Sunflower Seed Oil in Skincare

Sunflowers bring skin healing and sunshine!

Sunflowers bring skin healing and sunshine!

Ever wonder about the benefits of sunflower seed oil? This readily available oil has some amazing skin benefits.

When it comes to skincare, sunflower seed oil is a great source of vitamin E, is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and is effective for combatting skincare issues like acne, inflammation, eczema, general redness and skin irritation.

Here are seven benefits of sunflower oil for your skin:

  1. Sunflower seed oil moisturizes your skin. Due to its rich vitamin E content, Sunflower seed oil has emollient properties that help the skin retain its moisture. Vitamin E helps trap moisture inside skin cells, keeping skin hydrated for a longer period. This is good news for people with eczema.

  2. Sunflower seed oil is high in vitamin E. Sunflower oil is extremely high in vitamin E – an antioxidant that helps protect skin cells from harmful UV rays produced by the sun and other environmental stressors such as pollutants.

  3. Sunflower seed oil helps fight acne: In addition to vitamin E, sunflower oil is also rich in vitamins A, C, and D, making it effective in the treatment of acne. Sunflower seed oil contains vitamins and fatty acids that act as antioxidants to regenerate new skin cells and help your skin rid itself of acne-causing bacteria. In addition it's high content of Linoleic acid makes it a great choice for breakouts.

  4. Sunflower seed oil is rich in beta-carotene: Sunflower oil is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a fat-soluble compound that converts into Vitamin A. Beta-carotene’s antioxidant properties are beneficial for the appearance of your health and skin.

  5. Sunflower seed oil can reduce signs of aging The antioxidant properties of sunflower oil help in preventing premature signs of aging, as it helps protect the skin from sun damage. The vitamin E in sunflower seed oil can help protect the collagen and elastin in the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on your face.

  6. Sunflower seed oil is beneficial for particularly dry skin: Sunflower oil has natural calming properties that improve your skin’s moisture retention capacity and is beneficial for individuals with dehydrated or sensitive skin. Using sunflower oil regularly can help remove dead cells and impurities, leaving behind smooth, moisturized skin.

  7. Sunflower seed oil helps soothe and heal your skin Sunflower seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce skin redness and promote smooth skin. Sunflower seed oil is high in omega-6 (linoleic) fatty acid and vitamin E. Linoleic acid helps decrease inflammation in the skin and enhances the development of new skin cells. It's even recommended by the National Eczema Association for eczema.

External skin care treaments combined with internal herbs help the skin to heal in the most efficient way. Using the right products is key when it comes to balancing the skin!

Why I love treating Skin Disorders

So far, I've finished 3/4 of my Traditional Chinese Medicine Dermatology Diploma course in NYC, and I can say with confidence that I have effectively solutions to treat many skin disorders including Perioral Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Rosacea, Acne, Foot Fungus, Sebborheic Dermatitis, and Eczema. Many joyful moments are shared with patients in my clinic as their skin clears. It never gets old.

My love for Chinese Herbal Dermatology started many years ago. My mother in Michigan was suffering with Psoriasis and nothing seemed to be helping her. Her skin itched so badly that it kept her up all night. She would pace around as a distraction from the itch. Psoriasis affected her legs, torso, and arms, and they it spread to her hands and face. She became so self-consious that she didn't want to go out of the house. It affected her mood as well and I could sense she was becoming depressed. Steroid cream provided temporary relief but as it can permanently thin the skin, it's not a good long-term solution. Immune suppressing medication didn't help. She tried all kinds of elimination diets with no relief. I knew there had to be an answer.

I knew of this Chinese Herbalist in the UK that was world renowned for successfully treating difficult skin disorders and had wanted to take his course since before the birth of my son, 8 years ago. In Chinese Medical School, Dermatology was superficially covered in just one course and didn't really give me the strategies to effectively treat skin problems. Chinese Medical Dermatology books are few and mostly in Chinese, so they only provided limited benefit. So I searched out the treatment methods of the leading expert in the field, herbalist Mazin Al-Khafaji, and worked on a chinese herbal prescription for my mom.

Her Psoriasis was turning erythrodermic, which can be a medical emergency, so I treated her twice per day when I could with acupuncture, gave her topical herbs, and had her drink tea made from raw chinese herbs that she cooked every other day. Her skin gradually improved and six months later, it was clear.

I can't even express the joy (and relief) I felt after hearing about her improvements with every phone call. Her healing path wasn't a strait line; it rarely is. She stuck with her herbs and had a remarkable result.

Now more than two years later, her skin is still clear. Every once in a while, she might have a miniscule flare up with one patch here or there, but she uses topical herbal cream and it settles down quickly.

In 2015 I was able to begin my studies with the master herbalist, Mazin Al-Khafaji and now I can give hope to so many people who suffer with many different skin problems. There are answers, and the best part is that because we treat the root causes of the problem, many times the skin problem won't come back.

Chinese Herbal treatment takes some effort on the part of the patient, but it's so worth it to be free from skin problems that can cause so much suffering. From my mom's case, and my own case of acne which I'll share in a later post, I know how skin problems take a toll on our self-confidence and general mood. So much so that we don't want to leave the house or wear short sleeve shirts. Sometimes we don't even want to acknowledge the problem and it can take years before visiting a specialist. Or we feel defeated once we see a specialist and try treatments that give little or temporary results or make the problem worse.

There is hope. There are answers out there. Sometimes we just need stay open minded, be open to exploring different solutions, and sometimes we just need to hold our nose and chug bitter herbal tea.

Dr. Mary Claire Dilks and her mom, photo by Olivia Gird, click image for details

Dr. Mary Claire Dilks and her mom, photo by Olivia Gird, click image for details