Safflower oil is generally available in two types: high-oleic or high-linoleic. While high oleic safflower works well for dry skin, most other skin benefits are attributed to high linoleic safflower oil.
Benefits of safflower oil for the skin
In short, this oil has beneficial effects for the skin since:
- Fight acne.
- Lightens the skin.
- Fights wrinkles and dry skin.
- Improves wound healing.
1. Fight acne
Safflower oil rich in linoleic acid, which makes up about 70% of its composition, is just what your skin needs if you’re dealing with acne.
Low levels of linoleic acid can lead to hyperkeratinization, a condition in which elevated levels of keratin, which is a protein found in skin, hair, and nails, are seen. This causes dead skin cells to stick together instead of falling off, which in turn leads to clogged pores and blackheads on the skin. According to one study, topical application of linoleic acid for a month caused clogged skin pores or microcomedones to shrink by about 25%. So, apply some safflower oil to root pimples out and fight microcomedones before they turn into blackheads or whiteheads. It also helps that safflower oil is non-greasy and light.
2. Lightens the skin
Your skin increases levels of a natural pigment known as melanin when exposed to sunlight. Melanin protects the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays and also darkens the skin; That is why the skin tans in the sun. But research shows that linoleic acid has skin-lightening properties. It can suppress melanin production and decrease hyperpigmentation caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. It also accelerates the renewal of the outermost layer of the skin or the stratum corneum, which results in the removal of melanin. 5 The vitamin E in safflower oil also helps protect skin from the ravages of the sun thanks to its ability to counteract oxidative stress.
Linoleic acid has also been used to successfully treat melasma, a hyperpigmentation disorder in which dark spots appear on the skin. Therefore, applying safflower oil can help undo a stubborn tan and even out your skin tone.
3. Fight wrinkles and dry skin
Could safflower oil hold the secret to youthful, supple skin? Research seems to suggest so. One study found that middle-aged American women whose diets included higher amounts of linoleic acid had better, less dry skin with fewer wrinkles. Therefore, adding safflower oil to your cooking can translate to younger looking skin.
The study also found that a lower intake of carbohydrates and saturated fat along with a higher intake of vitamin C had beneficial effects on cell regeneration.
It also helps that safflower oil is rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that fights accelerated aging and skin wrinkles. With 100 g of safflower oil you have approximately 34 mg of vitamin E, which meets more than 200% of your daily value requirement.
Incorporate safflower oil into your cooking and weekly skin care routine. For example, add a little safflower oil every time you make a face mask to rejuvenate your skin. It also works as a light skin moisturizer.
4. Helps heal wounds
Research indicates that both topical application and oral administration of linoleic acid can help with wound healing. An animal study found that application of linoleic acid increased the healing mass of wounds, as well as the total DNA and protein content of wounds.
Meanwhile, another study looked at the effect of oral administration of linoleic acid on wound healing in diabetic rats. Consumption of linoleic acid was found to induce the formation of new blood vessels and improve wound healing. Linoleic acid may have a pro-inflammatory effect which could speed up the wound healing process.