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Borage Oil, Organic

Borago officinalis

Cold pressed

Therapeutic; beauty and hair  products

Borage – also known as the starflower, due to the star shape of its attractive blue or white flowers – originated in the Mediterranean, and is now naturalized in many other countries, including Britain.   The oil, cold-pressed from the small black seeds of the plant, is quite heavy and may need to be warmed before application .

Although the oil penetrates the deeper layers of the epidermis, it also leaves an oily, protective barrier on the skin.  Borage oil can be mixed with a light carrier oil, such as apricot kernel (in a ratio of, say, 10% borage to 90% apricot,) to avoid the oily residue. 

The oil is thought to be particularly beneficial for moisturizing and healing dry, damaged and aged skin.  As it is good for keeping the skin supple it can also be used for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. 

Borage oil contains the highest known source of gamma linoleic acid (GLA) derived from the plant kingdom.  GLA is an essential fatty acid that the body needs to modulate the body’s hormonal and circulatory systems.   GLA is a prerequisite for creating prostaglandins – hormones that are made at the site in the body where they are needed, such as a skin wound, to fight infection and help clot the blood.  GLA plays an important role in the body being able to heal: wounds, dry skin conditions such as eczema, reproductive problems and generally boosts the immune system and circulation. 

The oil contains several other fatty acids, including palmitic, stearic, linoleic and oleic. 

Although it might seem counterintuitive, borage oil can be used to treat acne, which we think of as an oily skin condition, as well as dry skin conditions.  In its oils, nature has often produced properties that are holistic rather than ‘either or’.  The balancing quality of borage oil gives it anti-inflammatory benefits for both eczema and acne.

The high content of essential fatty acids can make this oil more vulnerable to oxidation.  Therefore it is recommended to keep it in the fridge once the bottle has been opened. 

Common uses: Skin cream, conditioner, lotions and balms; hair products and conditioners (particularly beneficial for dry scalps); soothes sunburn; massage oil base.