Sunflower Oil: The Surprising Ingredient for Acne-Prone Skin

  • August 12, 2023
  • 3 Minutes

Last updated on 10/12/2023 by Souhela Ferrah

Sunflower oil, with its amazing properties, can help you battle acne, a prevalent dermatological condition that seriously affects the quality of life of those who suffer from it. External pollutants or excess sebum production and dead skin cells clog our pores, initiating this condition. Additionally, influencing factors include diet, bacteria, and stress.

To keep our skin clean, hydrated, and protected, people have recently turned to botanical and organic skincare, opting for ingredients provided by Mother Nature. This shift is a result of the extensive availability of skin care products in the past century, flooded with hundreds of minimally regulated chemical products. In this guide, we will delve into the benefits of sunflower oil and its application in dealing with acne.

One effective, 100% natural solution to managing acne-prone skin is sunflower oil. Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, this oil has been lauded for its potential benefits to the skin, especially for those with recurrent acne. Suppose you need more information to fully understand acne, its triggering factors, causes, and treatments. In that case, please read our extensive guide: The Science Behind Acne, for the full scope, including treatment options and 100% organic and clean products, check out our Acne Skin Concern page.

image of a composition of sunflowers inside a glass vase
black and white picture of sunflower near the skin of the legs of a young lady
image of a glass vase of sunflowers in a room

Understanding Sunflower Oil for Acne-Prone Skin

The Helianthus annuus plant, more commonly known as the sunflower, produces seeds with high oil content. Sunflower oil is widely extracted through one of two processes:

1. Cold pressing: where the seeds are pressed without heat to preserve the nutritional content.
2. Solvent extraction: the seeds are mixed with hexane, a solvent, to extract the oil.

I always recommend ensuring that any sunflower oil I apply to my skin is cold-pressed. Refined oil through solvent extraction has a higher yield for the producer but has a significantly lower nutritional content.

Sunflower Oil’s Composition and Benefits

Sunflower oil is composed of a large amount of linoleic acid, oleic acid, lecithin, carotenoids, tocopherols, and high quantities of vitamins A, D, and E. Packed with so many wonders for the skin, this oil can target a multitude of acne-causing factors such as:

  1. Anti-inflammatory properties of sunflower oil*:* Sunflower oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties, largely attributed to its rich linoleic acid content.
  2. Antioxidant benefits and protection against free radicals: Its high Vitamin E content, a powerful antioxidant, aids in the protective role against harmful free radicals that can cause oxidative damage to the skin cells, potentially worsening acne.
  3. Moisturizing and nourishing effects on the skin: Sunflower oil provides excellent hydration without clogging pores, thanks to its light and non-comedogenic nature.
  4. Regulation of sebum production: The linoleic acid can also assist in regulating the skin’s natural sebum production, reducing the chance of clogged pores.
  5. Reduction of acne scars and hyperpigmentation: With regular and consistent use, sunflower oil may help diminish acne scars and hyperpigmentation, resulting in a more even skin tone.

Being such a versatile oil with many important nutrients for our skin, sunflower oil can be the extra help you need to manage acne.


Being such a versatile oil with many important nutrients for our skin, sunflower oil can be the extra help you need to add in your skincare routine to manage acne.

Incorporating Sunflower Oil into Skincare Routine

Cleansing with sunflower oil

  1. Double cleansing method: A cleanser with sunflower oil can be used as the first step of a double cleansing routine. It will dissolve makeup, grime, and other oil-based impurities. A great example of an organic cleanser is Field of Yarrow’s Hibiscus & Rosella | Clarifying Oil to Milk – Cleansing Oil. Powered by nourishing-dense oils providing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it gives you a healthy-looking complexion while reducing acne scars and other blemishes, providing an overall healthy glow.  
  2. Oil cleansing benefits for acne-prone skin: Oil cleansing with sunflower oil can help balance sebum production, unclog pores, and reduce inflammation.
Read Reviews

Hibiscus & Rosella

Clarifying Oil to Milk cleanser

An oil-to-milk vitamin C rich cleansing oil that breaks down buildup and dissolves makeup revealing a brighter complexion without stripping the skin for a soft, supple and fresh feeling.

