Sunflower oil is becoming more popular in skin care regimens, and for a good number of outstanding reasons. Sunflower oil provides many benefits and supplies many essential nutrients to ensure healthy skin, and adding it or products containing it to your routine is a great way to help your skin stay in its best possible condition.
Sunflower oil is a naturally nonirritating and non-comedogenic oil, meaning your skin can absorb it easily and it won’t cause clogged or obstructed pores. In fact, quite the opposite. Sunflower oil helps clear your pores by helping to loosen any bacteria, debris, or dead skin cells which might be present. It’s high in linoleic acid, which helps reduce any inflammation which might be caused by acne or contaminants on or in the skin. It also contains oleic acid, which has a high lipid count, making this fatty acid a fantastic natural moisturizer that penetrates the upper layers of skin without causing any irritation. Due to its high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids, sunflower oil can guard against infection by keeping your skin well hydrated and moisturized.
Sunflowers naturally produce a wide array of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, which makes sunflower oil an outstanding skin care product. Among the fatty acids mentioned above, sunflower oil also contains vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, as well as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, and lecithin. Sunflower oil also contains the essential minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc. These nutrients all contribute to the health of your skin when applied topically, or directly on the skin. While it certainly isn’t harmful in any way to consume sunflower oil orally, it’s not the best way to get these nutrients to your skin.
Sunflower oil is so gentle that it makes an ideal carrier oil for other essential oils or nutrients from other sources, as it helps these nutrients be more easily absorbed by the skin. The composition of sunflower oil allows these nutrients to penetrate the skin to nourish and replenish subcutaneous fat cells beneath the epidermis, and it’s these cells which power the regeneration and renewal of your skin.
Sunflower oil is naturally high in antioxidants, which guard against damage that can be caused by free radicals—and can even work to destroy those free radicals as they occur. Free radicals are molecules that are “unpaired,” meaning they’re missing an electron, which makes them highly reactive and destructive. Free radicals can be caused by UV rays, exposure to environmental pollutants or other contaminants, and are created naturally by our bodies over time.
Because they are so reactive, they can cause a considerable range of damage to the tissues of the body (even including heart disease and cancer) by “stealing” electrons from the molecules which make up important cells in the body, rendering them unstable, which leads to cell death. Antioxidants are any substance which has an “extra” electron, and can freely “donate” it to any free radical, which makes the free radical molecule neutral.
The vitamin C in sunflower oil is crucial to maintaining healthy skin. It’s important to the process of collagen production, and has antioxidant properties that help to reduce damage caused by sun exposure. Collagen is a part of the underlying support structure of your skin, and healthy collagen both prevents and reduces wrinkles.
Sunflower oil is especially rich in Vitamin E, which is one of the best antioxidant vitamins. It also reduces inflammation and moisturizes dry or sun damaged skin, guarding against signs of aging.
The vitamin K in sunflower oil prevents the hardening of elastin, which is a stretchy protein in the skin that gives it its supple quality. Vitamin K plays a major role in reducing the wrinkles by keeping that elastin soft and flexible.
Sunflower oil is a fantastic source of the essential fatty acids, Omega-3, 6 and 9. All three of these monounsaturated fatty acids prevent and reduce inflammation, protect against infection, and reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles caused by sun exposure.
Sunflower oil also contains a considerable amount of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins that are important to good health. Amino acids power your skin’s natural renewal process, providing the fuel your skin needs to replace skin cells as well as produce collagen, elastin, and other various components required for healthy skin.
Sunflower oil is also a rich source of lecithin, which contains an abundance of choline and other essential fatty acids. It’s a powerful emollient, which aids in making your skin feel smooth and supple by restoring hydration.
As we’ve seen, sunflower oil is a robust ally to your skin and beneficial to any skin care routine. The next time you see a sunflower, don’t just think of it as a beautiful plant—think of it as a source of wonderful skin care nutrients.