Sunflower oil in Skin Care
Sunflower oil (Helianthus annuus) is an unsaturated fat derived from sunflower seeds. It is used in countless skin care products for its high concentration of linoleic fatty acids and its anti-inflammatory properties.
Sunflower oil is safe for most skin types and serves a variety of functions depending on the order of your skin care regimen.
It is one of the most popular oils used in skin and hair care products.
Is sunflower oil used in skin care?
Yes, sunflower oil is used in skin care in a variety of products like moisturizers, sunscreens, or massage oils, and face creams.
It has anti-inflammatory properties, and is used to treat many kinds of inflammation.
It can be used in practically all types of oil-based skin care products.
To find out if products containing sunflower oil are right for you, be sure to shop by your Baumann Skin Type.
Is Sunflower oil good for the skin?
Yes, sunflower oil is considered good for skin for many reasons including its high concentration of linoleic fatty acids which are known to be anti-inflammatory.
Sunflower oil is great as an ingredient in moisturizers, and is commonly used to hydrate skin.
Benefits of sunflower oil?
Sunflower oil has oleic, linoleic, palmitic, and stearic fatty acids- each of which has effects on the skin.
Sunflower oil is used in a massive variety of product types from moisturizing creams to body oil sprays and eye saving serums.
Is sunflower oil a clean ingredient?
Yes, sunflower oil is considered a clean, often organic ingredient.
It’s an entirely natural ingredient, and sourced sustainably.
Is sunflower oil safe in skin care?
Yes, for most skin types it is considered a good ingredient in skin care.
The EWG score for sunflower oil is a “1,” the second best score possible after “verified.”
This means that sunflower oil is considered extremely safe for use and is sustainably sourced.
Very few people are allergic to sunflower oil, with reactions only being mild in those rare cases.
Sunflower oil is recommended for numerous dry skin condition treatments.
Does sunflower oil have side effects?
Oleic acid makes microscopic perforations in the skin which allows water to evaporate off the skin and aids in absorption of other skin care ingredients, allergens and irritants.
This can be a good thing in resistant skin types who have trouble getting ingredients absorbed into their skin barriers, but may be bad for sensitive skin types.
To avoid skin inflammation or irritation, make sure you consult a dermatologist about whether sunflower oil products should be used on your skin.
Is sunflower oil good for sensitive skin types?
Sunflower oil can be good for certain sensitive skin subtypes because it has high amounts of linoleic acid and is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not clog pores.
Using sunflower oil does not cause acne if used properly in your skin care regimen.
However, sunflower oil is a dry oil, which means it leaves a film behind as it oxidizes.
If you’re concerned about clogged pores, be vigilant about washing the film off based on your dermatologist’s advice.
What kind of oil is sunflower oil?
Some people might also categorize it as an essential oil, as it is pressed sunflower seed extract.
It can be considered both an essential oil and an unsaturated oil.
Sunflower oil compared to other oils?
Compared to other oils, sunflower oil is considered affordable, effective, versatile, and common.
As an unsaturated fat, sunflower oil is less occlusive and hydrating than oils that have saturated fatty acids in them.
It does not form as thick a barrier on skin as some other oils.
What Vitamins are in sunflower oil?
Sunflower oil has these vitamins:
Not many oils are as nutritionally diverse as sunflower oil.
Overall, sunflower is a gentle yet effective oil usable for most skin types and conditions as well as being natural and cheap to buy.
Is sunflower oil used for hair care?
Your hair is made of proteins which can be dehydrated and damaged much like your skin can.
Oils like sunflower oil are great for use in hair care or hair repair.
Hair absorbs oil extremely well, meaning they can take in lipids easily.
Be careful not to use too much oil in your hair, as it will all be absorbed, shaping your hair into heavy locks.
Overuse of oils in hair will lead to greasy texture and wet appearance.
Is sunflower oil right for me?
