You have probably seen borage growing in your garden or along the side of the road; originally from the Mediterranean it now grows well almost everywhere. It has the striking blue star shaped flower (hence it’s common name Starflower), big floppy green leaves and very characteristic white hairs that cover almost the whole plant. The plant is used in many ways, but for skin care we are interested in the seeds.
Borage oil is the greatest source of the fatty acid GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), it contains a huge 17-25%. GLA is then converted into very important prostaglandins, these are very powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation is a key cause in many skin issues, from acne to rashes and sensitivities to dry skin conditions and wrinkles.
Interestingly, GLA is a non-essential fatty acid. This means that our body can make it from the food we eat. It is made from the fatty acid LA (linolenic acid) which is actually quite abundant in our diets. However, the enzyme needed to do the conversion is known to be easily impaired thus not effective or speedy in doing its job, leaving many of us GLA deficient. A GLA deficiency has been indicated in dry skin sufferers and more severely in those with eczema and dermatitis type conditions.
It is now well understood that inflammation in the body and skin is a major cause of all sorts of ailments. Cells that are agitated and inflamed (often thought to be due to the many inflammatory factors in our lifestyles today – poor diet, stress etc) cannot carry out their functions effectively. In the case of our skin, inflamed skin cannot absorb and utilize nutrients properly, so becomes more and more deficient and less and less healthy. If our skin is suffering this way it is vital to address the inflammation first before expecting it to be benefiting from the products we are using.
Borage is a wonderful addition to two of my oil serums, Jasmine & Pomegranate and Rose & Starflower. These serums were formulated specifically to induce a real positive change in the skin. So fantastic when the skin feels “stuck” or like nothing is making a difference. The borage oil reduces the micro-inflammation which then allows the skin to start really using the many other nutrients available either in skin care products or from our diet.
So, if you are looking for something not only to restore moisture and smoothness but also to decrease redness, improve suppleness and create true healthful radiance, borage may be the answer!