Organic Borage Oil
Summary of Skin Benefits
Super Hydrating Restores Moisture due to high Gamma-Linoleic Acid (GLA) content
Soothes Dry and Damaged due to high GLA content
Anti-Inflammatory due to high GLA content
Full of Age-Defying antioxidants due to high GLA content
Borage Seed Oil has the Latin name Borago Officinalis, as we use organic borage oil, ours is slightly cloudy in appearance as minute particles of the seed are present in the oil. It has a very light scent.
Borage is a herb that is native to the Middle East and Mediterranean. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible. Our oil is certified organic and the oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the plant. Borage is also known as Starflower oil as the flowers are shaped like stars.
We selected Borage Seed Oil as the best oil, after conducting a lot research for our Super Nourishing Organic Dry Skin Face Oil. It truly is an amazing oil, as it has deeply hydrating and soothing effects on the skin.
Why is it good for us?
Borage seed oil is super hydrating and restores moisture due to its high Gamma-Linoleic Acid (GLA) content. It has one of the highest amounts of GLA of all the seed oils (and we tested lots!). Our bodies cannot synthesize GLA, which is a type of omega 6 essential fatty acid.
A clinical study (a) showed that GLA has been shown to very beneficial in infants suffering from seborrhoeic dermatitis, also known as ‘cradle cap’. When it was applied topically the cradle cap disappeared in most cases and in some cases was significantly reduced within a two week period. Therefore, it has been shown to soothe the dry, damaged and broken skin. However, it was noted that if the treatment was discontinued the symptoms came back within 1 week. Whereas, if the treatment was maintained until the infants became 7 months old and then stopped, there was no relapse.
A similar study (b) was also carried out on adults with dry skin and again the anti-inflammatory and super hydrating effect of the GLA in borage oil was found to play a significant role in restoring the intracellular moisture barrier of the epidermis and rehydrate the skin. It is also full of anti-aging antioxidants.
The Composition of our Organic Borage Oil
Why do we need Fatty Acids?
Our body is capable of naturally producing GLA. However in order to do so it must have as its starting material Linoleic Acid (LA). This is an omega 6 essential fatty acid that our body is unable to make and we must ingest it as part of our everyday diets. There are lots of sources of omega 6 fatty acids (vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, nuts and grains) in our diets. Once Linoleic acid is ingested it is acted upon by an enzyme called Delta-6- Desaturase (D6D) which biochemically converts LA into GLA. This is how we normally get our daily dose of GLA.
Without the enzyme D6D, we would be deficient in GLA no matter how much linoleic acid we consumed. Which is why in the study with the infants with cradle cap, it was hypothesized that were born with an immature D6D enzyme system and were unable to produce sufficient GLA on their own, thus giving rise to the symptoms of “cradle cap.” The borage oil treatment corrected the symptoms by supplying GLA until the infant’s own enzyme system caught up.
GLA is further converted via a sequence of biochemical steps into a compound called Prostaglandin 1 (PG1), which is a key molecule for maintaining healthy skin. PG1 exhibits a potent anti-inflammatory effect on the skin by controlling the release of molecules that are responsible for the body’s inflammatory responses (such as prostaglandins, leukotrienes and cytokines called interleukins). PG1 is also is very effective in regulating water loss and protecting skin from injury and damage(c ).
The D6D enzyme can often be ineffective or impaired in individuals with eczema, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. These individuals show increased levels of Linoleic Acid with a simultaneous decrease in GLA,(d) suggesting a reduction in D6D enzyme activity. And as a consequence the resulting decrease in the synthesis of PG1 may be responsible for the characteristic dry skin and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) observed in these individuals.
GLA has positive effects on cell death (apoptosis) for toxic cells. Once it enters the body, GLA is converted to a substance called dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA). This acts as a precursor to prostaglandins and leukotriene compounds that the immune system produces. DGLA is believed to lower inflammation because it inhibits leukotriene synthesis, which is partly responsible for raising autoimmune reactions and thrombotic effects.
How do we get the Fatty Acids into us?
Both topical application and dietary intake are effective ways of delivering Fatty Acids to the skin, where they can protect and nourish the skin’s layers. GLA is found in Evening Primrose Oil and Star Flower supplements, however the topical application studies indicate that the borage oil was effectively absorbed through the skin and became available throughout the body as a source of GLA for the biosynthesis of Prostaglandin 1 (PG1), which is a key molecule for maintaining healthy skin.
Topical application has been shown to reverse the effects of fatty acid deficiency in both animals and humans. Where studies have shown the D6D enzyme to be ineffective or impaired in individuals with eczema, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Topically applying borage oil can circumvent the impaired D6D enzyme by supplying the body directly with GLA and thus allowing the production of normal levels of PG1. PG1 is very effective in regulating TEWL and protecting skin from injury and damage.
To find out more about how to use borage seed oil please visit our Blog
Products containing Borage Seed Oil
a. Tolleson, A., and Frithz, A 1993. Borage oil: an effective new treatment for infantile seborrhoic dermatitis. Brit. J. Dermatol. 129:95.
b. Nissen, H.P., Blitz, H., and Muggli, R. 1995. The effects of gamma linolenic acid on skin smoothness, humidity and TEWL – A clinical study. Inform. 6;4:519.
c. Ziboh, V and Miller, C. 1990. Essential fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids: Significance in cutaneous biology. Annu. Rev. Nutr. 10:433.
d. Melnick, B and Plewig, G. 1991. Atopic dermatitis and and disturbances in essential fatty acid and prostaglandin E metabolism. J. Amer. Acad. Dermatol. 25:859.