Evening primrose oil is an essential oil derived from herbaceous flowering plants of the same name. Evening primrose plants are native to the Americas and belong to the family Onagraceae. For hundreds of years, evening primrose oil has been used to treat Raynaud syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, inflammatory diseases and even alcoholism.
The essential oil from evening primrose is also an effective remedy for all types of skin disorders. Perhaps, evening primrose oil is best remembered as pimple and acne treatment.
Difference between Hormonal Pimples and Cystic Acne
At some point, we all have to deal with skin breakouts called pimples. But some people deal with the most severe kind of breakout: cystic acne. Pimples are common among teens, but adults get them sometimes. These skin eruptions are typically caused by clogged pores and puberty. Spot treatments with salicylic acid and ointments with anti-inflammatory agents are enough to dry up zits or prevent pimples.
On the other hand, cystic acne occurs mostly among adults. The flare-ups are severe, causing pustules with cysts. Swelling and scarring will also occur during and after a breakout. Cystic acne forms underneath the skin tissues. Because the cysts develop underneath the skin, they are effectively sealed by the body, making extraction a painful and difficult affair. Even if inflammation dies down, the cysts will remain under the skin.
How Evening Primrose Helps Prevent Zits and Cystic Acne
Evening primrose oil contains two types of nutrients: gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linolenic acid. Both nutrients contain omega 6 fatty acids, which aid in the absorption of inulin. Inulin is the structure that makes up our cells. This nutrient also regulates hormones, improves skin texture, repairs the nerves and prevents inflammation. Unfortunately, the body cannot produce omega 6 fatty acids. We get this nutrient from the food we eat.
Treating Hormonal Pimples with Evening Primrose Oil
Zits or hormonal pimples are usually enhanced by inflammation. The anti-inflammatory agents in evening primrose oil will calm irritated skin. It will also re-balance the skin’s flora, regulating oil and smoothening the surface of the skin. All these contribute to clear, pimple-free skin.
To use evening primrose oil to prevent pimples, just dot a small amount of the oil directly on the pimple. You can also add a couple of drops of evening primrose oil to your favorite moisturizer. Smooth out the product on the skin as you normally would. Do this until the skin starts calming down.
Treating Cystic Acne with Evening Primrose Oil
The omega 6 fatty acids in evening primrose oil strengthen the skin and regulate oil. Essential fatty acids keep the skin hydrated to minimize the effects of an acne flare-up. We recommend taking evening primrose oil supplement together with fish oil or zinc supplements to intensify its effectiveness in combating cystic acne.
You can also apply 100% pure evening primrose oil on the skin. Add three to four drops of evening primrose oil on clean palms and massage the oil directly on the affected area. Do this every night until the irritation and inflammation die down.
Do note that while evening primrose oil will help reduce inflammation and pain, it’s not a cure for acne.