Many are curious why it seems sunflower oil has become a more popular ingredient and more common in skin care products.
What exactly are their scientific skincare benefits?
Sunflower oil in skin care provides many benefits far beyond the nutrients it contains. USDA Certified Organic Sunflower Oil. However, not all sunflower oil is created equal.
For reference, we’re talking about high-oleic, cold-pressed, organic sunflower oil, the only kind used in our skin care products.
Organic sunflower oil has been shown to contain higher concentrations of antioxidants, so that’s what we use (USDA certified).
Sunflower Oil Types
High-oleic: This means (sunflower) oil that’s high in oleic acid – a monounsaturated fat (ty acid). High-oleic oils have better shelf stability than ‘linoleix’ oils. They also do a better job of retaining their nutrient profiles during processing like when we emulsify it with purified water.
Cold-pressed: It’s simply an extraction method; one that uses no additional heat or chemicals to extract oil from ingredients. This results in purer, more nutrient-dense oil.
Organic: Technically, this is a certification issued by regulatory agencies, “organic” generally means that not only natural ingredients are used in a product’s manufacturer.
Sunflowers produce a huge range of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins making them a great natural oil for skin care.
Here are some of them:
These are ingredients your skin (and the rest of your body) craves. For skin care, they should be applied topically (rather than orally) to ensure effective delivery.
Applying essential oils or acids directly to your skin isn’t a good idea because they can be strong irritants in their pure form. Your skin only needs trace amounts of these nutrients and much of them would go to waste.
Sunflower oil is an ideal “carrier” oil for many of these nutrients because it’s easy for your skin to absorb. Once absorbed, the nutrients penetrate deep into the hypodermis to nourish your subcutaneous fat cells (which fuel regeneration and renewal).
Your skin’s the barrier between the outside world and the rest of you. It constantly renews itself and produces sebum (oil) to ward off contaminants, pollutants, and microbes. Alas, sometimes it goes under or overboard and you end up with clogged pores that can harbor bacteria and lead to breakouts and infections.
“Sunflower oil for skin care is a non-irritant “non-comedogenic” oil, meaning it’s easily absorbed and won’t clog your pores”
Quite the opposite – it can even help clear them by loosening accumulated collections of bacteria, dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells. Its linoleic acid helps reduce inflammation caused by the aforementioned.
Oleic acid (“high-oleic”, remember?) has a high lipid count, making it a great natural moisturizer and one that can penetrate deep into your skin. You’ll often see it listed in soaps, lotions, and other skin care cleansing and moisturizing products for this reason.
Well-hydrated skin is soft and smooth provided there’s balance – you can think of swim-time pruny-fingers as ‘over-moisturized skin’).
Thanks to its polyunsaturated fatty acid content, sunflower oil has even been shown to help reduce the risk of infection by improving the skin’s barrier function and structural integrity.
The skin care science of sunflowers is ultimately that of a beautiful plant with a fascinating history of global production.
Remember, we’re talking high-oleic, cold-pressed, certified-organic sunflower oil for skin care because it delivers the best nutrition for superior results. Other varieties do exist but their mileage may vary.
The Green Ferns
Written by: Samantha W.