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The benefits of evening primrose oil

Vegetable oil

Externally, evening primrose oil has an anti-wrinkle, moisturizing and protective action on the skin, nails and hair and treats skin disorders. Both restructuring and anti-ageing active per excellence, it fights against the signs of skin ageing and restores the flexibility of the epidermis. It also has softening and revitalizing properties. The rich composition in fatty acids, vitamin E and triterpenes confers a nutritional, cosmetic and therapeutic role to Evening Primrose Oil, in both internal and external use (not developed here)

drop illustration


Native to North America, evening primrose is a flowering plant with multiple virtues that the Amerindians use in poultices or natural remedies against stomach pains for example.

It has a long erect stem with many spiky leaves and lives only for two years. It blooms at the end of its second spring, and its flowers have the particularity to open in one or two minutes only, at dusk. Its leaves, flowers and roots are edible, but it is for its small black seeds that evening primrose is cultivated. These seeds contain about 20% of a vegetable oil rich in complex fatty acids, known as “essential”, including gamma-linolenic acid because the human body cannot synthesize them on its own.

chemistry illustrationComposition

  • linolenic acid (AGPI omega 6): 70 to 85 %
  • oleic acid (AGMI omega 9): 5 to 12 %
  • palmitic acid AGS): 4 to 8 %
  • gamma linolenic acid (AGPI omega 6): 7 to 14 %
  • stearic acid (AGS): 2 to 4 %


Main properties of Evening Primrose in cosmetics (cutaneous use)


Evening primrose vegetable oil, with its high proportion of Omega 6, offers interesting properties for the skin, particularly for cell membranes. Its action is particularly beneficial for tired, dry or suffering skin.

It is one of the richest Oils in an unsaturated fatty acid that is both rare and precious: gamma-linolenic acid (or GLA), a member of the omega 6 family. It is found in only a few oils, such as hemp, flax and borage.

  • Cutaneous anti-inflammatory: Evening primrose oil inhibits the mechanisms responsible for inflammation thanks to its essential fatty acids.
  • Cutaneous regenerator: thanks to the important presence of fatty acids.
  • Revitalising and restructuring, it favours skin regeneration while maintaining its elasticity.
  • soothing,  it soothes skin prone to irritation and also protects it against external aggressions (sun, wind, cold, pollution) by restoring the skin’s hydrolipidic film.
  • softener, nourishing: its composition in sterols helps fight against the signs of ageing. It also helps to maintain skin elasticity. Gamma-linolenic acid plays an essential role in the hydration and suppleness of the skin.
  • Regulator of the hormonal system: Composed of gamma-linolenic and linoleic acids, it appears to offer a regulating action of the hormonal system. It is particularly useful to help fight against menstrual pain or hot flushes.
  • Protector of the osteo-articular system: Some scientific studies have identified the interest of gamma-linolenic acid for the absorption and fixation of calcium on the bones. Evening primrose oil would therefore improve bone density and prevent osteoporosis.



Adults/children / pregnant and breastfeeding women



This ingredient is present in 0.71 % of cosmetics.

  • Face hydrating serum (2,98%)
  • Hydrating oil for face and body (2,92%)
  • Face cream (2,58%)
  • Anti-ageing day cream for the face (2,32%)
  • Hand cream (1,67%)


Cutaneous indications (skin, hair, nails)

  • Acne
  • Dry, devitalised hair
  • Itchy scalp
  • Dryness (hands, body, hair, nails)
  • Brittle and soft nails, cuticles
  • Skin: tired, devitalised, oily, mature, wrinkled
  • Psoriasis, Urticaria
  • Stretch marks, cellulite, light scars, skin irritation, light burns

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Evening primrose oil: practical suggestions

Handy hints
For skin use, it is possible to make evening primrose oil even more penetrating by combining it with a vegetable oil such as hazelnut, sesame, jojoba or macadamia.


old illustrationIn cases of arthritis or inflammatory pain

Evening primrose oil helps fight against inflammation, thanks to its rich GLA composition. Clinical studies have shown that GLA supplementation can reduce pain, inflammation and sensitivity in the joints.

  • Application advice: massage a few drops of evening primrose oil on the inflamed areas, two to three times a day.
  • Complementary EOsEucalyptus Citriodora.


acne illustrationIn cases of Eczema, Psoriasis, Dermatitis

Thanks to linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (anti-inflammatory components) Evening Primrose oil has beneficial effects on eczema, psoriasis and all type of dermatitis

  • Application advice: massage a few drops of evening primrose oil both morning and night on the inflamed areas of the skin.
  • Complementary EOs:  roman chamomile, Geranium Rosat, Fine or Aspic Lavender
  • Other vegetable oils that are suitable:  Calophyllum Inophylum


wrinkle skin illustrationIn cases of wrinkles and mature skin

Its high content of linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids helps to restructure cell membranes. It is also composed of vitamin E (anti-oxidant properties) useful to fight against wrinkles.

  • Application advice: massage a few drops of Evening Primrose oil in your skin, both morning and night
  • Complementary EOsGeranium Rosat, Fine Lavender
  • Other suitable vegetable oils:  Musc Rose, and Prickly pear seeds.

hydrated skin illustrationIn cases of dry skin or sensitive skin

Thanks to the unsaturated fatty acids, it is perfectly adapted to dry, sensitive, weakened skin as well for the face as for the body. It restores suppleness and elasticity to dry skin once nourished.

  • Application advice: massage a few drops of Evening Primrose oil in your skin, both morning and night



In cases of dry hair, brittle hair, brittle nails, damaged hair

Just as it is suitable for dry skin, evening primrose oil is also suitable for brittle hair and/or nails.

  • Application advice: massage a few drops of Evening Primrose Oil on the lengths and ends of hair to nourish it. You can also directly apply to the nails to strengthen them.
  • Complementary essential oil: Ylang Ylang.


Mask for dyed hair

Mix 10ml of Evening Primrose oil + 10ml of sweet almond oil + 5 drops of sweet orange EO or Ylang-ylang flower EO.

Mix the 3 ingredients well and then massage into the hair and scalp. Pay special attention to the ends and also make sure not to get any in the eyes.

Leave on for at least 1 hour, then shampoo.

One usage only.



Evening primrose oil is sensitive to oxidation. As a result, it must be kept in a cool place.

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