Safflower oil is a light, non-greasy oil that is great for dry and acne-prone skin.
Properties of Safflower Oil
The botanical name for safflower is Carthamus tinctorius. You should find this name when buying the oil.
Color and Smell
The oil has a golden yellow color and does not have any real odor.
The comedogenic rating of this oil is one. That means it is perfect for all skin types including acne-prone skin.
What is in the oil?
Safflower oil is made up of fatty acids. There are actually two types of the oil. One is high in oleic acid and the other is high in linoleic acid. Of course, the oil rich in linoleic acid is preferred for skincare and beauty regimes.
In the linoleic-rich version, linoleic acid can make up 70% to 85% of the oil. It also contains oleic acid (5% to 30%), palmitic acid (5% to 10%), stearic acid and linolenic acid.
You should know safflower oil has one of the highest levels of linoleic acid among all of the carrier oils. It contains more than evening primrose, grapeseed, sunflower and prickly pear seed oils.
Safflower Oil Benefits
Few studies look into the specific benefits of safflower oil for skin. But the oil is rich in linoleic acid, which has many desirable skincare and beauty benefits. So we can assume that the effects of linoleic acid will translate into the benefits of safflower oil.
Safflower may help repair skin
An interesting 2017 review noted:
Oils with a higher linoleic acid to oleic acid ratio have better barrier repair potential, whereas oils with higher amounts of irritating oleic acid may be detrimental to skin-barrier function.
And you already saw safflower oil is one of the richest sources of linoleic acid among the carrier oils. That means the oil can help improve and repair skin better than olive oil and macadamia oil.
It may reduce comedones
Linoleic acid is helpful when it comes to reducing comedones. Comedones are whiteheads and blackheads. So if you have lots of comedones, then linoleic acid is the fatty acid you need.
And which carrier oil has one of the highest levels of linoleic acid? Safflower!
It’s a great source of essential fatty acids
This is an interesting safflower oil benefit.
A 2005 study looked at the increase of fatty acids in the blood of 120 babies after being massaged. The babies were massaged with either safflower oil, coconut oil or neither (control). In the oil groups, the babies were massaged with 5 milliliters of oil four times a day for five days. Blood samples were taken before and after the massages.
And the results? The safflower oil group saw increases in linoleic acid in their blood. That’s great since the acid can help babies build up their skin barrier function.
While many swear by safflower oil, there isn’t more research into its specific benefits. When there are more studies, I’ll definitely update this section.
Where to buy safflower oil
You can find safflower oil everywhere – your local pharmacy, health store and, of course, on Amazon. You can try any of these brands:
Safflower Oil Uses
Before using safflower oil, you should make sure you are not allergic to it. If you have any allergies to ragweed, then you’ll probably be allergic to safflower.
Even if you don’t have ragweed allergies, you should patch test the oil before using it. Take a few drops on your fingers and massage it behind your ears and on the inside of your elbow. These are your sensitive areas. Leave the oil on for a few hours and check the areas.
If they burn or turn red, then rinse the area properly. You may have safflower allergies. If you’re all good then you can add the oil to your beauty routine. Try any of these uses:
Hmm! How else do you use safflower oil? Share it with us in the comments below.