Evening primrose oil is derived from the evening primrose flower that has been used to heal wounds for centuries. Containing omega-6 fatty acids, this flower is native of Europe and the United States. The use of evening primrose oil for acne is often because of its anti-inflammatory properties and it’s high content of gamma-linoleic acid. The ability to reduce inflammation is mainly due to the fatty acids. If you’re interested in using evening primrose for acne, check out the information below.
How Evening Primrose Oil Works?
Evening primrose oil balances the fatty acids in your body. This is necessary because it’s difficult to obtain a sufficient amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids through food alone. In fact, that’s the reason why there has been an increased focus on the consumption of fatty fish and other sources of fatty acids. It’s an important nutrient for your body because it aids in healing through the reduction of inflammation.
Many doctors have pointed to inflammation in the body as a culprit in worsening certain conditions, such as acne, eczema and other types of dermatitis. Some even recommend evening primrose oil for acne to reduce or prevent breakouts. Common brands of evening primrose include Puritan’s Pride, Blackmores and Nature’s Bounty.
Types of Acne Treated with Evening Primrose Oil
Not all acne is the same. There are some breakouts that result in blackheads, while others are cystic and remain under the surface of the skin. Cystic acne is more likely to cause scars and worsen during times in a person’s life when their hormones are unbalanced, such as puberty and menopause for women. When there is scarring, the consistent application of evening primrose oil may reduce the visibility of those scars.
How to Use
Some prefer to start with supplements when using evening primrose oil for acne, while others choose to only use a topical solution. When consuming evening primrose as a supplement, it’s usually taken once a day. Since it depends on the formulation, it’s important to follow the instructions provided. The amount of evening primrose that should be used as a topical solution will depend on where it’s being applied and the severity of your acne. If you’re unsure of which method to use, consider consulting with your doctor for guidance. Notably, pregnant women may not be able to take evening primrose oil. Additionally, it may not be suitable to take when breastfeeding.
Potential Side Effects
It’s possible to have side effects from ingesting evening primrose oil and from using it as a topical solution. Side effects will sometimes include discomfort, redness or swelling in the area where applied. If this happens, it’s important to contact your doctor or seek emergency care as necessary. To mitigate the issue of side effects, consider starting with a low dose and increasing that amount as you monitor the results.
As with any other topical product used, it’s best to try a patch test to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. After a successful patch test, you can use evening primrose for widespread inflammation, a spot treatment, a moisturizer or a mild breakout.