Nothing says summer like a fresh face of healthy, sun-kissed skin. Another sign of summer is the blooming of sunflowers. In fact, the two may be more connected than you realize.
The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual summer bloom native to North America known for its towering stalks and bright yellow petals. These flowers produce spirals of up to 2,000 seeds which are often salted and enjoyed as a popular snack but can also be used in different culinary applications. What you may not know about these tasty seeds is that they contain a natural oil loaded with nutrients and they are extremely beneficial for your skin.
Nature is at the core of everything we do at Yon-Ka Paris. Natural plant extracts like sunflower seed oil are what make Yon-Ka Paris products so effective. Read on to learn more about the benefits of sunflower seed oil and why you’ll find it in so many of our popular products.
What is Sunflower Oil?
Sunflower oil, as you may have guessed, is derived from the sunflower, Helianthus, a genus of plants comprised of around 70 different species. The name sunflower or common sunflower typically refers to Helianthus annuus, one of the largest cultivars grown as a crop for its edible fruits and oils. It is also used as livestock forage, wild bird food, and in some industrial applications.
Sunflower seeds were first brought to the Americas by the Europeans in the 16th century. The oil extracted from the seeds is often used in cooking and as a carrier oil in aromatherapy applications. Depending which cultivar the oil is derived from, it contains different fatty acid compositions.
Used by Native Americans in everything from bread and medicinal ointments to body paint and dyes, sunflowers were also traditionally planted on the northern edge of the garden as a companion to the “three sisters” (corn, beans, and squash). They were also valued for their allelopathic properties. Sunflowers produce certain biochemicals that influence the growth and reproduction of other crops.
Though most commonly used in cooking applications, sunflower seed oil has a number of cosmetic applications as well. Often used as an emollient, sunflower oil has nourishing and reparative properties.
The Benefits of Sunflower Oil for Skin
Though vitamin E is the predominant nutrient in sunflower oil, it is also rich in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. According to the British Pharmacopoeia, the fatty acid composition of sunflower oil is 5% palmitic acid, 6% stearic acid, 30% oleic acid, and 59% linoleic acid. Additionally, several varieties of sunflower have been selectively bred to alter their oleic and linoleic acid content.
These sunflower oils are categorized by their fatty acid concentration into four types:
- High-linoleic (69% linoleic acid)
- High-oleic (82% oleic acid)
- Mid-oleic (65% oleic acid)
- High-stearic with high-oleic (18% steric, 72% oleic acid)
The unsaturated fatty acids in sunflower oil are extremely beneficial for heart health. This type of fat is well metabolized in the liver which may have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels – this may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Sunflower oil may also offer laxative properties to ease digestion, antibacterial properties for oral health, and chemoprotective properties against cancer.
In topical applications, the vitamin E content of sunflower oil offers strong antioxidant properties which may help treat skin problems like acne and eczema. The linoleic acid content may also accelerate the recovery of the skin barrier which plays an important role in skin health.
Here are some of the skin benefits of sunflower oil:
- Its natural emollient properties help the skin retain moisture
- The antioxidant content helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays
- It is rich in beta-carotene that can be converted to skin-supporting vitamin A
- Rich in vitamins A, C, and D, it helps regenerate skin cells to fight acne
- The vitamin E content helps keep skin hydrated by trapping moisture in the skin
- The antioxidant properties may help prevent premature signs of aging
- It has natural calming properties and is particularly beneficial for sensitive skin
- The anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce skin redness and boost renewal
Sunflower oil is easy to come by, but the oil you find at your local grocery store may not be the best choice for your skin. Though it may be non-comedogenic and highly absorbent, applying it directly to your skin may leave you feeling a little greasy. Instead, choose a skincare product formulated with sunflower oil as a key ingredient with other inclusions to maximize its benefit.
Try These Yon-Ka Products with Sunflower Oil
All Yon-Ka Paris products are inspired by nature, designed to treat, heal, and restore the skin through the power of bio-active plant compounds. Sunflower oil is an important ingredient in many Yon-Ka products including moisturizers, healing elixirs, and facial oils. We use Helianthus annuus seed oil for its rich vitamin E content and other skin supporting benefits.
Here are of Yon-Ka’s most popular products featuring sunflower oil:
- Nutri+ Booster – Featuring sunflower seed and other nutrient-rich plant oils, this regenerating facial oil boosts the effects of your favorite moisturizer to nourish and hydrate the skin. Infused with antioxidants and Yon-Ka Quintessence, this treatment softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, repairs sun-damaged skin, and strengthens the skin barrier in just a few drops.
- Elixir Vital – This revitalizing, bi-phasic elixir delivers intense moisturizing action through a restructuring blend of beech bud and soy peptides with vitamin E-rich sunflower seed oil. Erase the visible signs of stress, fatigue, and sun exposure while remineralizing the skin to diminish fine lines and wrinkles. Apply after cleansing and toning in place of your daily moisturizer. Shake to emulsify the two layers before application.
- Sensitive Crème – Soothe and hydrate sensitive skin with this nourishing cream enriched with coconut and sunflower seed oils. This desensitizing cream delivers immediate relief to aggressed and irritated skin while combating inflammation and reactivity. Calm and comfort your skin while boosting its natural defenses with a rich pre- and probiotic complex as a daily moisturizer.
- Huile Silhouette – Soften and smooth your skin with this nutrient-rich dry oil. Featuring nourishing sunflower, restructuring sesame, and antioxidant-rich baobab oils, this formula also contains pink pepper oil which is known to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Apply daily and massage in circular movements until fully absorbed.
- Huile Detox – Energize your skin with the invigorating and detoxifying combination of Chios resin and Yon-Ka Quintessence. Enriched with nourishing sunflower and sesame oils, this lightweight dry oil absorbs quickly and fully to hydrate and soften your skin.
- Huile Delicieuse – A lightweight oil formulated for skin and hair, this treatment absorbs quickly to deliver a quick boost of nutrition and hydration. Formulated with a rich blend of sunflower, sesame, and baobab oils, this product softens, purifies, and regenerates the skin.
To experience the nourishing benefits of sunflower oil for yourself, consult the Skincare Advisor to be paired with the perfect Yon-Ka product for your skin type or stop in to your local Yon-Ka Paris spa partner for custom skincare advice. At Yon-Ka Paris, we strive to help you achieve your skin goals, so you look and feel your best not only this summer, but all year long.