We are not feeding the skin by applying topical skin care products, in my view, we are supporting the health of our skin. By assisting the skin during its own natural restorative process (Homeostasis) with ingredients which have the properties to accelerate this process, however, they do not change the structure of the skin they ’empower’ the skin during its innate homeostasis functions.
Our bodies are in a constant state of ‘Homeostasis’ this is a self-regulating process by which biological systems tend to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for survival. If homeostasis is successful, life continues; if unsuccessful, this leads to disease and finally death.
The Skins functions in homeostasis include:
- Regulation of body temperature
- Sensory reception
- Water balance
- Synthesis of vitamins and hormones
- Absorption of materials.
The skin’s primary functions are to serve as a barrier to the entry of microbes and viruses and to prevent water and extracellular fluid loss. Acidic secretions from skin glands also retard the growth of fungi. Melanocytes form a second barrier: protection from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. When a microbe penetrates the skin (or when the skin is breached by a cut) the inflammatory response occurs.
Borage Seed Oil Skin Care Benefits
A great deal of research, trails, and consideration go into each plant based ingredient we choose to incorporate into our precious formulations. Each has a purpose, must stand alone but also offer synergistic capabilities, in brief, maximum skin healing benefits. Here we take a close look at Borage Seed Oil Borago Officinalis – also known as Starflower Oil.
This plant originated from western Mediterranean areas, Spain and North Africa and then has naturalised in many other locations. Historical documents show that people from North Africa tribes have transferred it to Spain and then to other regions. However, most researchers say that this plant is native to Mediterranean areas. Borage, a plant with ferny leaves, electric blue flowers, and cucumber-like fruit, is known in the culinary world as a tasty herb and condiment.
It is a well-known herb that has been recognised and used for over 1500 years. The Roman historian Pliny writes of the virtues of Borage and it is suspected that Borage leaves, steeped in wine, was the mysterious Nepenthe elixer that Homer writes of which causes absolute forgetfulness when drunk. In the middle ages, Borage leaves were commonly brewed into a medicinal tea.
Today the borage plant is grown and harvested not for its leaves and stems but for the very valuable oil found in its seeds.
Your body is capable of naturally producing gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA). However, in order to do so, it must have as its starting material LA. This is an essential fatty acid that our body is unable to make and we must ingest it as part of our everyday diets. Fortunately, we get plenty of LA in our daily diets since it is commonly found in almost all edible vegetable oils.
Once LA 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 fix of GLA. Without the enzyme D6D, you would be deficient in GLA no matter how much LA you obtain from your diets. GLA is further converted via a sequence of biochemical steps into a very important compound called Prostaglandin 1 (PG1) which is a key molecule for maintaining healthy skin.
PG1 exhibits a potent anti-inflammatory effect on the skin and also is very effective in regulating water loss and protecting skin from injury and damage. The D6D enzyme is often referred to as a “lazy ” enzyme as it can be slow in doing its job, and under some conditions may actually be impaired. People with skin disorders such as eczema, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis show increased levels of LA with a simultaneous decrease in gamma LA.
This strongly suggests a reduction in the activity of the D6D enzyme, as a consequence, the resulting decrease in the synthesis of PG1 may be responsible for the characteristic dry skin along with transepidermal water (TEWL) loss observed in these people. Borage Seed Oil with its rich source of GLA when used as a dietary supplement or when applied topically, Borage Seed Oil can circumvent a “lazy” or impaired D6D enzyme by supplying the body directly with GLA and thus allowing the production of normal levels of PG1.
Phenolic compounds – Exist in oil seeds and various studies have proved their antioxidant properties. Borage is important due to the high amount of gamma-linolenic acid [GLA] available in its seed oil. GLA is one type of omega-6 “essential” fatty acid that the body cannot make on its own. The excellent antioxidants properties of borage seed oil are attributed to phenolic compounds. It has been determined that rosmarinic acid, synergic acid, and synaptic acid are main phenolic compounds available in borage seed oil.
