Safflower oil

Safflower oil is a base oil for cosmetics. In the past, safflower oil was available in every store like sunflower oil. Safflower oil was believed to have many health effects. It was recommended for salads and for other cooking. However, safflower oil was displaced by olive oil by time.

Now it is really hard to find safflower oil anywhere. Fortunately, some online stores selling cosmetic ingredients have added this fine oil to their selections. What are the benefits of safflower oil in skin care and how should it be utilized in the DIY-cosmetics? That’s what I’m going to tell you now.

Safflower oil is an ancient product

The safflower flower is very intensely orange. It is still used for dyeing
Photo pearly- peach Pixabaystä

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) is one of the oldest crops in the world. Safflower is a plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. It has been cultivated already in ancient Mesopotamia. Safflower do flourish in moderately warm areas. It also tolerates both drought and salt well.

Safflower’s Latin name tinctorius refers to the use of plant for dyeing. The flowers of safflower are intense orange red in colour. Initially, safflower was grown only for dyeing purposes. The red colour of safflower was replaced in the 20th century by synthetic aniline dyes and the popularity of safflower declined.

In cooking, very expensive saffron is replaced by safflower flowers. Safflower oil has also been used for a very long time for cooking, edible oil and in cosmetics. The paint industry is using safflower oil instead of linseed oil in some paints.

Safflower oil is currently produced in the USA, Kazakhstan, Mexico, India and Turkey.

Features of safflower oil

Safflower oil is an ideal oil for many purposes. Safflower oil is clear and very light in colour. It is also an almost tasteless and odourless oil. These features make safflower oil quite popular in both cooking and cosmetics.

The special smells, tastes and strong colour of oils easily dominate the whole product. Safflower oil does not have this problem. Therefore, safflower oil is particularly well suited as a base oil for cosmetics.

There are two different types of safflower oil

The original safflower oil is particularly rich in linoleic acid. Since linoleic acid is a very easily oxidizing oil, a variety rich in oleic acid was also developed. Linoleic acid-containing safflower oil is especially suitable for cosmetics. Safflower oil containing oleic acid is better for nutritional use. However, safflower oil with high concentration of oleic acid does not actually contain very much oleic acid, so it is also perfect for cosmetics.

Fatty acids from safflower oil

Since there are two different types of safflower oil, please find below two different fatty acid content. You should check with the seller the exact contents. ​​Different lots may vary a lot depending on the weather, variety, etc.

  • Linoleic acid 71% – 84%
  • Oleic acid 8% – 18%
  • Palmitic acid 4% – 8%
  • Stearic acid 2% – 3%

Safflower oil is especially good for skin care

The main fatty acid in safflower oil is linoleic acid. It is an essential fatty acid for the production of ceramides. Ceramides are important components in the formation of the protective layer of the skin. If the skin lacks ceramides, it easily becomes irritated and dry.

Safflower oil is a very well absorbed skin care oil

As a mild, light oil, safflower oil is suitable for both young and aging skin. It doesn’t clog pores at all, so I recommend it for acne prone skin as well.

Safflower oil has a particularly high vitamin E content

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from aging. Skin aging is affected by free radicals. Their effect is enhanced, for example, by excessive sunlight. Vitamin E in safflower oil blocks the action of free radicals. On the skin, this is reflected in smoother skin and a reduction in dark spots on aging skin.

Safflower oil reduces inflammation on the skin and soothes the skin

Safflower oil accelerates wound healing and skin cell regeneration. The vitamin E in safflower oil helps the skin quickly form new cells to replace the dead ones.

Safflower oil helps the skin maintain its moisture balance. It forms a barrier on the skin so that moisture stays where it should to be.

The comedogenic classification of safflower oil (clogging of skin pores) is 0. This means that safflower oil can also be recommended for people suffering easily clogged pores. Only very few oils get a comedogenic value of 0.

Safflower oil is also suitable for haircare products

Safflower oil is also often used in haircare products. Its particularly high vitamin E content helps to moisturize the hair and the dry scalp. Because safflower oil is high in linoleic acid, it is able to be well absorbed into the scalp, improving blood circulation and nourishing it. The scalp needs a lot of nutrients to grow healthy and strong hair. Improved blood circulation as well as hydration really help a lot in this.

How do I use safflower oil in cosmetics?

In this picture, the safflower is ripe and ready to be harvested
Photo Bishnu Sarangi Pixabaystä

Safflower oil acts as a carrier oil in cosmetics, to which special oils and essential oils can be combined. Above all, carrier oil is required to be indistinguishable and that safflower oil is.

Prepare herbal oils from safflower oil

Safflower oil is particularly suitable for extraction. I think safflower oil is much better choice when making herbal oil than olive oil. However, make sure that the safflower oil you buy has as much best before -date left as possible. Herbal oil should not be made from aging oil. The herbs you dried in the summer are worth of good oil.

Safflower oil is well suited as a base for creams

It is well absorbed and does not leave the skin oily. Safflower oil has the ability to retain moisture on the skin. So, combine moisturizing ingredients such as glycerol with safflower oil cream to get a really effective moisturizing cream. If you want a little more protection in safflower oil, you can also try adding a few drops of sea buckthorn berry oil.

Safflower oil is my favourite oil for oil cleansing

I often combine it with a drop of deep cleansing castor oil as well as sunflower oil or rice bran oil. You can easily wipe the safflower oil away from your face using a moist, warm towel. If you are doing double cleansing, you can use the cleanser of your choice after the oil cleansing.

Safflower oil is suitable for caring oil serums

The oils used in the oil serum should be easily absorbed and that is what safflower oil is. Use safflower oil (or herbal oil made from safflower oil) as the base for the serum. I also often add a little jojoba oil to the serum to enhance the absorption of the active ingredients. Feel free to choose other special oils for your serum as well to bring in more antioxidants and more curability. Only your imagination is the limit.

Remember that as a linoleic acid-containing oil, safflower oil gets spoiled easily. Therefore, always store the oil bottle in the refrigerator. Likewise, all products made from safflower oil should be stored protected from light, preferably in a cool place.

Have you already tried safflower oil?

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