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Sunflower seeds are often overlooked but I’ve been adding to salads and snacks lately and I started to wonder about the oil for skin. It turns out sunflower oil has been used for centuries for skin and hair health, drawing its benefits from the antioxidant properties, vitamins, and other elements found in sunflower seeds themselves. Sunflower oil skin benefits include reducing skin irritation, scarring, and stretch marks, and improving skin tone and texture.1
Sunflower oil is rich in essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and polyunsaturated fats that help moisturize dry skin, protect the skin from UV radiation damage and restore the skin barrier2. Sunflower oil—thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties—has many uses. Some people cook with it, while others use it topically as part of their daily skin routine.
The benefits of sunflower seed oil go beyond skin care. The anti-inflammatory benefits of sunflower oil can help:
- Improve heart health and reduce the chance of heart disease
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Decrease inflammation in the joints
Nutrients in Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and proteins. These nutrients offer the many sunflower oil skin benefits3
Sunflower oil is rich in vitamin A, which can improve your skin health and give it a radiant glow. Vitamin A (retinol) has myriad skin benefits, including:4
- Improving skin texture
- Stimulating the production of new skin cells
- Reducing the appearance of fine lines
- Preventing acne breakouts
Vitamin E is found in large amounts in sunflower oil, which helps to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. These chemicals are connected to a variety of skin conditions and age-related deterioration.5
Vitamins E in sunflower oil may help the skin with :
- Reducing the appearance of scars
- Protecting against UV damage
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving skin elasticity
Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health, but it also offers benefits for any skin type.6
Vitamin K can help to:
- Reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles
- Fade bruises
- Prevent spider veins
- Lighten stretch marks
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Sunflower oil is also a source of omega-6 fatty acids. These fats are important for maintaining healthy skin and preventing chronic disease. Additionally, sunflower oil contains small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Though these fats are typically found in fish and other seafood, they offer a number of health benefits, including:7
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving heart health
- Lowering cholesterol levels
Proteins and Amino Acids
Sunflower oil contains important proteins and amino acids that play a role in cell regeneration. These nutrients work together to:8
- Tighten skin
- Fade stretch marks
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Amino acids are also the building blocks of collagen, which is essential for maintaining healthy, youthful skin.
Related: The Ultimate Guide To Antioxidants In Skin Care
Sunflower oil is a versatile and healthy oil that offers many benefits for the skin. Its nutrient-rich composition makes it an excellent choice for those looking to improve their skin health.9
13 Sunflower Oil Skin Benefits
1. Treats Skin Conditions
Sunflower oil is both a moisturizer (provides hydration) and has emollient properties (smooths the skin)10. This combination makes it a popular choice for skincare products. It can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including:
- Dry skin
It reduces irritation of the skin and is safe for sensitive skin because it is non-irritating and light.
2. Reduces Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties of sunflower oil can help to soothe the skin and reduce irritation. Additionally, sunflower oil can help to with wound healing and decrease the appearance of scars.11
3. Nourishes the Skin
Sunflower oil is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as omega-6 fatty acids. These nutrients work together to nourish the skin and keep it healthy12. The skin’s protective barrier is also strengthened, resulting in softer, smoother skin.
4. Reduces the Appearance of Fine Lines and Wrinkles
The nutrients in sunflower oil can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles making it an excellent facial oil. Additionally, sunflower oil can help to improve skin elasticity and while the vitamin A helps with the development of new skin cells13.
Related: Beauty Hack: A Frozen Cucumber To Reduce Puffy Skin
5. Protects Against UV Damage
Sun damage is one of the leading causes of fine lines, wrinkles, and premature skin aging. Free radical damage can also lead to skin cancer. The vitamin E in sunflower oil helps to protect the skin against damage from harmful UV rays14.
6. Improves Skin Texture
The monounsaturated fat, stearic acid, and other unsaturated fatty acids in the sunflower oil help to improve skin texture. These nutrients help restore the skin’s natural barrier by reducing epidermal water loss and improving overall skin hydration15.
7. Fades Dark Under-Eye Circles
The vitamin K in sunflower oil can help to fade dark under-eye circles. This nutrient helps to improve blood circulation and reduce the appearance of puffiness16. Combined with its nourishing and hydrating properties, sunflower oil is an excellent choice for those looking to improve the appearance of their under-eye area.
8. Soothes Sunburned Skin
The anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties of sunflower oil can help to soothe sunburned skin. This oil can be used as a natural remedy to help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with sunburn. Environmental stressors, such as wind and cold, can also lead to irritation of the skin. Sunflower oil can help to protect the skin against these stressors and reduce the risk of skin damage.17
9. Promotes Wound Healing
The vitamin E in sunflower oil helps to promote wound healing by reducing inflammation and helping to form new scar tissue. While the beta-carotene in sunflower oil helps to protect the skin against free radical damage.18
10. May Prevent Acne
Oily skin is one of the leading causes of acne. The non-comedogenic properties of sunflower oil make it an excellent choice for those with oily skin. This oil can help to regulate sebum production and prevent the clogging of pores. The anti-inflammatory properties of sunflower oil can help to reduce the redness and inflammation associated with acne.19
11. Brightens Skin
The antioxidant properties of sunflower oil help to brighten the skin and improve overall skin tone. Being a great source of vitamin E, this oil can help to protect the skin against environmental damage and free radical damage.20
Related: These Vitamins C Serums Will Immediately Give Your Skin A Healthy Glow
12. Relieves Dry, Itchy Skin
The hydrating and nourishing properties of sunflower oil can help to relieve dry, itchy skin. This oil can help to restore the skin’s natural moisture balance and improve overall skin hydration. The anti-inflammatory properties of sunflower oil can help to soothe the skin and reduce irritation.21
13. Promotes Healthy Hair
The scalp is skin too. Natural oils can help to promote a healthy scalp and hair. This oil can help to nourish the scalp and hair follicles, as well as help with hair growth. This nourishing oil can also help to prevent dandruff and split ends.
Sunflower oil contains many nutrients good for the skin, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants. The easiest way to reap sunflower oil skin benefits is to add a few drops of sunflower oil to your favorite lotion or directly to your skin. Be sure to purchase cold-pressed, organic sunflower oil for the best results.
You can also purchase products that contain sunflower oil as an ingredient, such as body lotions, face creams, soaps, and shampoos. Check out some of our favorite sunflower oil skin care products below.
Sunflower Oil Products For Skin
This eye cream contains sunflower oil, along with other superfood ingredients like kale, spinach, and alfalfa. This eye cream helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while also brightening the under-eye area.
Oil cleansing is a popular method of cleansing the skin. This cleansing oil contains sunflower oil, along with other oils like jojoba and olive oil. It helps keep the skin hydrated and soft while also removing makeup and dirt.
A clean bronzing oil that contains sunflower oil, along with other oils like jojoba and rosehip oil. This oil helps to give the skin a natural-looking bronzed glow. Visible skin toning and hydration benefits can also be seen with regular use.
This body oil contains sunflower oil, along with other oils like sweet almond oil and grape seed oil. It helps to give the skin a natural-looking glow while also providing hydration. Packed with antioxidants, this oil helps to protect the skin against free radical damage.
There are many ways to enjoy the benefits of sunflower oil for your skin. Whether you use it as a carrier oil, add it to your favorite products, or purchase products that already contain it, sunflower oil is sure to give you beautiful, healthy skin.