Evening Primrose for Skin, Soothing and Softening

Evening Primrose

This vivid and bright North American wildflower blooms in late spring, and often covers wide areas of grasslands and prairie, though you may also see it in rougher areas like road cuts and rocky hillsides.

For skin, evening primrose soothes dryness and nourishes skin with important fatty acids that can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

This bright little plant may help soothe dry skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines.

A Little Bit About the Ingredient Itself

Scientifically called Oenothera, evening primrose is also known by the names “sundrops” and “suncups,” most likely because of the bright and sunny appearance of the little flowers. A perennial species, it blooms between May and June, but the individual flowers last only about a day—typically opening within less than a minute of evening, which is where the plant got its name.

Flowers are commonly yellow, but may also be white, purple, pink, or red, with four petals that form an X-shape in between. The leaves are narrow and lance-shaped, and up to six inches long with many short hairs on the surface, while the plant as a hole grows in a low, sprawling manner.

Internal Health Benefits of Evening Primrose

Evening primrose is edible—the roots work as a vegetable and the shoots can be eaten in salads. The plant has been used to help improve many conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, diabetes nerve damage, irritable bowel syndrome, and during pregnancy to prevent pre-eclampsia and late deliveries. It’s also reputed to help ease the symptoms of PMS, endometriosis, and menopause.

According to the National Institutes of Health, current research shows evening primrose may be effective for easy breast pain, and when combined with calcium and fish oil, for helping to improve osteoporosis. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine adds that studies have found evening primrose oil may benefit rheumatoid arthritis and breast pain.

Benefits to the Skin

Evening primrose is a good source of linoleic acid, which is one of the essential fatty acids we need for healthy looking skin. It’s absolutely critical to maintaining healthy skin.

Did you know that if you have oily skin or dry skin, you may have reduced levels of linoleic acid in your skin? Good fats promote protection and help your skin look firm and tight. Evening primrose can help calm the skin.

Try It!

I added evening primrose extract to both of these products, where it helps increases hydration, and helps support oily skin.

How do you use evening primrose? Have you had success with these products? Please share your story.

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Sources

“Evening Primrose Oil,” Medline Plus Supplements, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/1006.html.

“Evening Primrose Oil,” National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, April 2012, http://nccam.nih.gov/health/eveningprimrose.

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