What is safflower? The safflower plant is a North American thistle-like plant that produces three main products: oil, meal and birdseed.1 And, where does safflower oil come from? The oil is derived from pressing or chemical extracting the seeds of the safflower plant.1,3 Safflower seed oil is transparent and the safflower oil smell is considered very light.3 Organic safflower oil is made from safflower plants that have not been treated with pesticides.
Safflower is frequently used as a carrier oil for essential oils, to dilute or mix other essential oils together. Many essential oils are too strong to use directly on the skin, so a carrier oil like safflower can be used to dilute these oils for topical application. From treating acne to improve the appearance of hair, learn more about the benefits of safflower oil, and where to buy this versatile oil.
Benefits of Safflower Oil
One of the most notable safflower oil benefits is its moisturizing properties. It’s often used as an ingredient in soaps, moisturizers, lotions and cosmetics for its ability to hydrate the skin and promote healing.1 It’s believed the high linoleic acid content present in safflower oil is what gives it its moisturizing properties.6
Safflower oil also has beneficial anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. The anti-oxidant properties of safflower are likely due to its high concentration of vitamin E.5
Safflower Oil for Skin
The high linoleic acid content of safflower oil makes it ideal to enhance the moisture and natural radiance of skin. With increased moisture, users have also reported improvement in overall skin tone and healing of blemishes.
In recent years, safflower oil acne treatments have become increasingly popular, as it’s free from harsh chemicals that often dry out sensitive skin. Pure safflower oil has been shown to be mildly comedogenic (pore-clogging), and may be better suited for users with dry skin.4 To use safflower oil for acne prone skin, combine 2-4 drops of either lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil or lemon essential oil, with 1 Tbsp. of safflower carrier oil.4 Wet your face with warm water, and apply the mixture onto your skin. Gently massage in a circular motion. Then, wipe your face with a damp face cloth, taking care to remove all the oil. With safflower oil, acne will be calmed and skin will be moisturized.
There is an abundance of uses for safflower oil, skin moisturizer being one of the most popular. As a moisturizing agent, safflower oil can easily be incorporated into your everyday beauty routine. Simply massage a few drops into your skin after washing your face in the morning and evening. This method doesn’t require rinsing, just make sure to use a very small amount of oil.
Safflower oil for massage is another great way to use this versatile oil to benefit your skin. Its light, non-greasy texture makes it a wonderful choice for at-home massage. To make a safflower massage oil, mix 10 Tsp. of safflower oil with 5 drops of lavender essential oil, 2 drops of chamomile essential oil and 2 drops of frankincense essential oil. Use 1 Tsp. of your blend at a time to add a touch of luxury to your next massage. Or, rub this mixture into your legs and arms if you have a few dry spots.
Safflower oil can also be used on your body as a soap and is known to produce a mild cleansing and lathering effect. For an easy safflower oil soap recipe, combine 12.7 oz. of safflower oil, 9.5 oz. of coconut oil, 9.5 oz. of palm oil, 11.5 oz. of distilled water and 4.43 oz. of lye. Users can then add essential oils such as lavender or rose essential oils to create a unique aroma. As a general rule, users should add 3-5% essential oils per pound of base, carrier oils. This recipe can be made using the hot process, room temperature or cold process methods.
Safflower Oil for Hair
The moisturizing properties of safflower oil extend to hair and the scalp, due to the rich concentration of linoleic acid.6 Using natural safflower oil for hair can help keep your hair shiny and radiant, and it is free of harsh chemicals often found in commercial shampoos. For users looking to promote hair growth, combine with essential oils such as rosemary essential oil, cedarwood essential oil, lavender essential oil and thyme essential oil, which when combined, have been shown to promote hair growth for alopecia areata patients suffering from hair loss.7
Where to Buy Safflower Oil
Previously, high quality and organic safflower oil could only be found at specialty health shops. Now, due to advancements in technology, safflower oil Canada and USA customers have access to pure safflower oil from the comfort of their own home. If you’re interested in purchasing safflower oil, buy online to ensure products come from the best possible vendors.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Bergman, J. & Handel, K. (2013). Safflower Production. North Dakota State University Agriculture Department. Retrieved June 6, 2017 from https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/crops/a870.pdf.
- Boland, M. (2012). Safflower. Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. Retrieved June 6, 2017 from http://www.agmrc.org/commodities-products/grains-oilseeds/safflower/ – View reference.
- Baümler, E., Fernández, M. B., Nolasco, S. M., & Pérez, E. E.. (2014). Comparison of safflower oil extraction kinetics under two characteristic moisture conditions: statistical analysis of non-linear model parameters.Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 31(2), 553-559. https://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0104-6632.20140312s00002467
- Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (1985). 6 Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Safflower Oil. International Journal of Toxicology. Vol 4, Issue 5, pp. 171 – 197. Doi: https://doi.org/10.3109/10915818509078690.
- Masterjohn C. (2007). The anti-inflammatory properties of safflower oil and coconut oil may be mediated by their respective concentrations of vitamin E. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Vol 49(17):1825-1826. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2007.04.001.
- Newton, I. S. (1996). Long Chain Fatty Acids in Health And Nutrition. Journal of Food Lipids, 3: 233–249. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-4522.1996.tb00071.x.
- Hay, I. C., Jamieson, M., & Ormerod, A. D. (1998). Randomized trial of aromatherapy: successful treatment for alopecia areata. Archives of Dermatology, 134(11), 1349-1352. Retrieved June 8, 2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9828867.