Because I will never tire of accumulating new things to smear upon my face skin — the next one might be miraculous! — today we take a look at Evening Primrose Oil. Is this an amazing recent scientific discovery? No! Is it an earth-shatteringly new product? Nein! Is it something that I, personally, have somehow never tried until very recently? OUI!
WHAT THAT IS :
Plain ol’ unadulterated evening primrose oil! Like most [allegedly] “good” oils, this one is virgin and cold-pressed, free of solvents etc. I grabbed the one from Now Solutions (currently $12.16/4oz on Amazon), as I’ve bought a number of their other things in the past — coconut oil, shea butter — and been quite pleased.
WHY EVENING PRIMROSE ANYWAY?
Because my skin is a bitchy lil princess, that’s why. It’s oily, it’s acne-prone, but right now due to some truly unusual levels of “holy shit it’s cold and dry here, what state is this again??” it’s also getting some dry patches, because I cannot win, ever. Squalane oil is lovely but quite lightweight, hemp oil (HEMP OIIILLLL!) is fantastic but a bit too heavy for under makeup. Plus, the composition of evening primrose oil seems pretty ideal for me — roughly 75% linoleic acid (one of the highest concentrations of any oil; linoleic acids are great for oily skin), only about 6% oleic acid (a richer heavier fatty acid, great for dry skin but often too occlusive for oily/acne-prone skin), very low in comedogenic stearic/palmitic acids, AND with a hefty dose (usually about 10%) of gamma-linoleic, a fatty acid that’s a powerful anti-inflammatory.
WHAT’S IT LIKE THO?
It’s a pleasing light golden color, and the texture is a bit heavier than squalane, but noticeably lighter and thinner than hemp oil (or maracuja, or rosehip seed oil, or argan oil). It absorbs into the skin really nicely, and makes my face feel kind of … plump and lush? It does NOT feel heavy or greasy (which would make me go “ew” and permanently scrap it from my Oil Rotation) (Oil Rotation would be a pretty good band name) (yes I’m still doing the “band name” thing, sue me). At night, I slaaaather it on — and also do the backs of my hands, which are currently in a state I’ll refer to as “Sad As Hell” due to the weather. During the day, I’ll drizzle just a few drops onto my fingertips and moosh it into my face, usually after a serum (hyaluronic or whatever). It’s been reaaaaaally nice on my dryer-than-usual-but-still-oily-in-places winter skin, and I’ve had zero issues with it impeding my makeup application (either liquid or powder foundations) or disturbing/reducing makeup wear.
IS IT SUPER GOOD?
IT IS SUPER GOOD. I love this stuff, even though it’s a relatively delicate/fragile oil, and refrigeration is recommended if not definitively required. I’m not willing to trek to the kitchen in the middle of my daily skincare routine tho, so my solution is to decant a bit into a tiny bottle — just enough to last a week or so, as I figure that’s not enough time for it to significantly degrade. Which, the decanting thing is a fine idea anyway, as the bottle it comes in has the kind of press-open cap that’s great for shower gel, but not great for something you just want a couple drops of.
CAN YOU EAT IT?
Indeed you totally can, and in fact this stuff is available in capsule form as well. Seeing that it’s packed with essential fatty acids, including the aforementioned relatively high level of gamma-linoleic, it’s GREAT to eat. However, it does lack hemp oil’s “omg that’s delicious” aspect — this stuff tastes much like it smells (faintly woody/grassy, with maybe a hint of walnut?). It doesn’t taste horrible, but it does taste like Something That Goes On Your Face, not something you’d race to build a salad dressing recipe around. But, there’s quite a lot of anecdotal evidence (and even some legit studies, but nothing “conclusive” that I’ve seen) that internal use can be beneficial for those suffering eczema, rheumatoid arthritis (probably the anti-inflammatory gamma-linoleic is responsible for good effects here) and even PMS and hormonal acne. I have not yet tried it, as I prefer the rub-things-on-face approach to breakouts.
IN CONCLUSION : It’s good stuff! If you have oily skin and/or acne and want to incorporate a facial oil into your routine, this one is definitely worth trying — high linoleic / GLA, non-heavy texture, makeup-friendly, and a quite reasonable price.
Tried it? Love it? Hate it? Share!