• Chris

SKINGREDIENTS - Borage (Starflower)

Borage, commonly known as Starflower and often listed as Borago Officinalis extract or Borage seed oil, is a non-fragrant, moisturising plant which we believe is one of the kindest skin care ingredients due to its abundance of the essential fatty acid Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA).

So what exactly is Borage?

Borage is an annual herb in the flowering plant family Boraginaceae. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalised in many other locations. It grows well in gardens in the UK climate, remaining in the garden from year to year by self-seeding. The leaves are edible and the plant is grown in gardens for that purpose in some parts of Europe. The plant is commercially cultivated for borage seed oil extracted from its seeds.

Borage seed oil has one of the highest amounts of γ-linolenic acid (GLA) of any seed oil; higher than blackcurrant or evening primrose, to which it is considered similar. GLA typically comprises about 24% of the oil.

How can it be used in skin care?

Borage Seed Oil is most commonly found as part of facial oils/serums or within skin balms.

What skin benefits does it bring?

Helps to combat skin inflammation

Lack of GLA can occur when there is a reduction of the efficiency of the conversion (for instance, as people grow older or when there are specific dietary deficiencies) or in disease states wherein there is excessive consumption of GLA metabolites. There is strong evidence to suggest that GLA can have soothing properties and therefore as a result the topical application of borage seed oil would naturally be helpful for those dealing with inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis/ eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne.

Helps to specifically combat dermatitis/ eczema

Recently, topical application of borage seed oil has been shown to reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. There is also some evidence that topical application of borage seed oil might be helpful for infantile seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that causes a red, itchy rash on the scalp. It seems to heal the condition within 1 to 3 weeks.

Does it come with any side effects?

No side effects are commonly reported; the topical application of borage seed oil is considered safe and non-toxic. It has no known drug interaction, no toxic effects and no adverse effects through long terms use.

There is some evidence to suggest that borage seed oil might prolong bleeding time in open wounds so it is recommended that its use on broken skin is avoided.

Who is it beneficial for?

Those suffering from inflammatory skin disorders such as dermatitis/eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne.

Which Skind products contain Borage Seed Oil?

Below are a handful of our favourite cruelty free and irritant free skin care products which feature Borage (Starflower) Seed Oil.


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