Using natural oils for everything from cooking to moisturizing to cleaning is very on trend right now. Articles touting the benefits of everything from almond to jojoba to rosehip and hemp seed can be found in countless skincare publications and blogs. For centuries these oils have been used on the skin for any variety of reasons, most commonly dryness.
New research now shows that sunflower oil, which contains linoleic acid, can help strengthen and improve the skin and potentially prevent eczema. Linoleic acid is classified as a vitamin but really acts more like a fat as it is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. It plays roles in brain function, bone health and metabolism, as well as skin and hair regeneration.
When used topically, linoleic acid is an anti-inflammatory and also moisturizes. It does this by strengthening the skins barrier to prevent water loss. Essential fatty acids have also been shown to maintain shine and strength of hair.
So why this new buzz about sunflower oil, which has been used for centuries? Products that prevent water loss by strengthening skin barrier have been shown to not just moisturize the skin and keep it looking beautiful, but also to decrease risk of eczema/atopic dermatitis as well as act as an anti-inflammatory. There have been several studies linking the use of sunflower oil on newborns to decreased rates of eczema at a fraction of the cost of other emollients . Recent studies on newborns showed that using sunflower oil decreased their risk for several different types of illnesses – all by using sunflower oil on the skin!
Sunflower oil is less expensive than many other ‘trendy’ oils such as olive or coconut oils and packs just a significant of a skin care punch.
Let us know if you try sunflower oil, we would love to hear from you!