Moisturizing with sunflower oil

  1. Sunflower oil as a moisturizer provides effective hydration without making the skin greasy.
  2. Mixing sunflower oil with other skincare products: A few drops of sunflower oil can be combined with lotions or creams for added benefits, although it is better to get an organic product that contains it.

Sunflower oil as a carrier oil for essential oils

  1. Benefits of combining sunflower oil with essential oils: Most essential oils must be diluted to the proper concentration with a carrier oil to reduce the risk of allergy. This combination can enhance the efficacy of essential oils.
  2. Recommended essential oils for acne-prone skin: Tea tree, lavender, and rosemary oils are often recommended due to their acne-fighting properties.

In our nightly skincare routine for acne prone skins, we have explained how the sunflower oil based cleanser, in junction with our toner and hydrating floral water, is strongly beneficial for reducing Acne outbreaks and its visibility. Here are all the products featured in the Skincare Routine.

Precautions and Tips for Using Sunflower Oil

Patch testing and allergy concerns

Before using sunflower oil, a patch test should be done to ensure no allergic reaction. Apply a small amount to a discreet skin patch and wait 24 hours to see if any irritation develops.

Sunflower oil and potential interactions with other skincare products

While sunflower oil is generally safe for all skin types, it might interact with certain skincare products. Consult your skin professional to ensure it’s compatible with your current skincare regimen, and choose natural products that already include it.

Proper storage and shelf life of sunflower oil

Sunflower oil should be stored in a cool, dark place to maintain its potency. Even with proper storage, it should be used within a year of opening.

Gradual introduction and monitoring of results

Introducing sunflower oil gradually into your skincare routine and monitoring your skin’s response to it can give you valuable information to share with your dermatologist. If any adverse reactions occur, discontinue its use.

Even though acne is a multifactorial pathogenesis, sunflower oil can really help target a multitude of these factors making it a great non-comedogenic ally in the fight against acne.


What are the main skincare benefits of sunflower oil?

Sunflower oil is rich in vitamins A, D, and E, as well as essential fatty acids. It moisturizes the skin, helps retain moisture, soothes dryness, and promotes a healthy and radiant complexion.

Can sunflower oil help with acne-prone skin?

Yes, sunflower oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores. Its light texture and antimicrobial properties can help control excess oil, reduce inflammation, and prevent acne breakouts.

Is sunflower oil suitable for sensitive skin?

Yes, sunflower oil is generally well-tolerated by sensitive skin. Its mild and gentle nature can help soothe and calm irritated skin without causing further sensitivity.

Can sunflower oil be used as a makeup remover?

Yes, sunflower oil can be an effective and gentle makeup remover. Its lightweight texture allows it to dissolve makeup without leaving a greasy residue.

Can sunflower oil be used to reduce under-eye puffiness or dark circles?

Sunflower oil's hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce under-eye puffiness and soothe the delicate skin in that area, diminishing the appearance of dark circles.

Can sunflower oil help with stretch marks?

Sunflower oil's hydrating and nourishing properties may help improve the appearance of stretch marks. Consistent use over time, along with other skincare practices, can contribute to their reduction.

About the Author

Souhela Ferrah
Souhela Ferrah

Researcher, mom and founder of Fields of Yarrow

Growing up in the south of France, Souhela Ferrah was surrounded by flower fields. As the daughter of a pharmacist, and with her educational background as chemist, she grew up with a strong affinity with nature and understood its power very well. Thanks to her family, her hometown and her travels around the world, she found inspiration in natural healers, herbalists and nature itself. And this was enough to motivate her to start the awarded honest skincare brand, Fields of Yarrow.
Tags: acne / acne prone skin / acne scars / botanical ingredients / ingredients / natural ingredients / oil / oils / organic ingredients / sunflower / sunflower oil

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