Can Safflower Oil Help Reduce Acne?

People with acne-prone skin know they shouldn't use oils, but safflower oil might be an exception.
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Safflower oil for acne treatment
Even though it might seem strange to put oil on acne, safflower oil has been found to not cause acne.

When you think of ingredients that fight acne, big names like salicylic acid, retinol, and benzoyl peroxide come to mind first. And rightly so, because these are without a doubt some of the best players in the world.

But safflower oil is a natural ingredient that can be used in a lot of different ways. We know what you’re thinking. Is it a good natural way to fight acne? Using a plant-based oil to moisturize your skin is great, but how can it help get rid of blemishes? Here, experts talk about how safflower oil can do all of those things and more.

What Is Safflower Oil?

Safflower oil is a plant-based oil that doesn’t cause acne and is used in a lot of high-street beauty products. Even though it has been used in medicine and as a healthy cooking oil for a long time, many people swear by its powerful antioxidant benefits, such as its ability to naturally hydrate the skin. If you get acne, you know that oil and acne don’t usually go together. However, safflower oil and acne might be an exception.

The Benefits of Safflower Oil for Acne

There are a lot of plant-based skin care oils on the market, and each one has its own list of pros and cons. Still, safflower oil has some special qualities that make it stand out from the rest. Walls says that safflower oil is one of only a few oils that have fatty acids that are good for the skin when used alone. “If safflower oil is cold-pressed and made in the right way, it has more antioxidants and antimicrobial properties than many other oils used in skin care.”

  • It has antioxidant properties. These come from both the vitamin E in safflower oil and the flavonoids that are only found in it. Zalka points to a study from 2020 that was published in the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. The study found that safflower seed oil helps protect against damage caused by UVB rays. 4 And that’s a big win for the skin’s overall health and appearance. The research found that safflower seed oil works to stop UVB-induced photoaging by reducing the effects of an enzyme that breaks down collagen. In short, safflower oil can help slow down the aging process. 
  • is a natural anti-fungal and antimicrobial. Research shows that these qualities, along with the fact that safflower oil helps wounds heal, can help treat skin injuries. 2 When it comes to helping with acne, these things are a big plus. 
  • Safflower oil brings moisture to the skin: “Safflower oil is especially good for damaged, dry skin because it contains a lot of omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid, which is quickly absorbed by the skin without making it feel greasy,” says Guanche. Safflower oil is full of fatty acids that help improve the skin’s natural barrier and overall health. It also has a light texture and a moisturizing agent that can get into the skin without irritating it, “she says.” 
  • Non-comedogenic: When you add up all of the above benefits, safflower oil is a huge win for people with acne. First of all, it’s not thought to cause acne, so there’s less worry about clogged pores, says Zalka. 
  • Anti-inflammatory: Zalka says that the plant’s anti-inflammatory properties can help stop or lessen redness on the skin. “The high level of fatty acids helps treat dermatitis and speeds up the time it takes for wounds to heal,” says Guanche. 
  • Zalka says that blackheads and whiteheads can also be helped by safflower oil because it is high in linoleic acid, which helps fight acne. This may be because safflower oil has a very high amount of linoleic acid—about 70%—which is one of its most unique qualities. 5 Zalka says that safflower oil may help reduce the size of blackheads and whiteheads, making it the “hero” part of acne prevention.

How does safflower oil help get rid of acne?

Safflower oil can help reduce acne if it is used in the right way as part of a skincare routine to treat acne. This is how:

Safflower oil doesn’t clog pores

Even if you use safflower oil every day, it won’t cause your pores to get clogged. If you wash your face with a refined serum or skin oil that has been made and boosted with other ingredients, you could accidentally be clogging your pores. If you switch out your store-bought skin serum for natural safflower oil, you’ll know you’re using a product that doesn’t cause acne.

Safflower oil can help your skin stay naturally hydrated

We all know that dry skin can cause acne. When our skin is dry, our oil production goes into overdrive and we make too much sebum, which gets stuck under our skin and clogs our pores. Let’s say you’ve had acne for a long time, like I have. If so, you know how hard it can be to find the right moisturizer—it often seems impossible to find a moisturizer that is light but still hydrates your skin enough. The essential fatty acids in safflower oil, especially the high concentration of linoleic acid, keep skin that is prone to acne moist and plump. Keeping the skin moist, especially with natural oil, should help stop acne that comes from not getting enough water.

Safflower oil promotes healing

Anyone who has had acne for a long time knows that getting rid of pimples is only half the problem. As acne sufferers, we also have to deal with infected cystic acne, acne scars, scabs, and redness. Many skin care products make the healing process worse, which makes us feel down and often hurts. Safflower oil can help here. It has fatty acids that naturally hydrate the skin, and it is also a powerful antioxidant with a lot of antibacterial properties. Not only can it get rid of bacteria on the skin and help stop more breakouts, but it can also help any broken pimples or infected spots heal faster. Simply put, using safflower oil with a high amount of linoleic acid to treat acne will keep bacteria away.

Will safflower oil make my acne go away?

Even though safflower oil can help you fight acne, it won’t magically make your skin clear overnight. Nothing will. As someone who had acne in their teens and early 20s, I was always looking for miracle products that promised a pimple-free face after the first use. You’ll never forget the disappointment you feel when it doesn’t work like a miracle.

The truth is that some skin care products can help you fight acne, but one product won’t make a huge difference in your skin.

In Conclusion

Does safflower oil help get rid of acne? The benefits of safflower oil for acne are impressive, but I can’t promise that it will magically clear up your skin. The natural antioxidants in safflower oil will help your skin and make pimples look less bad by reducing dryness, inflammation, and redness. Still, the best way to get rid of acne and get glowing skin is to follow a thorough skincare routine.


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