Ferulic Acid – The main polyphenolic found in Borage Seed Oil is ferulic acid which makes up about 50% of the total phenolic content. Ferulic acid is a very effective antioxidant, more powerful than Vitamin E. Ferulic Acid a powerful antioxidant found naturally in Borage Seed Oil can prevent skin ageing, reducing age spots, and helps repair light and radiation-induced damage. It penetrates the skin to soften and moisturise, soothes wind chapped and sunburned skin, and reduces itching and inflammation. The tannins found in borage oil make it a more astringent dry oil.
Borage Seed Oil – Stimulates skin cell activity and encourages skin regeneration. With high levels of GLA, making it useful in treating all skin disorders, particularly allergies, dermatitis, inflammation, and irritation. Borage seed oil penetrates the skin easily and benefits all skin, particularly dry, dehydrated, mature, or prematurely ageing skin. Read my blog about Essential Fatty Acid here
GLA is found in mother´s milk and in the seeds of evening primrose, borage, and black currant. The highest natural content of GLA is found in Borage Seed oil 25%. Our cold pressed, certified organic and unrefined oil comprises the following fatty acids:
- 15% saturated
- 25% monounsaturated
- 59% polyunsaturated acids
STEROLS // Plant sterols [also known as Phytosterols] such as campesterol, sitosterol, and stigmasterol, are natural plant substances that closely resemble animal sterols such as cholesterol. Sterols are complex unsaturated alcohol that resembles lipids and forms the foundation for steroids. An important function of phytosterols in our body is to maintain the structure of our cell membranes. Studies have shown that these plant sterols can mimic cholesterol and prevent its depletion in the human epidermis – the protective outer layer of the skin [keratinocyte membranes] thereby reducing photosensitivity and providing protection from photo-ageing. See Skin Photo-Protectors BLOG
STEROL COMPOSITION AND TOCOPHEROL (VITAMIN E) CONTENT
|Sterols composition||% of total sterols|
|Total tocopherols [Vitamin E]||732–1111 mg/kg|
FATTY ACIDS AND TRIGLYCERIDE CONTENT
|Fatty acid composition|
|Fatty acid||%||Fatty acid||%|
|Palmitic acid (C16:0)||10.7||γ -Linolenic acid (C18:3)||21.1|
|Stearic acid (C18:0)||6.4||Eicosenoic acid (C20:1)||4.2|
|Oleic acid (C18:1)||18.5||Erucic acid (C22:1)||2.3|
|Linoleic acid (C18:2)||36.6||Others||0.2|
Clinically Borage Seed Oil has been shown to be a very effective agent for treating skin disorders and for alleviating the inflammatory associated symptoms. Borage seed oil has been shown to be very effective in treating the redness, inflammation and moisture loss associated with dry skin it; appears to positively affect the texture, suppleness and moisture content of the skin. Topical application of borage seed oil has also been shown to reduced or eliminate the irritation induced by the use of AHAs and/or retinoids. Applying Our Hero Product* following the application of Retinoids and or AHA’s (Alpha-Hydroxy Acids) is helping your skin on its own healing journey. *Our hero product will be launching 2019
Until next time
be human | be kind | be you
- Whipkey, A., J. E. Simon and J. Janick, “In Vivo and In Vitro Lipid Accumulation in Borago officinalis L.”, JAOCS, 65 (6), 979-984 (1988)
- Leung, A. Y. and S. Foster, “Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics“, 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York (1996).
- 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.
Tate, G., Mandell, B.F., Laposata, D., Ohliger, D., Baker, D.G., Schumacher, H.T. and Zurier, R.B. 1989. Suppression of acute and chronic inflammation by dietary gamma linolenic acid. J. Rheumatol. 16:729.
- Ziboh, V.A., and Fletcher, M. 1992. Dose-response effects of dietary gamma linolenic acid enriched oils on human polymorphonuclear-neutrophil biosynthesis of leukotriene B4. Amer. J.Clin. Nutr. 55:39.
- Ziboh, V.A. 1995. The biological/nutritional significance og gamma linolenic acid in the epidermal metabolism and generation of potent biological modulations. Inform. 6;4:519.
- Bahmer, F.A. and Schafer, J. 1992. Treatment of atopic dermatitis with Borage oil