Skin oils — with the right ingredients — can be super hydrating for skin. Depending on the formulation, they can make skin feel super soft and nourished while absorbing pretty quickly. Recently Orico London sent over a sample of their Superico Omega Rich Body Oil ($40, oricolondon.com), which boasts a natural blend of super seed oils and a relaxing scent. Overall, I really enjoyed using it, and I think it could be a boon for those who need a moisture boost.
Sunflower Seed Oil: Antibacterial and Skin Barrier Improver
It’s hard to say which I love more, the cheeriness of sunflowers, or the awesome benefits of sunflower seed oil. With 68% linoleic acid and 20% oleic acid, it’s a super emollient (Purdue Agriculture). Better yet, linoleic acid is an an omega-6 essential fatty acid important for structural components of cell membranes (Oregon State University).
In addition to making skin feel soft, sunflower seed oil improves skin barrier function. During a 2002 study, researchers applied the oil to mouse skin with a disrupted barrier and found that there was a significant acceleration in skin barrier recovery within one hour of application (Acta Paediatrica).
It also exhibits antibacterial properties. A 2004 study in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal tested topical application of sunflower seed oil three times daily to preterm infants for 34 weeks in 51 infants. The results showed an improvement in skin condition and reduction in nosocomial infections (infections from a hospital setting) compared to infants who were not treated with sunflower seed oil.
Rapeseed Oil/Canola Oil: Supplies Lipids to Irritated Skin from SLS
Rapeseed oil, also known as Canola oil, is also known to improve skin barrier function, stacking up well against the dreaded SLS. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a pretty well-known skin irritant that disrupts the skin barrier. In a 1996 study, participants with SLS-irritated skin who were treated with a sterol-enriched fraction from canola oil suffered less transepidermal water loss (TEWL) (British Journal of Dermatology). And the combination of canola oil, the sterol-enriched fraction, and hydrocortisone had an even better effect.
They suggested the observed effects of canola oil and its fraction of unsaponifiable lipids on SLS-induced skin irritation suggest that it may assist in supplying the damaged barrier with lipids (British Journal of Dermatology).
Canola oil in addition to other ingredients has also been said to help improve skin barrier of people suffering from atopic dermatitis (British Journal of Dermatology).
Tocopherols aka Vitamin E!
One of the reasons vitamin E is so beneficial in skin care is that it can replenish the skin’s natural supply of vitamin E. This and other vitamins are part of the skin’s natural protection, but get quickly depleted in UV light. Topical application of vitamin E can make up for what the skin loses (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology).
It’s also much-loved as an antioxidant. That’s because it has a very high Environmental Protection Factor (EPF) of 80 (though it scored lower than idebenone, and super antioxidant coffeeberry wasn’t included) (Cosmetic Dermatology).
Just don’t use this on wounds and new scars. Vitamin E was recommended to prevent scarring in the past. Unfortunately, a 1996 study found that vitamin E did nothing and sometimes worsened scarring in 90% of the participants. In fact, a third of the patients got contact dermatitis from application (Dermatologic Surgery).
Personal Opinion and Opinion
I typically stick to lotions, so I was excited to try Superico Omega Rich Body Oil. The oil is clear and has a relaxing, sandalwood smell that lasts throughout the day. I applied the oil immediately after a nice warm bath as directed, and to my surprise, the oil absorbed quickly with no oily feeling left on my skin.
It has a light feel and kept my skin hydrated throughout the day. After a week of applying the body oil, my legs are smoother and softer. I think this is an especially great find if you suffer from dry skin.
Superico Omega Rich Body Oil contains all skin barrier-boosting ingredients like sunflower seed oil and canola oil and antioxidant-rich tocopherols. Sunflower seed oil has linoleic and oleic acids that may enhance skin barrier function and provide antibacterial properties. Rapeseed or canola oil has been shown to help protect skin irritated by sodium lauryl sulfate and may improve skin barrier of people with atopic dermatitis. Lastly, tocopherols exhibit antioxidant activities and may protect against oxidative damage from UV-radiation and prevent or reduce UV-induced inflammation. Make sure you layer sunscreen overtop of this oil to keep your skin healthy in every way.
Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, Coco-Caprylate, Brassica Campestris Oleifera (Rapeseed) Oil, Tocopherol, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pogostemum Cablin Oil, Achillea Millefolium Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Linalool, Limonene, Citronellol, Geraniol, Citral