Starflower Oil Benefits for Anti-Aging Skin Care

Updated on December 7, 2016
Willow Sidhe profile image

Willow Sidhe is a nature enthusiast with over a decade of experience creating natural health and beauty products for herself and her family.

Starflower oil, also referred to as borage oil or borage seed oil, is derived from the seeds of the borage plant (Borago officinalis). The oil's name comes from the borage plant's purple star-shaped flowers. Used for a variety of medicinal purposes, the oil is also a little-known secret for keeping your skin healthy and young. It can be applied topically or taken internally for similar results. Starflower oil is reputed as the ultimate skin hydrator and moisturizer, and it is often employed for the treatment of eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. The oil restores moisture and smoothness to dry, damaged skin. It may also help reduce the onset of skin aging if used as part of an overall anti-aging skincare routine.

The borage plant, sometimes called starflower, is a wildflower and medicinal herb that grows natively in temperate regions around the world. The plant produces attractive blue to purple star-shaped flowers on fuzzy stems. Borage seeds are most prized, however, because they contain the plant's healing oil. In fact, the oil is the richest known source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that helps protect and moisturize the skin.

Scientists and researchers believe that starflower oil helps restore the moisture barrier of the skin, whether it has been damaged by environmental factors, or if dryness is caused by genetics or a skin disorder. In one clinical trial, patients were treated with a topical cream containing starflower oil for a period of two weeks. The results of the trial indicated that the oil is effective at restoring smoothness and moisture to skin. Additional research promotes internal use of the oil for keeping skin smooth, moisturized and supple.

Borage Plant (Borago Officinalis)
Borage Plant (Borago Officinalis) | Source

Fatty Acids

The body produces GLA from linolenic acid, another essential fatty acid found in various foods. Nuts, seeds and some unrefined vegetable oils all contain linolenic acid. The acid is converted to GLA by enzymes present in a healthy person's body, and in turn, the GLA is converted to a hormone-like substance known as prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). This substance acts as an anti-inflammatory agent within the body, making it useful for treating inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

Starflower oil is unique because it provides a direct source of GLA, and the body does not have to create the substance from linolenic acid. This essentially cuts out the hard work that would normally be performed by your body. As you age, your body become less efficient in converting linolenic acid to GLA, which is another reason this oil is so beneficial to older people and those concerned about the effects of aging. Obtaining this fatty acid directly by taking starflower oil is a surefire way to reduce the chance of developing inflammatory conditions associated with aging, such as arthritis.

Starflower Close Up
Starflower Close Up | Source

Research

GLA is essential to healthy skin, and deficiencies of the acid have been found in individuals suffering from skin disorders. Scientific research has found that people with skin problems characterized by dry skin and inflammation have an increased level of linolenic acid and a decreased level of GLA. This is likely because the body has a difficult time converting the linolenic acid, or something is blocking the conversion process. As a result, the body has less PGE1, which causes inflammatory skin conditions, dry skin, aged skin and increased moisture loss.

Supplementing the diet with starflower oil, or applying the oil topically to the skin may help improve many skin problems. Researchers have found that even serious skin conditions may be reduced by starflower oil's ability to reduce inflammation and promote moisture retention. A study published in 2009 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that individuals taking borage oil internally for 12 weeks experienced a significant decrease in skin reddening, roughness and scaling, and an increase in skin hydration. Similar results have been reported by other clinical trials.

Purchasing and Taking Starflower Oil

Although starflower oil is very useful for individuals with aging skin and inflammatory conditions, almost anyone can benefit from supplemental GLA. Look for starflower oil in your local health food store, where it is also marketed as borage or borage seed oil. You can also order the oil online from reputable retailers.

For the best results, moisturize and heal your skin from the inside out by sprinkling borage oil onto your favorite foods, adding it salad dressings or mixing it into smoothies. If you don't like the taste of the oil, simply purchase it in capsule form and take according to the manufacturer's ingredients. Whatever you do, never heat starflower oil, as this changes its composition, making it a poor source of GLA.

If you have a skin condition or just want to protect your skin against the effects of aging, you can rub the oil directly into your skin once or twice daily. If you decide to take starflower oil internally, consult your doctor first just to be safe. You should always talk to a qualified physician before you begin taking any new herbal supplement.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

        Great hub. I never heard of starflower oil before and ought to check it out Very useful!

      • profile image

        John 3 years ago

        I have been taking Starflower Oil (1000mg daily) along with gnsocuamile and cod liver and evening primrose Primarily I started taking SF Oil as my skin became really greasy and spotty after coming off the pill. I feel like a blimmin teenager sometimes with all these spots! Its been really quite depressing to have so many spots on my forehead and red marks from old spots so I am feeling a bit self conscious even with make up onShould I increase or decrease the SF Oil? Not sure if the oil' is making my skin oilier or not . or just continue to take the same dosage. I don't want to do anything that could make my skin any worse!!!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, bellatory.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://bellatory.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)