natural barrier, even more so than olive oil.
Furthermore, the vitamin E found in sunflower oil protects from free radicals and other environmental effects by replenishing the outer layer of skin,
By strengthening the skin’s barrier, sunflower oil forms a protective barrier on your skin to keep it free from stressors and bacteria.
7. Heals wounds faster
While much more research needs to be done to confirm this, it is believed that the oleic acid found in sunflower oil helps wounds heal faster by acting as an anti-inflammatory and regenerating skin cells. A study done on animals found that open wounds healed faster when sunflower oil was applied. However, while this is promising evidence that sunflower oil speeds up the healing process, more research needs to be done - and on humans. We DO NOT agree with testing on animals.
8. Suitable for any skin type
Sunflower oil can be used on any skin type, dry, oily or even sensitive. However, it is especially good for dry skin with its water-retaining properties. When used on skin, sunflower oil removes dead skin cells and dry flakes, leaving your skin feeling and looking smooth and hydrated.
Sunflower oil appears not to irritate the skin, no matter how sensitive it is. However, make sure you do a patch test before using it on your skin to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction to it.
9. Contains beta-carotene
Beta-carotene is a rust coloured pigment found in fruit and vegetables. When you eat these foods, your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol). Vitamin A is important for skin, as it speeds up healing, helps maintains skin’s health, helps skin stay hydrated and prevents breakouts. Beta-carotene has antioxidant properties that help keeps skin clear and glowing.
10. Smooths and softens skin
With all its skin-loving properties, sunflower oil smooths and softens skin without leaving it feeling greasy. It is a great way to soften skin with a rough texture and combat flaky, uneven skin.
How to use sunflower oil for skin?
Sunflower oil can be used daily on skin. Here’s how to use it:
- Put a small amount of sunflower oil in the palm of your hand. Make sure your hands are clean before you do this.
- Gently massage into your skin with the tips of your fingers until the oil is fully absorbed. Sunflower oil absorbs quickly, so this won’t take long. Make sure to avoid your eyes.
- Concentrate on areas that are most in need of attention
Make sure you store your organic sunflower oil properly to ensure it loses none of its beneficial properties. Keep it in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
Are there any side effects when using sunflower oil for skin?
Sunflower oil is generally safe to use on skin for most people. However, it may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive or allergic to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. This includes plants such as daisies, marigolds and more.
Check with your doctor, especially if you have allergies, to ensure that it is safe for you to use sunflower oil. If you’re in the clear, it is advisable to do a patch test first to see how your skin reacts to it.
Quality products containing sunflower oil
There are many ways you can add this skin-friendly oil to your beauty regimen. You can use organic sunflower oil as is, or as a carrier oil to dilute essential oils for your skin. If you’re looking for something a bit more luxurious, however, there are various skincare products that contain sunflower oil., such as Poko’s Correcting Eye Cream. This award-winning eye cream is much-loved for its creamy formula, brightening properties, and novel applicator. The Correcting Eye Cream uses all-natural ingredients to keep your under-eye skin puff and dark circle free.
If you’re more interested in moisturisers, we have the Ultra Hydrating Moisturiser and Regenerating Collagen Moisturiser which also contain sunflower oil. The Ultra Hydrating Moisturiser locks in moisture and protects skin from free radicals, while the Regenerating Collagen Moisturiser reduces dullness and signs of ageing.
All Poko products are third-party lab tested, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Try these Poko products to see the full effects of sunflower oil and other yummy ingredients.