Borage Seed Oil for Acne-Prone Dehydrated Skin

If you asked me 6 months ago what a borage seed was, I would’ve stared blankly back at you. I didn’t know how to pronounce ‘borage’, let alone what it meant. (By the way, it’s pronounced “BORR-ij”, like ‘porridge’ or ‘forage’. If I’m being honest I said “bore-AHJ until this very moment when I looked it up).

It seems like everyday that I learn about a new type of skin care oil. The options are seriously endless. So when I came across Borage Seed Oil at The Ordinary store, I didn’t pay it much attention.

It wasn’t until I did my usual thing of overthinking my skin care routine and the options available to me that I found some resources that told me how amazing it really was. So I bought it. And I’ve tried it. And I have things to say.

What is Borage Seed Oil? … Or better yet, what is Borage?

I know, I know, borage doesn’t have quite the same ring as some of the other pretty oil names (Evening Primrose anyone?).

Borage seed oil or just borage oil – you guessed it – comes from the seeds of the beautiful borage plant. It’s also known as the Starflower which is a way more fitting name in my opinion! The oil can be extracted through pressing or carbon dioxide extraction.

It’s known for being high in a certain kind of fatty acid – don’t be scared, these acids are part of our natural skin structure and protective layer. Fatty acids live in the sebum between the skin cells, providing antioxidant and hydrating protection.

Borage seed oil is specifically high in a certain type of fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid or GLA. Gamma-linolenic acid is known for being able to fight inflammation, reduce irritation and even conditions like eczema and psoriasis, and taken internally is used to treat autoimmune inflammatory conditions. Borage seed oil is one of the cosmetic oils highest in GLA – up there with the ever popular Evening Primrose and Rosehip oils.

In addition, borage seed oil contains a lot of linoleic acid, a deficiency of which is thought to be a precursor to acne, and is low in oleic acid, which is considered to be one of the richer, more comedogenic types of fatty acids.

The Ordinary’s Borage Seed Oil claims and details

My chosen Borage Seed Oil is from The Ordinary (surprise surprise). At $4.20 USD per bottle, it’s an absolute steal. This formula claims to be 100% organic and cold-pressed, and contains nothing in the ingredients other than the oil itself.

There’s not a ton of claims from The Ordinary about the results you can expect from this particular Borage Seed Oil, but they do say it can maintain general skin health and is soothing on dry and irritated skin, which reflects what we’ve learned about the gamma-linolenic acid content.

How the Borage Seed Oil is packaged

You’ve heard this one before – almost all of The Ordinary’s products come in the same packaging and Borage Seed Oil is no exception. Inside the cardboard box is a dark 30ml glass bottle with a glass dropper and white cap with a minimalist label. It’s aesthetically pleasing and easy to use, but a bit of a pain for travel due to the heavy and fragile nature of the glass.

The Borage Seed Oil application experience

The oil is a light amber colour and has a slightly nutty/herby smell, which I don’t mind but my boyfriend really hates. I’d recommend smelling this in person if you’re easily offended by natural scents.

I’m not going to lie, it feels oily -similar to how olive oil feels. It does leave behind a ‘greasy’ finish, so if you apply before bed like me (and probably apply way more than you need), then you’ll need to tie your hair out of your face. I wouldn’t recommend this in the morning unless your skin is really very dry. Though I do sometimes mix just a teeny drop in with my foundation when I want a very radiant, ethereal finish and it looks so beautiful that way!

I use this oil after all my other, active and more liquidy products to prevent any unwanted occlusive action from blocking my other skin care from doing its work.

Results I saw from 6 months of using Borage Seed Oil

I’ve been using my bottle for almost 6 months now and even using it daily I’ve only gone through about half the bottle. And in that time, my skin has been on some of the best behaviour I’ve ever seen. While part of that is to do with finally treating my fungal acne, I still attribute Borage Seed Oil as being the backbone of my current routine.

I feel like my skin is more consistent and reliable – there’s less variation in how it looks day to day and I’ve had not a single sign of acne or congestion from using it (hallelujah!). Borage Seed Oil has definitely offered a richer, more soothing moisturisation that my previous “oil” Squalane could not. Its richness locks in the precious moisture that I work so hard to get into my dehydrated skin. I’ve had some of the most hydrated, happiest and non-inflamed skin since my pre-teen years. I’m more confident using actives because I feel I can rely on the Borage Seed Oil to keep my skin calm and controlled.

Is it worth adding to your routine?

I definitely say so! This is a new staple in my skin care routine. Especially for the price and minimal ingredients list (a must for fussy-skinned folks like me). I have absolutely no issues with the product and I’ll continue to repurchase it, and I’ll definitely stock up before my big move overseas.!If you have normal-oily, dehydrated, acne-prone and sensitive skin, give Borage Seed Oil a go and you might be pleasantly surprised. You can find it to purchase on Amazon.

Essie