7 Sunflower Oil Benefits for Your Skin

Sunflower seeds aren't just a tasty, salty treat that you toss back at sports games. They're also rich in oil that boasts a variety of health benefits. For instance, sunflower oil benefits for the skin range from soothing acne, to maintaining moisture retention, and more. For this reason, you'll find sunflower oil in a slew of skincare formulations, including but not limited to serums, moisturizers, facial oils, and face masks. Here, we're breaking down all of the different ways that sunflower oil benefits the skin — plus, how you can incorporate the tried-and-true ingredient into your routine. 

But first, what is sunflower oil? 

As its name implies, sunflower oil is derived from the nutrient-rich seeds of the sunflower. It's a fairly lightweight oil — especially when compared to something more vicious like castor oil — with a light yellow hue that makes you think of, well, a sunflower. Additionally, as board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, explains, it's a non-comedogenic, meaning it's safe to use on oily and acne-prone skin. Now let's dive into those benefits, shall we?

sunflowers in a field

What are the benefits of sunflower oil for skin?

1. It nourishes dry skin. 

Sunflower is an emollient that, much like our own sebum, helps the skin retain water and stay smooth and hydrated. "Sunflower oil is rich in linoleic acid, helping to maintain skin barrier function and boost moisture in the skin by preventing water loss," adds Garshick.

 2. It soothes irritation.

"Sunflower oil may have anti-inflammatory benefits, and as such, it may be particularly helpful for those dealing with dry skin," says Garshick. Additionally, sunflower oil is an excellent option for folks with sensitive skin because it offers a layer of ultra-gentle protection from environmental stressors, like harsh weather and pollution. 

 3. It reduces signs of aging. 

"Sunflower oil also contains vitamin E, giving it antioxidant benefits," says Garshick. Antioxidants work by protecting the skin against free radicals in the environment, which break down our skin cells and lead to premature signs of aging. On top of that, because it's so hydrating and has a smoothing effect, it can help to temporarily minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

 4. It decongests pores.

As we mentioned, sunflower oil is non-comedogenic so it won't clog your pores, making it safe for breakout-prone skin. Moreover, it can actually aid in unclogging pores by smoothing away excess dead skin that gets trapped in these tiny canals. 

 5. It protects the skin.

Sunflower oil is naturally protective because it creates a barrier between the skin and the environment, where many stressors are found. 

6. It tames redness.

If you're struggling with mild redness or irritation — or even a sunburn — slathering on sunflower oil can be helpful due to its anti-inflammatory properties. 

7. It improves texture and tone.

Because sunflower oil is an emollient, it can smooth the skin and temporarily reduce the look of large pores. 

Sunflower oil in Youthforia products

Knowing the many benefits that sunflower oil has to offer skin, it only made sense to include it in our complexion-friendly formulas. You can find the antioxidant-rich oil in our best-selling BYO Blush, along with 20 other plant-based oils that nourish and repair the skin.