Sunflowers (Helianthus annus) are used for many benefits in food and medicine. Sunflower seed oil is used to treat essential fatty-acid deficiency as well as maintaining anti-inflammatory properties.
A recent study showed sunflower seed oil preserves skin barrier functions and improves hydration, as long as the user is not allergic to the oil.
A study of 497 pre-term infants deemed at high-risk for sepsis were given sunflower seed oil over a petroleum-based moisturizer, three times daily in hopes of improving skin barrier. The sunflower seed oil reduced sepsis by 41% and mortality was reduced by 26%.
Skin Barrier Function
A random group of 19 adults received olive oil on one arm and sunflower seed oil on the other arm for four weeks. The olive oil caused erythema, unlike sunflower seed oil, which efficiently sustained skin barrier function recovery five hours after application.
Sunflower seed oil proved its efficacy once again in 86 children with moderate atopic dermatitis (AD). The participants were randomized to corticosteroids with or without a sunflower-oil-containing cream, which found a significant impact on lichenification and excoriation, decreased corticosteroid use and improved quality of life compared to the control group.
Source: Dermatology Times