Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil

A fatty oil expressed from sunflower seeds and one of the most commonly used oils in skincare. It has great emollient and occlusive moisturizing properties. Sunflower oil is one of the richest sources of vitamin E – an important skin antioxidant.
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Origin
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil

Overview

Helianthus annuus seed oil is one of the most commonly used oils in skincare. It is a fatty oil expressed from sunflower seeds.

It has emollient and occlusive moisturizing properties and the perfect composition to be a general, neutral oil for all skin types.

Sunflowers are an oil crop originating from Mexico and North America. They are beautiful, yellow flowers that got their name because every flower looks like a little sun.

By examining a ripe sunflower head, you will notice that the seeds are arranged in a precise pattern that is similar to pinecones or broccoli florets. The arrangement of the seeds has a beautiful mathematical equation behind it and the pattern is related to the famous Golden ratio. It is not only beautiful but effective too – the pattern is the most efficient way to stack as many seeds as possible into a circular flower head.

Sunflower oil is not only used in skincare products and for cooking, but it also has various other technical applications. There are two varieties of the oil (depending on the variety of the sunflower crop): standard linoleic type (which contains up to 75% linoleic acid) and oleic type (which can contain up to 90% oleic acid).

There are more types, but these were specifically bred to include high amounts of saturated fatty acids and are not used in skincare.

Sunflower oil contains a significant number of waxes (which may be extracted and used separately) and phytosterols. It is also one of the richest sources of vitamin E among plant oils. Vitamin E is an important skin antioxidant that is only soluble in oil, and so choosing oils naturally high in vitamin E is logical and it is one of the reasons sunflower oil is so popular in skincare.

Sunflower oil is light and suitable for all skin types. It moisturizes the skin via the formation of an occlusive film.

Science

1
Romanić, R. (2020). Cold pressed sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) oil. Cold Pressed Oils, 197–218.