Rejuvenating and energising, evening primrose was traditionally referred to as the
‘kings cure-all’ due to its potent health benefits making it suitable for royalty
Concerned about dryness, irritation, roughness, or inflammation?
Or maybe you have noticed the odd fine line appearing of late?
Then evening primrose may be the power flower for you – its the skin saviour for minimising many a skin concern, especially during hormonal times.
And after reading this, we think you’ll agree; the delicate oil pressed from the seeds of the gorgeous yellow flower, should definitely be part of your beauty routine, especially if its healthy skin, hair, and nails your after.
So what is all the fuss about?
Well, it’s to do with the composition of evening primrose oil; it contains around 11% oleic acid, 70% linoleic acid, and between 9 to 12% GLA, 6% palmitic acid, and a small amount of stearic acid.
With so much linoleic acid in abundance, we can certainly expect evening primrose oil to restore an impaired barrier function and soothe dry skin, reduce scaling, inflammation, and itchiness.
It is also anti-oxidative in nature – meaning it quenches free radicals and chelates metal ions, making it the perfect oil for those concerned with premature ageing.
This understated oil’s real star attraction is the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which supports the production of prostaglandin E1 – important cellular messengers that help improve skin health.
GLA will also help restore your skin’s barrier function, increase skin hydration, and offer increased skin flexibility.
Applying GLA topically and taking it internally helps promote healthy skin and brings about a wide range of health benefits to the body.
If all this sounds truly great, but you still require some convincing – this article does a great job of detailing just how beneficial the oil is for your skin.
A brief history of evening primrose and its uses
Evening primrose has been documented as a medicinal plant since the 17th century. Referred to as the royals’ emollient – it was used on Kings and Queen’s to address a range of symptoms including; acne, asthma, diabetes, eczema, headaches, menopause, and rheumatism.
In traditional Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, the plant’s therapeutic properties have been used for centuries to address issues associated with allergies, circulation, high blood pressure, inflammation, immune deficiencies, the respiratory system, and the female reproductive system.
Among Native American communities of early settlers, traditionally the evening primrose plant was used to make infusions, and poultices to address bruises, wounds, and obesity.
For some, the plant’s roots even made up part of their diet – to support nutrition and help treat sore throats, stomach aches, and gastrointestinal problems.
Since the 1930s the evening primrose plant and its potent fatty acid properties are gaining increasing popularity, for their remedial activity both topically and internally.
Evening primrose beautifying benefits
A known anti-inflammatory
- It’s a rich GLA source – when applied topically, evening primrose exhibits soothing and moisturising properties, making it the perfect oil for sensitive skin types. By facilitating the healing process of irritated skin, it reduces the appearance of scars, soothes inflammation associated with topical allergies, and conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Helps with acne
- evening primrose oil delivers several benefits when treating acne. The fact that the oil is rich in GLA and exceptionally high in linoleic acid makes it perfect for treating those suffering from acne breakouts; as they are often deficient in these fatty acids,
- this study found that supplementing with 400 mg of GLA, significantly decreased the appearance of inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne over a 10 week period
- bacteria on skin assists in the prevention of overgrowth of detrimental bacteria like cutibacterium acnes – the bacteria that contribute to breakouts. Since many acne skin treatments can cause inflammation and impair a barrier function, it is a good idea to rebuild your skin barrier and calm inflammation proactively if you are suffering from this condition – this can be done by applying evening primrose in an oil blend topically, with a formula like bio lipid complex.
It has elastase properties
- evening primrose plays a significant role in increasing your skin’s flexibility, this it does by locking moisture into the skin’s tissues – hydrating the upper layers of your skin keeping it plump and supple
A superb anti-ageing oil
- it is extremely rich in vitamin E, making it the perfect anti-oxidant treatment for neutralising free radicals. If you re concerned with prematurely aged skin, you can benefit from applying this oil, as it not only moisturises your skin but also enhances elasticity as well as improves the texture of dull, depleted skin
- the polyphenols found in evening primrose are about 300 mg per kg of oil, they are found mainly as catechins in this oil, which act as an anti-bacterial agent on your skin
- evening primrose contains gallic acid, which has been studied as a burn and wound healer, that may even prevent infection during the healing process, so if you are suffering from breakouts, this is another great reason as to why you should include this oil in your skincare routine
- when used in your hair, evening primrose carrier oil is known to hydrate and soothe a dry itching scalp, fortifying hair strands, thus preventing or reducing hair loss. For a hydrating and soothing hair oil treatment, massage a tablespoon of evening primrose oil into your scalp and allow it to soak in for 30 minutes
- evening primrose oil is reputed to ease headaches, muscular aches, tiredness, depression, and irritability. It is believed to promote decisiveness and concentration while improving appetite, immunity, and memory.
As we can see, this is an essential oil, especially when it comes to maintaining your skin’s health.
Rich in GLA’s – precursors of our cellular membranes, studies have found that evening primrose used at 20%, offers significant barrier healing effects, maintaining the normal function of the epithelial barrier membrane and helping relieve conditions like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.
Part of healthy skin is a healthy microbiome – and linoleic acid that we know is found at 70% in evening primrose – is one of the best fatty acid fractions to help promote beneficial skin microbiome, so if your skin is a little out of whack, it may be the go-to oil of choice to balance the delicate microflora on the acid mantle, and rebuild a fragile barrier, returning your skin to its healthy, youthful, vibrant glow.
Google scholar: Systemic evening primrose oil improves the biophysical skin parameters of healthy adults
https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/evening-primrose-oil Evening primrose oil