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Borage oil, or “Borago Officianalis,” is an oil that replenishes moisture in the skin and helps to relieve chronic skin disorders, such as eczema, neuro-dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis.
Borago Officianalis, translating to the wildflower/starflower, is not privy to any one particular region, but is most commonly found in the wild. Documented in Roman history, borage oil’s medicinal and repairing properties have been studied and used for 1500 years, where leaves were commonly brewed into medicinal tea, and medicine for cough, fever, and depression. Today, the flower is now used for the incredible oil found in its seeds, hence, the commonly seen borage oil.
Why is this oil in particular so wonderful for your skin? It is the richest known source of the essential fatty acid known as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) at a staggering 24 percent. While our bodies do actually produce GLA, they cannot produce it without its precursor, linoleic acid (LA).
Linoleic acid is something that our bodies do not produce, meaning we much ingest it as part of our diets or skincare choices. The science behind this might be confusing, but just bear with me, it’s worth it! Let’s explain the series of events below:
We ingest linoleic acid (LA) –> Enzyme Delta-6-Desaturase (D6D) –> GLA –> Prostaglandin 1 (PG1)
Without the D6D enzyme, LA is not converted to GLA, which also means prostaglandins (PG1) are not produced. PG1 is a key compound in maintaining healthy skin. Not only is it an anti-inflammatory, but it also regulates water loss and protects the skin from damage. Often times, our D6D enzyme can become lazy or impaired. The process of conversion is slowed down dramatically.
When you look at chronic skin conditions, you will often see high levels of LA and low levels of GLA. This suggests that their D6D is impaired, meaning no P61, resulting in very dry skin and trans-epidermal water loss.
I know that was a lot of science, and you’re wondering what enzymes and acids have to do with borage oil. To rewind a bit, borage oil is the richest known source of GLA! 24 percent. This means your skin gets GLA directly and can begin making PG1, as it would naturally occur. You have the choice to use borage oil as a dietary supplement or applied topically.
There are several research studies that show taking a borage oil supplement directly increase PG1 in the skin. Put simply, it gives your skin what it needs to be at its best.
Your skin will begin to thank you pretty much immediately after the boost of GLA. Chronic inflammation will be suppressed, and it can also work against fatty acid imbalances (which our bodies crave in a distinct ratio!) Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3s and omega-6’s are known as long-chain fatty acids; they cannot be made by the human metabolism.
Borage oil goes (far) beyond the work of typical oils and moisturizers. It has the capacity to restore your intracellular moisture barrier – meaning your skin is nourished and replenished with hydration from the inside out.
Packed with macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, fats), vitamins (A, C, niacin, choline, thiamine, riboflavin), minerals and plant compounds, borage oil fights against increased inflammation and specific immune responses that lead to skin flare-ups. This is the most well-researched uses for the oil because it is able to correct deficiencies in skin lipids (oils) that are caused by low levels of enzyme (D6D) activity.
Simply put, without these oils, the result is an immune system not functioning correctly because the anti-inflammatory enzymes are not at their appropriate levels. Unknowingly, inflammation (the root of most diseases) can dangerously increase. The molecules that borage oil contains are directly linked to the body’s inflammatory responses.
Borage oil (GLA, specifically) has anti-mutagenic properties and antioxidant capabilities that fight against the growth of cancerous cells and protect your DNA. So here we have an oil that produces the molecules that our skin needs to function at its best, nourishes and hydrates from the inside out, and also shortens the lifespan of the bad toxic cancer cells.
Beyond the skin, borage oil is proposed to help and treat rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, ADHD, stress, diabetes, swelling and pain, alcoholism, and various heart diseases.
- Borage oil has been used since the Middle Ages for medicinal purposes
- Rich in gamma-linolenic acid, which calms irritated skin and helps the skin look its best
- Fights against dryness, from the inside out
- Replenishes your lipid barrier (healthy fatty acids)
- Gives mature skin elasticity
- Helps the body against the body’s inflammatory responses
- Full of macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds
- Scientifically shown to fight against (and shorten the lifespan of) cancerous cells
Borage Oil Serum Recipe
- 1 tablespoon argan oil
- 1 tablespoon prickly pear seed oil
- 1 tablespoon borage seed oil
- 4 drops neroli essential oil
- 3 drops carrot seed essential oil
- 3 drops patchouli essential oil
- 2 drops sandalwood essential oil
Where to Buy Borage Oil
Always look for 100% pure high-quality borage seed oil without additives. It is very important to purchase borage seed oil that is free of unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids (UPAs). UPAs can cause toxic effects to the liver if taken in large quantities. Check for a label that says PA-free.
I recommend Borage Seed Oil from Bella Terra Oils
You can purchase it on Amazon
I hope you enjoyed this article, please let us know if borage oil has helped your skin!
To Your Lovely Skin,