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Are There Any Benefits to Evening Primrose Oil Acne Treatment?

Posted Feb 08 2011 2:07pm

Evening primrose oil has become a popular dietary supplement claimed to soothe damaged and dry skin caused by conditions like eczema and psoriasis. That’s exactly why many acne sufferers have turned to evening primrose oil acne treatments in an attempt to calm inflammation and heal damage caused by acne in their delicate complexions…

But does it really work?

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center , evening primrose is a wildflower found in the United States, and it has often been used to treat respiratory issues and stomach ailments. [1]

The reason behind this is that the oil from the wildflower contains large amounts of the essential fatty acid gamma-linoleic acid. This essential fatty acid in evening primrose was eaten by Native Americans and used as a topical poultice to treat hemorrhoids and bruises.

For this reason, evening primrose oil (also called EPO) has been used as an alternative remedy both internally and externally since the seeds of the flower contain up to 25% gamma-linoleic acid and linoleic acid.

These are both omega-6 fatty acids, which the body needs in balance with omega-3 fatty acids to function at its best. Omega-3 fatty acids are primarily found in cold water fish, and they are also taken as dietary supplements .

When taken as a supplement, evening primrose oil can be used to reduce redness and itchiness, often caused by skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema. That is precisely why many natural health advocates believe that evening primrose oil is an ideal acne treatment to soothe and calm much of the swelling, redness, and inflammation caused by chronic acne in the skin.

To give you a better idea, check out what several acne sufferers had to say about using evening primrose oil acne treatments at the acne.org forums:

I have been taking EPO for 3 years, I didn’t see its effect in preventing breakouts.

I started using 1x1000mg primrose oil tablet a day last Tuesday and also 2x10mg b6 vitamin tablets a day and now i have broken out like mad. I had very very few spots last week, and now i have at least 10 new ones, and they aren’t small either!! im definitely stopping both primrose oil and b6 grrrr

I just stopped taking Evening Primrose Oil because it wasn’t doing anything for me.. if anything, it seemed like my face was more broken out when I used the stuff.

While there is definite scientific backing to the use of evening primrose oil acne treatments, including the fact that over 30 studies have confirmed the benefit of using EPO to soothe skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema, it is important to remember that the cause of acne lies much deeper than a surface skin issue. [1]

Even though evening primrose acne treatment has the potential to calm and heal redness in the surface of the skin when taken as a supplement, acne is actually caused by harmful imbalances in the diet. If these dietary triggers are not eliminated by cutting out processed foods and foods that are high in sugar , the skin will remain compromised due to an overload of toxins and will not have the ability to heal itself in the long term.

What this means for you as an acne sufferer is that it may be quite beneficial to take an evening primrose oil acne supplement, but it will never provide long-term relief unless you examine your diet and treat the cause of acne first.

Since I already established that your body needs a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to function optimally, if you are already taking an evening primrose oil acne supplement, it is an excellent idea to add cold water fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.

This will simultaneously provide balance and strengthen your immune system to eliminate acne in your skin.

After you’ve made these necessary dietary changes, you can continue to use a healing and regenerating natural supplement like EPO to soothe and restore your skin as you strengthen your immune system with a healthy diet to rid your body of acne for good!

Sources:

About the Author: Bethany Ramos is an aesthetician and makeup artist with a special interest in using nutrition to heal and alleviate a number of conditions in the skin. You can find out more skin care and makeup tips by visiting her blog at FacebyBethany .

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