Sunflower oils might be good for your skin if you:
Have dry skin
Want an oil that feels less greasy than saturated oils
Are looking for affordable skin care products
Care abut the environment and sustainability
It is safe for use in hair care, skin care, and baby care; it very well might be right for you too.
To find out if sunflower oil is right for your skin, take the quiz below, and shop by your Baumann Skin Type.
Which fatty acids are in sunflower oil?
Different oils have different combinations of fatty acids, with not all fatty acids present in all oils.
Sunflower oil's fatty acids are primarily oleic, linoleic, palmitic, and stearic fatty acids.
To see how sunflower oil compares to other oils in terms of fatty acid content, check out this table below.
Differences between argan oil and sunflower oil?
Argan oil and sunflower oil come from two different plants.
Sunflower oil comes from sunflower seeds.
Argan oil is collected from the kernels of the argan tree.
They are both unsaturated fats and plant extracts.
Argan oil has a lower concentration of linoleic fatty acids than sunflower oil, but higher concentrations of oleic fatty acids.
Is sunflower oil the same as safflower oil?
Sunflowers and safflowers sound deceptively similar, however they are two different flowers.
Safflower's INCI name is Carthamus tinctorius.
Both plants’ seeds are used for their extracts in skin care, and both contain unsaturated fats.
Because of their similarities of names and function, some people might think they're the same product.
They are extremely similar, but not exactly. The two oils are often interchanged freely for those reasons.
Their fatty acid concentrations vary slightly, see the table above to compare specifics.
Another flower extract used in skin care is evening primrose oil, click here to learn about this fascinating flower in skin care!
Can you use Sunflower Oil with Retinoids?
Sunflower oil would be effective at helping retinoids absorb into skin because of linoleic acid.
The small perforations linoleic acid can cause would open pathways for retinoids.
Conversely, sensitive skin types might want to avoid using this combination, because increased absorption of retinol will increase side effects.
Using a retinoid with sunflower seed oil elsewhere in the regimen will affect how well your skin care routine works.
Let us guide you on choosing the best skin care products and skin care routine for your skin type.
Is sunflower oil safe to use while pregnant?
Sunflower oil is absolutely safe to use during pregnancy.
In fact, sunflower oil has even been observed to assist with the condition of subclinical breast inflammation because of its effect on milk cytokines.
This condition changes the nutritional content of breastmilk, which can inhibit growth in infants.
Sunflower oil supplement intake correlated to improvement in the nutritional value of breastmilk and the babies' outcomes.
There is no research that suggests using sunflower oil either orally or topically negatively impacts pregnancy.
Sunflower oil can be combined with skin lighteners if you are experiencing melasma during pregnancy.
Is sunflower oil safe for babies?
Sunflower oil is considered very gentle on skin. It is safe for use in babies.
It is a slightly occlusive oil that can protect a baby's skin from diaper rash, eczema and other skin irritations.
One study in Bangladesh found that use of sunflower oil in newborns decreased contraction of a particular bacterial infection by 41% in a study of hundreds of babies. (23)
Make sure to consult a pediatrician on how best to use sunflower oil for your baby.
Which are the best sunflower oil products in skin care?
Here are just a few of the most popular sunflower and safflower oil skin care products:
To find out which products are right for your Baumann Skin Type and to get a skin care routine for your skin type, take the quiz.
Best scientific references and peer reviewed articles on the use of sunflower oils in skin care products:
- Mulokozi, G., & Bilotta, S. (1999). Milk cytokines and subclinical breast inflammation in Tanzanian women: effects of dietary red palm oil or sunflower oil supplementation. Immunology, 97(4), 595-600.
2. Yang M, Zhou M, Song L. A review of fatty acids influencing skin condition. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020;19(12):3199-3204.
3. Spruit D. The interference of some substances with the water vapour loss of human skin. Dermatologica. 1971;142(2):89-92.
