Borage Seed Oil



  • Active Oil
  • INCI: Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 2
  • Composition: Linoleic acid (up to approx. 38 %), γ-linolenic acid (up to approx. 20 %), oleic acid (up to approx. 16 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 10 %), stearic acid (up to approx. 4 %), erucic acid (up to approx. 3 %), tocopherols, flavonoids and tanning agents.
  • Iodine number: 141.
  • Cosmetic use: Dry, mature skin.
  • Shelf life: About 10-12 weeks.



Borage is an annual plant that belongs to the flowering plant family Boraginaceae. It is originally native to the Mediterranean region but has also been cultivated in Central Europe since the late Middle Ages. The plant has a stem of up to 70 cm, which is bristly and hairy, hollow, and juicy. The leaves are alternate, dark green on the upper side, and have bristly hair as well. The borage plant blooms from May to September. The hermaphroditic flowers each have 5 linear, pointed petals. These are pink at first and then turn sky blue as the PH value changes during the anthesis.

Extraction of borage seed oil

Borage seed oil is obtained by cold pressing the seeds of borage. In the cold pressing process, all important ingredients are retained. The oil may be refined afterward. Borage seed oil can also be obtained by extraction with subsequent refining, but fewer valuable ingredients are retained in the end product. The unrefined oil can be recognized by its rich color, whereas refined oil has much lighter color.

Cosmetic use of borage seed oil

The oil helps the skin to produce sufficient moisture and makes it suppler. It contains the highest proportion of gamma-linolenic acid of all the vegetable oils tested to date. This makes the oil well suited for the care of neurodermatitis and itchy skin. Gamma-linolenic acid is also a natural component of human skin and can contribute to the healing of damaged skin. It is also an essential element in the formation of tissue hormones and is said to support the hormone balance when consumed orally.


Benefits of borage seed oil for skin

  • provides moisture
  • has a cooling effect
  • is absorbed quickly
  • relaxes the skin
  • gives a fresh complexion

Internal use of borage seed oil

Borage seed oil is used as a food supplement and dietary food. Its high content of gamma linolenic acid has many positive effects for the body. The content of gamma linolenic acid relieves the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and reduces swelling. It is also used to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Gamma linolenic acid is a precursor of prostaglandin E, which is responsible for the interaction of female hormones. It is believed that women with PMS have a gamma linolenic acid deficiency, which is why an excess of the female hormone prolactin is produced. Gamma linolenic acid is known to balance out metabolic fluctuations and is an effective self-protection of the body against physical and mental complaints. It can also help with hormone-related depression during the menopause.

Borage seed oil has a high content of vitamin C and can therefore strengthen the immune system. It also helps against lung diseases and enables better breathing.

Formula foods with borage seed oil are also being investigated in studies, although there are no clear results yet.

Buy borage seed oil – what to consider?

When you buy borage seed oil, you should make sure that it has been gently cold pressed and neither deodorized nor otherwise treated. Furthermore, it should be 100% pure oil that contains no artificial additives. Since the oil does not have a very long shelf life, good suppliers sell it in amber glass bottles to protect it from light.

Source: Krist, Sabine (2013): Lexikon der Pflanzlichen Öle und Fett. Vienna: Springer Verlag. | Braunschweig, R. (2020): Pflanzenöle - über 50 starke Helfer für Genuss und Hautpflege. Wiggensbach: Stadelmann Verlag.

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