The Power of Safflowers
Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), a thistlelike annual, is one of the oldest cultivated crops, its use dating back to ancient Egypt. Safflower is now primarily cultivated for its vegetable oil, which is extracted from its seeds. Safflower oil has been found to exert notable health benefits when consumed through the diet and also when used in topical formulations.
Safflower oil is one of the richest sources of linoleic acid, which is necessary for the endogenous production of ceramides, key components of the epidermal layer that play a crucial role in barrier function and help the skin retain water. Safflower oil contains omega-6 fatty acids, acting the same way a lubricant does, forming a barrier, which prevents water from escaping. Because it helps skin retain water, it leaves the skin radiant, soft, and smooth. Safflower oil also helps to enhance the texture and tone of the skin.
The oil pressed from the safflower seeds is very high in vitamin E, which offers many health benefits. Vitamin E is recognized as a potent antioxidant and a great line of defense against free radicals, which are molecules that tend to attack collagen and help to prematurely age the skin.
With its light, non-greasy consistency, safflower oil is absorbed quickly into the skin, making it an excellent moisturizing oil suitable for all skin types. Safflower oil moisturizes skin in two ways:
- It acts as a mild occlusive by creating a moisture barrier on your skin.
- It acts as an emollient by absorbing into the skin and delivering essential fatty acids and nutrients.
Research has also shown that safflower oil works to reduce skin inflammation and plays a significant role in wound healing. Once an injury to the skin occurs, the body begins to create a wound matrix, which is an immune response that helps break down the tissue where the wound happened. Then the process of wound repair begins, allowing new cells to form and move to the wound area. The topical application of oils like safflower oil and its vitamin E component helps to expedite this process.
Extracting oil through a cold-pressing procedure involves neither heat nor chemical treatments since the seed's oil is obtained by crushing it. When oils are produced under lower temperatures (below 122˚F) this way, they retain far more antioxidants. Our cold-pressed safflower oil is sourced in North Dakota from locally grown safflowers.