How To Use Borage Seed Oil For Acne

Today I will be discussing some benefits of borage seed oil from skin care and acne point of view. Borage oil is also known as star-flower oil derived from Borage officinalis or Star-flower plants native to Syria. The oil has hundreds of culinary and therapeutic uses, primary ones being its usefulness in treating arthritis and skin issues. Let us find out how to use Borage seed oil for acne.


Borage seed oil is derived from the seeds or blue star shaped flowers of Borage officinalis using carbon dioxide extraction. It is oily, light and has low viscosity with a light sweet aroma. Pure borage oil comes in light yellow color. When stored properly, it has a shelf life of 6 months.

Borage seed oil topical benefits

Borage oil has many topical benefits. It is anti-inflammatory in nature which helps fight cystic acne.

When it comes to skin care benefits, essential fatty acids play an important role. Primary among these acids is the GLA or Gamma Linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is beneficial in treating acne according to many experts and herbalists. This essential acid cannot be made by the body-it needs to be obtained from food. The body then converts GLA and other essential acids into prostaglandin (PGE1) which have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. Borage oil is a rich source of GLA. (Other sources of GLA are Evening primrose oil and black currant seed oil.) All of these oils also contain Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids which prevent skin dryness, premature aging, wrinkles, acne and other skin problems.

Borage oil anti aging benefits

According to a study conducted in the University of Pennsylvania, consuming up to 1.4 grams of Borage oil daily can benefit rheumatoid arthritis patients; prevent swelling in joints, combat inflammation and joint damage. It can also help patients having multiple sclerosis which occurs due to inflammation. GLA also enhances transmission of nerve impulses which suggests that it could aid in treating Alzheimer’s and other memory related ailments. Animal studies have suggested that borage oil can bring down high blood pressure, combat stress, prevent infertility, and treat impotence and respiratory disorders as well as lupus. It can also help with eye problems like eye dryness etc.

Borage oil hormone balance

Borage oil hormone balance effects are due to the GLA content which gets converted by the body into prostaglandins. Thus, it acts as a hormone regulator which is useful in treating female problems like menstrual issues, as well as teenage acne triggered due to hormonal fluctuations. Borage oil is also cited as treatment for eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and dermatitis. A 12-week study on participants who consumed starflower or borage oil showed dramatic reduction in redness caused by rosacea and acne.

Side effects of Borage seed oil for internal use

Borage oil is usually very safe, especially when sourced from the right vendors. So it can be safely ingested. Therapeutic dosage for fighting inflammation in the body is 1000-1300 mg of Borage oil daily. This will roughly provide you with 200-300mg of GLA. It is best to take Borage oil capsules with food to improve GLA absorption.

Avoid taking Borage oil if you are pregnant as the prostaglandin can induce premature labor. In rare cases, an adverse effect of using the oil is severe constipation and hepatoxicity (when taken in doses of over 1 gram). Also note that Borage oil can interact with many common drugs including NSAIDs as well as certain medicines taken for seizures etc.

For GLA supplements to provide proper effects, you must eat a balanced diet that contains adequate amounts of good fats, vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, biotin, calcium, magnesium and zinc are all involved in fat metabolism. Therefore these should be included in the diet. Different fatty acids interfere with each other so they must be consumed in the right amounts.

Essential oils and Borage seed oil cystic acne treatment-recipe

I recommend the following essential oil recipe with Borage oil for topical use of eczema, acne, psoriasis and rosacea.

  • 40 drops of any essential oil for acne (Tea tree, Lavender, Geranium, Rosemary, Chamomile etc)
  • 2 fl oz of Borage oil
  • 1 Vitamin E capsule

Mix all the oils and store them in a dark, amber colored bottle. Keep it in a cool dry place away from direct light and heat. Let the oils synergize for 24 hours/overnight before use. To use: take a few drops in your palm and gently massage all over the cystic acne. Repeat application 2-3 times a day and particularly at night.

Also take Borage oil capsules every day.

Is Borage seed oil comedogenic?

Borage seed oil has a rating of 2 when it comes to comedogenic oil categories. This means that you can safely use it in your acne remedies for topical use. Avoid oils having a rating of 4-5 which indicates they are highly comedogenic.

Borage oil vs evening primrose oil for acne

Both borage oil and evening primrose oil are promising oils for treating acne in adults and teenagers thanks to their high GLA content. However, there is twice the GLA in borage oil as compared to Evening primrose oil. Cost wise, evening primrose oil is much more expensive than borage oil.


Borage seed oil for cystic acne is a safe and natural remedy for acne in adults and teens. Start slowly by taking 1 capsule of Borage oil. You can also use the above essential oil recipe for topical application to reduce cystic acne. Use these remedies regularly to see results.

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