Researchers in dermatology have recently begun looking at the potential skin care benefits of a natural ingredient – sunflower seed oil. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there is a lot of focus on natural ingredients for skin care. Many current ingredients are naturally derived already and have been proven (which is why they are still our top recommendations), but dermatologists & researchers are also always interested in whether or not a given current “must have” ingredient will ACTUALLY help skin or if it’s a placebo affect caused by the media.
Recent studies have been showing promising results for sunflower seed oil. Sunflowers have been used by cultures in the North American southwest region for generations for a variety of purposes including food and medicine. The oil from sunflower seeds is rich in the essential fatty acid linoleic acid that supports and maintains the skin’s natural protective barrier and prevents water loss through the skin. It also appears to have anti-inflammatory properties.
What does this mean? Sunflower seed oils is showing promise in the treatment of eczema (atompic dermatitis) as well as a potentially beneficial moisturizer in general. When compared to olive oil, a common DIY moisturizing ingredient, studies suggest sunflower seed oil may be superior to preventing moisture loss and maintaining the skin barrier.
While more studies are still being performed to determine the ideal application amount & frequency and other such details, this ingredient may become a key ingredient in skincare as it is safe, inexpensive and easy to find. Of course, it should not be used if there is a known sunflower or sunflower seed allergy.
Source: Dermatology Times, "Skin barrier benefits of sunflower seed oil" http://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/dermatology-times/news/skin-barrier-benefits-sunflower-seed-oil