BOTANICAL NAME: Helianthus Annuus L
Some of the health benefits of sunflower oil include its ability to improve heart health, boost energy, strengthen the immune system, improve your skin health, prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, protect against asthma, and reduce inflammation. It is because of tis that it is widely used as a cooking oil.
The main component of sunflower oil is linoleic acid. Its other components include oleic acid and palmitic acid. In addition to these, it contains lecithin, carotenoids, tocopherols and appreciable quantities of vitamins A, D and E.
The cold pressed sunflower oil is amber in colour with a mild and pleasant taste. Refined oil is pale yellow in colour. Being extremely light with a high content of polyunsaturated fat, sunflower oil is often preferred over other oils like canola, safflower, corn and olive oils for cooking purposes. Its excellent smoothening properties and long shelf life make it ideal for cosmetic preparations.
Sunflower oil is a great skin doctor! The skin benefits of Sunflower Oil are:
- Moisturizer: Due to its emollient properties, sunflower oil helps the skin retain its moisture. Using sunflower oil as lotion on the skin of pre-term infants acts as a protective barrier and massaging them with this oil helps in reducing skin infection by nearly 14 percent. Hence, sunflower oil can be used in their daily skincare.
- UV Protection and Wrinkle Remover: Sunflower oil is extremely high in Vitamin E in comparison to other skincare products like almond oil or shea butter. Vitamin E is essential for preventing damage to skin cells by ultraviolet light or UVA from the sun. Vitamin E improves the appearance and health of your skin through prevention of scarring and smoothing of existing wrinkles.
- Acne Prevention and Regeneration of Skin Cells: Sunflower oil is also rich in vitamins A, C and D and healthy carotenoids and waxes which form a protective barrier on the skin. Thus, this oil is effective in the treatment of acne. Being exceptionally light and non-greasy, it gets absorbed into the skin easily without clogging or blocking the pores. Its range of vitamins and fatty acids act as antioxidants to regenerate skin cells and help the skin get rid of acne causing bacteria.
- Protects against Sun Burn: Beta-carotene is a richly pigmented fat-soluble compound that can be converted into Vitamin A and its antioxidant properties are beneficial for the appearance of your health and skin. Sunflower oil is an excellent source of beta-carotene. Consumption of this compound makes your skin less sensitive to the sun. The antioxidants in it neutralize the free radicals that penetrate your skin, causing sunburn and other types of sun damage such as skin cancer.
- Anti-Ageing: The antioxidant properties of sunflower oil help in preventing premature signs of aging. Exposure to free radicals and sunlight increases the rate of aging of skin, causing the occurrence of wrinkles and fine lines at an early age. The antioxidants in sunflower oil lower the risk of developing premature signs of aging.
- Moisturizer: Being naturally emollient, sunflower oil improves your skin’s moisture retention capacity and is beneficial for individuals with dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin. A mixture of sunflower and castor oil is effective in making your skin supple and removing dead cells and impurities. This mixture can be used as a cleanser and there is no need to use a moisturizer as the oils contain fatty acids and vitamins to moisturize your skin.
- Aromatherapy: Sunflower seed oil is an oil of fine quality as it is light in texture and extremely suitable for eye and skin care. It is suitable for normal to dry skin and is increasingly used in aromatherapy because of its mild scent and light texture. It is used in skin products and creates a soft feel on the skin.
Hair Benefits of Sunflower Oil:
- Moisturizer: Just like skin, sunflower oil has a moisturizing effect on your hair as well. A wide array of nutrients and antioxidants together with essential fatty acids make it extremely beneficial for your hair. Following are the benefits of sunflower oil for hair.
- Softens Hair: Due to its light texture and mild flavor, sunflower oil softens the hair and adds a delightful sheen to it. Sunflower seed oil helps to control frizz, tackles dryness and damage and makes you hair manageable. This versatile oil maintains your hair’s luster and texture and can be used as a natural conditioner. Sunflower oil can be applied and massaged on your scalp before a bath once a week for maximum benefits.
- Hair Conditioner: Being extremely light, sunflower oil helps in conditioning greasy hair. It nourishes the hair and prevents breakage.
- Treats Hair Loss: Sunflower oil is an important source of gamma alpha linolenic acid (GLA) which helps in preventing thinning of hair. It is effective in the treatment of hair-loss, baldness and alopecia areata, characterized by round patches of lost hair.