You may already enjoy sunflower seeds or oil on a daily basis — as toasted and sprinkled seeds on your salad, or sautéed with fresh vegetables for a crunchy and nutritious dish. But it’s rare that we stop to think about the impressive range of nutritional benefits that each of these tiny seeds can bring with the oil they contain, or that they are the beginnings of the bright and beautiful sun-like flowers we know, of course, as sunflowers.
Sunflower oil is the key to the myriad health benefits of sunflower seeds, as it is what carries fatty acids like palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). These fatty acids are crucial for the body’s maintenance of heart health and energy metabolism, and also help reduce cholesterol (unhealthy fat) and inflammation.
Sunflower oil is also the vehicle for vitamin E and a range of other antioxidants, which soothe inflammation, fight free radicals and support cell regeneration and renewal. It happens to be rich not only in vitamin E, as well as amino acids, which are essential for cell growth and repair, along with selenium, a trace mineral that works alongside vitamin E to promote DNA repair and cell regeneration. The coexistence of these nutrients is what makes sunflower oil so naturally healing—both for topical and systemic inflammation.
With all of these benefits for overall health, sunflower oil is also restorative and invigorating when it comes to skin health, helping protect, renew and soothe your complexion. Vitamin E and antioxidants in the oil protect the skin from free radical and sun damage, while fatty acids help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Vitamin E in particular helps nourish and soothe skin irritation, creating a protective layer that simultaneously supports the skin cells’ regeneration. The result is a radiant, moisturized complexion that feels as hydrated as it looks.
In addition to being rich in moisturizing and soothing vitamin E, sunflower oil also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and a range of antioxidant carotenoids such as beta-carotene, which makes the skin less sensitive to the sun. The antioxidant concentration in sunflower oil helps keep sun-exposed skin from developing wrinkles and fine lines, both of which are common signs of free radical damage. At the same time, vitamin E will help smooth any existent wrinkles, making sunflower oil both the perfect antidote to damaged skin cells, and a restorative salve to support cell renewal.
Given sunflower oil’s high concentration and wide range of skin-healing nutrients, it can take on a range of roles depending on the product. Calming, soothing, and reinvigorating alike, it is a multi-purpose emollient, one which we’ve chosen to use as a foundational ingredient in our Super Nutrient Touch-free Face Moisturizer.
Understand the importance of the skin’s lipid barrier function and natural ways to strengthen it for happy, healthy and hydrated skin!
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Stay Ever Well,
Lynne + Renee