This recipe is ridiculously simple. So simple, in fact, that you might think I just threw it together one day as a bit of a random idea. And you would be right. This project wasn’t supposed to be a blog entry—just an experiment. I figured I’d try it out and see, and it ended up working out so well I couldn’t keep it to myself.
I was doing some reading on problem skin about a month ago and I stumbled upon some information about linoleic acid—a fatty acid that’s present in many plant based oils. Apparently acne prone skin has been found to be deficient/low in linoleic acid, and studies have shown that adding more of it to your skin care routine can decrease acne and boost healing (another source, and another). Ok, call me intrigued.
I reviewed a list of oils with high linoleic acid content, and Evening Primrose popped out at me. Evening Primrose oil is about 72% linoleic acid and around 10% gamma linoleic acid. Other oils in my cupboard had higher percentages of linoleic acid (safflower oil is 78% linoleic acid), but none had both LA and GLA at such high concentrations. Gamma linoleic acid “has been shown to be one of the most effective agents for the treatment of skin disorders and for the maintenance of healthy skin… based on the strong research showing that it is of benefit in the treatment of various skin conditions, including dry skin, eczema, inflammation, wounds, and dermatitis” (Source). Um. Yes. Sign me up, please. And if that’s not enough for you, read this, from the same article:
Disorders and problems such as atopic dermatitis or eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and impaired epidermal barrier function is associated with deficiencies in GLA.2,3 Direct dietary supplementation of GLA is often required to ensure that adequate level of GLA and PGE1 occurs. Both oral and topical administration of GLA has been effective in reducing the symptoms of a large number of skin disorders including dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and acne as well as reducing redness and erythema due to UV radiation and improving healing of wounds. (Source)
So… hey there, Evening Primrose Oil. You’re looking mighty fine 😉
Armed with this knowledge, I topped off the half-full bottle of argan oil (USA / Canada) I keep at my bureau for use on my face with Evening Primrose oil. Evening Primrose oil is quite a heavy oil and has a pretty strong oily scent, so I thought cutting it with my all-time favourite argan oil would improve the experience/decrease the greasies (it does). And then I started applying this blend of oils to my face morning and night, after cleansing. I did this for about two weeks without really thinking about it.
Then, around the two week mark I started thinking about. I realized my skin had been shockingly well behaved for the ten or so days. New zits weren’t really popping up. When they did, they were smaller and healed really quickly. Dry, irritated patches left under my eyes after some very enthusiastic Halloween face paint simmered down and cleared up in no time. What was this magic? Oh yeah… I added Evening Primrose oil to my daily routine. It’s been over a month now, and I can’t believe how good my skin is. I’ve been telling everybody I know about how great my skin is, and how Evening Primrose Oil gets all the credit. I am sold.
Well, that’s my story about this super simple, wasn’t-supposed-to-be-a-recipe recipe. I can’t encourage you to try it enough. It’s definitely a permanent addition to my skin care routine, and with all the things I make and have kicking around my house, I do not say that lightly.
Magical Primrose Argan Serum
Combine both oils in a 15mL/half ounce glass bottle with a dropper top (basically, fill the bottle approximately half way with one oil and then top off with the other). Cap and shake to combine.
To use, massage a few drops into your skin as needed—I like morning and night, after washing my face.
Give it a few weeks, and you should notice some pretty wonderful improvements in your skin.