Naturally occurring oils are amongst humanity’s most ancient skincare secrets. Among these oils is safflower oil.
When used properly, safflower oil boasts anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.
To learn more about this potent ingredient, we will discuss where safflower oil comes from, some overall health benefits of safflower oil as a topical agent, the moisturizing effects of safflower oil, and how the ingredient can be used to create effective skincare products.
What is Safflower Oil?
Carthamus tinctorius, commonly known as safflower, is an annual plant indigenous to dry regions around the world. Wild safflower predominantly grows in Asia, North America, Africa, and Australia. The plant sprouts yellow and/or white flowers.
Safflower oil is derived from Safflower seeds, and is similar in many ways to sunflower oil. There are two primary types of safflower oil: the one we use for dietary and skincare utilizations and another which is used for paint, varnish, and other commercial uses.
In the diet, safflower oil is prized for its plentiful concentration of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Additionally, safflower oil has been shown to help control glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes.
Safflower oil has a naturally high smoking point which surpasses olive oil, corn oil, sesame oil, and canola oil. This makes it a great alternative to traditional cooking oils for stir fries and deep frying.
Safflower Oil Skin Benefits
When it comes to skin care, safflower oil truly shines. Some oils are heavy and can oversaturate skin.
Other oils are too light to affect skin health. Safflower oil is a medium weight oil chock full of nutrients and healthy fats.
Here are just four of the major skin health benefits which can come from topical safflower oil usage:
- Natural moisturization: Safflower oil naturally hydrates skin and smoothes out some of the uneven spots.
- Acne combatant: Safflower oil is comprised of a high concentration of linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid which is found naturally on the skin as well. Many acne sufferers have a deficiency of linoleic acid, which safflower oil can help to reverse.
- Lightens age spots and uneven skin tone: Studies have suggested that safflower oil reduces certain forms of hyperpigmentation.
- Aids in wound healing: Linoleic acid has been shown to promote wound healing in animals. While we do not recommend using safflower oil as a wound healing product, this capability just goes to demonstrate the power of safflower oil.
Moisturizing Effects of Safflower Oil
Now to the main event: how does safflower oil fare as a moisturizer replacement?
It works quite well, but as a standalone product will likely not cover all of your moisturization needs.
Safflower oil moisturizes skin in two ways:
- It acts as a mild occlusive by creating a moisture barrier on your skin.
- It acts as an emollient by absorbing into the skin and delivering essential fatty acids and nutrients.
Incidentally, there is a third type of moisturization known as a humectant. Humectants actually attract moisture from your body and help it remain in the skin. These are generally water-based compounds.
Safflower oil does not work like a humectant. This limitations of safflower oil should not be viewed as a weakness. Safflower oil is exceptional at what it does best, delivering rich emollient to the skin.
When combined with other active ingredients and humectants, the final product is more potent.
Safflower Oil as a Traditional Chinese Medicine Ingredient
Safflower oil is one of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) ingredients. It has long been used as a dietary supplement and as a topical agent.
Modern medical advances has shown that safflower oil blended with other ingredients can be very potent to deliver various anti-aging and moisturizing benefits.
For example, consider our Nourishing Youth Serum. This natural, potent, and extensively researched product harnesses the power of safflower oil and other TCM ingredients to deliver unparalleled efficacy.
We have combined over a dozen natural oils with other natural ingredients including licorice and aloe barbadensis leaf juice to create a product which works as a moisturizer and serum!
Our Nourishing Youth Serum is manufactured without heat, allowing all the natural ingredients in the formula to be preserved. Heat destroys and destabilize rich nutrients like antioxidants. Our patented MicroDroplets technology also allows the serum to be absorbed quickly and effectively delivering all the nutrients to your skin needs.
Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare Harnesses the Power of TCM Ingredients
Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare is a family business started by Steven Wang, MD and Gui Wang, LAc. Our co-founders have been working together for over two decades to offer holistic, innovative, and effective skincare products.
We are guided by three primary principles: formulate skincare products with proven efficacy to promote skin health, harness the power of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and utilize the latest modern medical breakthroughs.