Borage Oil | Benefits For Your Skin
Borage oil is a natural supplement used by many to enhance their skin and body in general. The oil is used to soothe the skin and keep dry skin hydrated. It is also used to cure various skin disorders like eczema, acne, and wrinkles.
Are hearing about borage oil for the first time? Would you love to know more about borage oil’s health benefits for the skin? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you should read on.
What is borage oil?
It is a by-product of borage seeds. Borage seeds are from borage officinalis plants. This plant, which is also known as “bee plant” has long been used for various purposes. It had long been used to:
- Heal chronic illness
- Soothe back pain
- Prevent heart diseases
- Regulate blood sugar levels in the body
These plants are hairy and have star-shaped blue flowers all over them. The plant was used over 1,500 years ago by the English Empire to cure depression. It was also used in the Roman Empire to relieve stress.
They grow annually in the Mediterranean. You can also find it in other countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe in general.
Though these plants served various purposes in times past, today, it has been tailored to serve more pressing human needs. Each part of the plant holds various benefits but the focus of this article will be on borage oil.
Borage oil is processed by “cold-pressing” borage seeds to bring out the oil extract. It is an essential oil and holds “tons” of health benefits for human skin and bodies. Borage oil is also referred to as borage seed oil.
The seed oil is known to keep skin hydrated. It is one of the best and most effective natural supplements for treating dry skin.
It has a yellowish-gold color and is packed with fatty acids known as gamma linolenic acid (GLA). It has been found that borage oil contains up to 24% of GLA. This fatty acid is of great benefit to the skin and the whole body system. This is why borage oil is in body creams and other beauty products.
What makes borage oil different from other oils?
Borage oil has unique qualities that distinguish it from other oils. One major quality that makes borage oil different from every other oil is its richness in gamma linolenic acid.
What is gamma linolenic acid?
Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that’s from plants or plant by-products. This fatty acid is of great benefit to the body. Because of its powerful benefits, it is used for medicine.
GLA is used to treat different diseases like:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
Gamma linolenic acid is a rare kind of fatty acid and is only present in evening primrose oil and borage oil. But, borage oil is richer in gamma linolenic acid compared to evening primrose. While evening primrose has only 9% of GLA, borage oil has 24%.
Forms of Borage Oil
Borage oil comes in two main forms. They are:
- The supplement form
- The oil form
The supplement form: This form of borage oil is made into soft gels and capsules and is meant to be ingested. It is ideal for reducing inflammation. It can also be used to protect the body system against external attack.
The oil form: The oil form is derived from cold pressing borage seeds. This form of borage oil is meant to be applied on the skin or the hair. It is ideal for treating skin disorders.
What are the health benefits of borage oil for the skin? There are many things borage oil does for the human body, below are a few of the important ones.
Health Benefits of Borage Oil
1. It moisturizes the skin
Borage oil is one of the best natural skin moisturizers. It helps your skin to keep its moisture. It also enriches your skin and makes it smoother and healthier. If you are suffering from scaly and dry skin, borage oil might be your best bet. You can use it to treat your dry skin and make it more attractive and “alive.”
Skin experts recommend borage oil as one of the best supplements to apply to the skin because it is rich in GLA. GLA nourishes the skin and replenishes any essential nutrients that your skin is lacking. This is so your skin does not become dry.
2. It serves as skin care:
Apart from borage oil being a natural moisturizer it also serves as skin care. In its pure form, it is packed with essential nutrients that will enrich the skin and make it healthier. This is why many top skin care and beauty products contain an amount of borage oil in them.
You can also use borage oil as a skin conditioner by rubbing it in on your skin and carrying it around anytime. Its texture is light and it will not clog your skin pores like other heavy oils. You can use borage oil as a stand-alone conditioner or with other supplements like avocado oil.
Using borage oil as skin care will make your skin glow, smooth and free of wrinkles.
3. It treats eczema:
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is caused by skin inflammation. The low output of delta-6-desaturase handles the production of protective oil in the skin. This is responsible for skin inflammation. In turn, this will lead to dryness and itchiness of the skin. Borage oil is a natural supplement that treats eczema. It soothes any itchiness that accompanies eczema.
According to research done in 2003, there was no improvement of any kind after ingesting borage oil as a means of treating eczema. But, newer research notices a great improvement. Especially when patients used borage oil topically and also ingested it. So, when you are using borage oil to treat eczema, it is best to rub in it the affected area (ingesting is optional). This method has proven to be effective compared to the other method.
One way to use borage oil to treat eczema is by rubbing it on the affected areas and wearing an undershirt on it. Don’t worry about your undershirt, your skin will absorb the oil shortly after you have applied it.
4. It treats acne:
Acne doesn’t look good on the skin, it takes away from its beauty and can make one feel uncomfortable. One of the best ways to treat acne is using borage oil. Rubbing the oil on the area affected by it will keep it hydrated. It will also soothe the inflammatory that caused the acne and replenish the skin in general.
