Can Evening Primrose oil help pimples and stop acne? Read more about how these natural acne pills may be a natural treatment for acne.
What is Evening Primrose Oil?
EPO is an over the counter supplement for hormonal acne and essential fatty acid that is extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose plant which grows in North America, Europe and part of Asia. It is one of 650 species of flowering plant that are part of the Onagraceae family. Native Americans have used this plant for reducing skin inflammation and healing wounds but it is most popularly used for hormonal acne breakouts and to help reduce PMS symptoms.
The essential fat that EPO contains is called “gamma-linoleic acid” or “omega-6”. If something is “essential” then that means your body can not make it itself and you need to get it from another source. This particular fatty acid plays a role in insulin absorption, brain growth, promoting skin elasticity, strengthening the heart, and regulating mood. The body eventually converts gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) into prostaglandins which are hormones that are necessary for a number of important functions like reducing inflammation, hormone regulation, and inducing labor (wiki).
Evening Primrose Oil for Hormonal Acne
Since EPO helps provide hormonal balance it is very effective at treating hormonal acne. When women have their menstrual cycle or teenagers go through puberty their hormones start to fluctuate which is why they experience breakouts and mood changes.
People who have cysts may also benefit from Evening Primrose oil. Cystic acne is usually caused by hormones and balancing our hormones with EPO may resolve issues within our body that are causing us to breakout.
For women, a lack of essential fats can cause breast pain and cramping. Hormones also cause an over-production of sebum which can clog pores. Taking these natural acne pills during this time can be an effective acne pimple treatment as it will help regulate the hormones that are causing breakouts and mood swings, as well as reduce the amount of sebum being produced to prevent clogged pores and pimples.
Evening primrose oil for rosacea is effective as well as rosacea is an inflammatory skin issue and EPO helps by contracting blood vessels that lead to inflammation.
Evening Primrose Oil Acne Dosage
The recommended dose of EPO for pimples is 1000mg taken three times a day. This will provide 240mg of GLA over the course of a day (source). Just like any supplement, it is important to take EPO with food to increase absorption and digestion.
Evening Primrose Oil for Acne Scars
Essential fats like GLA are necessary for many functions of the body. Without essential fats our skin would look dull, dry, and flushed (not to mention our body wouldn’t be feeling well either). If you have been having trouble getting rid of pimple scars then you may be deficient in some essential fats.
Evening primrose has the highest amount of GLA which will help replenish your skin and possibly reduce the appearance of scarring from blemishes. Another great essential fat for skin health that you can add into your diet is fish oil which is a source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Evening Primrose Oil Acne Topical
EPO is usually taken by mouth in capsule form but comes in liquid form as well and can be applied topically directly to the skin. Liquid EPO must be refrigerated as it can go bad quickly whereas capsules are easier to store and have a longer shelf life. To extract the oil from the capsule simply poke a hole with a sewing needle and squeeze it onto your skin and acne blemishes.
Evening Primrose Oil Side Effects
When taking this natural fat for pimples or any condition it is important to know the side effects as everyone reacts to supplements differently. You should always consult a doctor before taking any kind of supplement as it can interfere with medications you may be taking. Overall EPO is a very safe and beneficial over the counter supplement that everyone should consider taking, but like any supplement some people may not respond well to it.
- May cause low blood pressure so do not take EPO in conjunction with another medication or supplement that lowers blood pressure.
- May increase risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
- May cause bloating and abdominal pain but according to wholehealthmd only happens to 2% of people.
According to Mayo Clinic inflammation on the hands and face have been reported. Although rare, there have also been reports of allergic or sensitivity reactions to EPO. Mayo Clinic recommends people who are allergic to plants in the Onagraceae family, gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), or any part of EPO to avoid using it.
Evening Primrose Oil Benefits
The GLA in the body is taken in as an omega-6 fat called linoleic acid which then metabolizes into GLA. It is suggested by researchers that if you do not get enough linoleic acid into your diet skin allergies may occur because your body can not convert it into GLA which is why those with skin issues may benefit from EPO.
According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006 most linoleic acid intake in the American diet comes from processed foods.
The only way that Evening Primrose oil can make acne worse is if you eat an unhealthy diet. Even though linoleic acid is good for your body as it is an essential fat, getting it from unhealthy food sources will not make your pimples go away, but instead can make your blemishes worse. This is because processed foods contain sugar which triggers hormone fluctuations that cause acne. It is healthier to intake linoleic acid through these sources:
- soy, canola, flaxseed, sunflower, safflower oils
- walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, pine nuts, cashews, pistachios
- green leafy vegetables
Evening Primrose Oil Acne Treatment
This essential oil is a natural acne pimple treatment to help us reduce blemishes. It is most helpful to people who are suffering from hormonal pimples and is available to buy on the internet and at any supplement shops as well. If you are going to buy just one supplement for zits I recommend a complete natural acne pill like Acnetame, but we should consider making Evening Primrose oil to our overall supplement stack because of the many benefits outside of acne control.