Spotlight On Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil is, perhaps, one of the less known oils used in skincare. It is certainly one of the less studied. That means that many of its benefits, such as its supposed ability to treat acne and eczema, haven’t been proved yet (although we do know it does nothing to reduce the symptoms of PMS).

But the scant research has also shown that Evening Primrose Oil has a few properties that can benefit skin in other ways. So, what does it do in skincare products?

Evening Primrose Oil is an excellent moisturizer

Rich in omega-6 fatty acids, Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to improve skin’s barrier function and skin’s hydration in patients affected by atopic dermatitis. However, it worked only when used in water-in-oil emulsions, not amphiphilic emulsions. This means that, when applied with the proper vehicle, Evening Primrose Oil is a good moisturizer for people with dry skin.

Evening Primrose Oil has antioxidant properties

Studies have also found that Evening Primrose Oil has antioxidant properties that can help fight free radicals, thus helping slow down premature aging. Its antioxidant properties also prevent the deterioration of skincare products, helping them last longer. However, due to the scarcity of studies, we don’t know yet how well it works when applied topically on the skin, and how it compares to other antioxidants. This means that, to reap maximum benefits, Evening Primrose Oil is best used in conjunction with other antioxidants.

The Bottom Line

The few studies available on Evening Primrose Oil have shown that it has good antioxidants and moisturizing properties. All its other supposed benefits, however, have yet to be proved.

Do you use Evening Primrose Oil?

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  1. says

    I have evening primrose in my spring garden, though it’s still so cold here it will be about a month until it comes up. There’s a common name for it that I just can’t remember. I have exfoliative keratolysis which may be related to eczema. I will try evening primrose oil when the condition returns as it does every year around late May or June to see if it works. Don’t know whether I could take the flowers and soak them in oil and use that, do you?
    Allison´s last blog post ..Urban Decay Black Market 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil SetMy Profile

    • Gio says

      Allison, I’m sorry to hear about your condition. I haven’t been able to find any studies about how effective evening primrose oil is for exfoliative keratolysis, but hopefully its moisturizing properties will be able to relieve at least the symptoms. Evening primrose oil is made from the seeds, so, unfortunately, it’s unlikely that soaking the flowers in oil will work. :(

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