Borage oil is rich in gamma linolenic acid. This acid regulates the production of the sebum protective oil in the skin. The shortage of protective oil is one of the major causes of acne.
Borage oil also neutralizes toxins present in the skin cell. Thereby giving you healthy skin. Last, it reduces and eventually eradicates any scars caused by acne.
- It might take up to a month to start seeing positive changes on the affected area of your skin while using borage oil.
5. It reduces the spread of cancer:
Borage oil is one of the best natural treatments for cancer. The oil will reduce the outbreak of cancer. It can also reduce the rate at which cancer turmoil is growing in the body.
Borage oil is fortified with GLA. This will protect your body cells, fix the damaged cells, and reduce the pace at which foreign substances are growing in the body.
The best way to use borage oil to treat cancer is by adding a decent amount of it in your diet. It is advisable that you check in with your doctor before you ingest it. Borage oil can be used to treat any type of cancer.
6. It Facilitates Hair Growth:
Almost everyone desires to have full and healthy hair. The great news is that borage oil can help you get your desired full and long hair.
Borage oil is a major ingredient in hair food and different hair products. This is because it plays a major role in boosting hair growth. Applying borage oil to your hair will reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress hinders rapid hair growth. It will also enrich the scalp and the hair follicle with the essential fatty acid that it is lacking.
Using borage oil as a hair conditioner will soothe your dry scalp. It will even ward off dandruff and other hair disorders.
To use borage oil as a hair conditioner, massage your scalp with the oil. Leave it overnight and let your scalp absorb the oil.
Borage oil is also a great remedy for excessive hair loss and baldness.
It is also a great remedy for men with scanty and unformed beards. Massaging facial hair with borage oil will serve as an exfoliator. It will hasten the growth of thick, shiny and full beards in place of the scanty and unformed one.
Last, it is a great natural remedy for irritation in the scalp.
7. It serves as an anti-aging remedy:
Do you want to grow old and still look young without going to a plastic surgeon? You should consider using borage oil. Borage oil contains omega 6-fatty acid that will help you maintain good, young, and healthy skin.
Applying borage oil on your skin will make your skin tender and free of wrinkles and black rings. It is also packed with antioxidants that will slow down the aging process of your skin cells.
Borage oil also contains magnesium and calcium. These allow your skin to regenerate its dead cells with new ones. It will also make your skin firmer and more elastic.
To use borage oil as a natural anti-aging remedy, apply some of the oil on your palm and massage your skin with it. Leave it for your pores to absorb every bit of it.
8. It strengthens the immune system:
Borage oil has different essential vitamins and nutrients. These will strengthen your skin and body system firewall and ward off any illness or infection.
Factors To Consider When Buying Borage Oil
You can grab any bottle of borage oil at any beauty store of your choice. But, before you do that there are some factors that you must consider. These factors will guide you into making the right choice. They’ll help you avoid getting your skin into trouble.
Some of them include:
- Allergies: The first question to ask yourself before buying and using borage oil is, “am I allergic to it?” You most likely will not know if you are allergic to borage oil or not if you are considering using it for the first time. It is advisable that you buy a bottle, rub a little on the back of your hand, and wait a few days to see if your skin reacts to it.
If your body reacts to it, you should walk away.
- Product credibility: Consider the credibility of the brand whose product you are buying. Is their product certified? Is it safe to use? Is it 100% pure and is it free of any artificial preservatives? If the answer to all these questions is not “yes” then you should consider another brand.
Most credible brands’ products will bear a seal on it.
- Packaging: Borage oil should be packaged in dark containers. This is because exposing the oil to direct sunlight will make it lose its potency.
- Color and Texture: 100% organic borage oil has a yellowish-gold color. Any other shade or variation of color proves that the oil is not 100% organic. It also has a non-sticky and non-greasy texture. It is not too light or too thick.
Possible Side Effects And Risks
Although using borage oil holds a lot of benefits, it also has its possible side effects too. What is one major side effect of heavily ingesting borage oil? It can cause some serious problems like breathing disorders, seizures, and heart failure. This is because borage oil has traces of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. This can cause any of the previous complications. To be safe, it is advisable to use only hepatotoxic PA-free borage oil.
Some other minor side effects of using borage oil are indigestion, belching, vomiting, and nausea. It can also cause rashes and swelling.
Note: It is advisable to consult your doctor before you ingest borage oil.
There’s no doubt that borage oil has immense health benefits to the skin and the body system in general. But, it is important to use it with care and caution. Abusing borage oil can lead to severe complications. Use it moderately.
It is also important to find out whether you are allergic to borage oil or not. Do this before you begin using it extensively. The oil is not ideal for anyone who is considering going for surgery. This is because it slows down blood clotting.
When shopping for borage oil, ensure you are buying from a trusted source, and that it is 100% organic. Only buy borage oil that has the “hepatotoxic PA-free” tag on it.
What if you do not notice any changes or improvements after using borage oil for a while? If this is the case, it is advisable that you visit your dermatologist.