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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Ready

Evening Primrose Oil for Anti-Inflammatory and Hydrating Skincare

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

What is evening primrose oil?

The evening primrose is a yellow wildflower, but it is the oil from its seeds that is valued in skincare. Evening primrose is highly prized for its therapeutic properties, and has been widely studied in clinical trials.

The evening primrose plant is named because it only blooms from dusk to noon the following day, so you have to be quick to see it as a flower! It is also known by other names that reflect its short life cycle; these include sundrop and fever plant.

Evening primrose oil is one of the more expensive oils, but the benefits to the skin are worthwhile. Read below to find out why!

What are the skincare benefits of evening primrose oil?


Evening primrose oil is prized for its anti-inflammatory effects on the skin, making it beneficial for acne-prone and inflamed skin. Evening primrose oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an important fatty acid that helps our bodies produce an anti-inflammatory hormone called prostaglandin. Prostaglandin helps regulate the body's inflammatory response, where immune cells gather at the site of injury to help the healing process.

Skin hydration

Perhaps one of the best-known benefits of evening primrose oil is its ability to hydrate the skin. The oil is high in GLA, properties of which include improving the barrier function of the skin and preventing water loss from the skin. This effectively keeps the skin hydrated and supple and keeps the skin moisture barrier functioning as it should. As such, several studies have concluded that evening primrose oil is a viable treatment for atopic dermatitis.

Fighting the signs of ageing

Studies suggest that using products rich in GLA can help ensure the barrier stays strong and is, therefore, better equipped at resisting the visible signs of ageing. [Study: Gehring, W et al. “Effect of topically applied evening primrose oil on epidermal barrier function in atopic dermatitis as a function of vehicle.”]

Using evening primrose oil in skincare products

Evening primrose oil is classified as a penetration enhancer, which means that it can carry other skin-beneficial ingredients into the lower layers of the skin when used with serums and moisturisers. Evening primrose oil is one of the key oils used within our Frankincense and Rose Facial Serum.


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