4. Draelos Z. Moisturizers. In Atlas of Cosmetic Dermatology. Draelos Z, ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone, 2000, p. 83.
5. Wehr RF, Krochmal L. Considerations in selecting a moisturizer. Cutis. 1987;39(6):512-5.
6. Kligman AM. Regression method for assessing the efficacy of moisturizers. Cosmet Toilet. 1978;93:27-35.
7. Morrison D. Petrolatum. In Dry Skin and Moisturizers. Loden M, Maibach H, eds. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2000, p. 251.
8. American Academy of Dermatology Invitational Symposium on Comedogenicity. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1989;20(2 Pt 1):272-7.
9. Schnuch A, Lessmann H, Geier J, Uter W. White petrolatum (Ph. Eur.) is virtually non-sensitizing. Analysis of IVDK data on 80 000 patients tested between 1992 and 2004 and short discussion of identification and designation of allergens. Contact Dermatitis. 2006;54(6):338-43.
10. Tam CC, Elston DM. Allergic contact dermatitis caused by white petrolatum on damaged skin. Dermatitis. 2006;17(4):201-3.
11. Ulrich G, Schmutz JL, Trechot P, Commun N, Barbaud A. Sensitization to petrolatum: an unusual cause of false-positive drug patch-tests. Allergy. 2004;59(9):1006-9.
12. Harris I, Hoppe U. Lanolins. In Loden M, Maibach H, eds. Dry Skin and Moisturizers. Loden M, Maibach H, eds. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2000, p. 259.
13. Proserpio G. Lanolides: emollients or moisturizers? Cosmet Toilet. 1978; 93:45-48.
14. Kligman AM. The myth of lanolin allergy. Contact Dermatitis. 1998;39(3):103-7.
15. Boonchai W, Iamtharachai P, Sunthonpalin P. Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from essential oils in aromatherapists. Contact Dermatitis. 2007;56(3):181-2.
16. Bleasel N, Tate B, Rademaker M. Allergic contact dermatitis following exposure to essential oils. Australas J Dermatol. 2002;43(3):211-3.
17. DiNardo JC. Is mineral oil comedogenic? J Cosmet Dermatol. 2005;4(1):2-3.
18. Blanken R, van Vilsteren MJ, Tupker RA, Coenraads PJ. Effect of mineral oil and linoleic-acid-containing emulsions on the skin vapour loss of sodium-lauryl-sulphate-induced irritant skin reactions. Contact Dermatitis. 1989;20(2):93-7.
19.. Agero AL, Verallo-Rowell VM. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Dermatitis. 2004;15(3):109-16.
20. Tolbert PE. Oils and cancer. Cancer Causes Control. 1997;8(3):386-405.
21. Rawlings AV, Lombard KJ. A review on the extensive skin benefits of mineral oil. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2012;34(6):511-8.
22. Boucetta KQ, Charrouf Z, Aguenaou H, Derouiche A, Bensouda Y. Does Argan oil have a moisturizing effect on the skin of postmenopausal women? Skin Res Technol. 2013;19(3):356-7.
23. Darmstadt GL, Mao-Qiang M, Chi E, Saha SK, Ziboh VA, Black RE, et al. Impact of topical oils on the skin barrier: possible implications for neonatal health in developing countries. Acta Paediatr. 2002;91(5):546-54.
24.Danby SG, AlEnezi T, Sultan A, Lavender T, Chittock J, Brown K, et al. Effect of olive and sunflower seed oil on the adult skin barrier: implications for neonatal skin care. Pediatr Dermatol. 2013;30(1):42-50.
25.Cooke, A., Cork, M. J., Victor, S., Campbell, M., Danby, S., Chittock, J., & Lavender, T. (2016). Olive Oil, sunflower oil or no oil for baby dry skin or massage: a pilot, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled trial (the Oil in Baby SkincaRE [OBSeRvE] Study). Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 96(3), 323-330.