Sunflower Oil

  • Base Oil
  • INCI: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil
  • Comedogenicity: 0-2
  • Composition: Linoleic acid (up to approx. 62 %), oleic acid (up to approx. 30 %), palmitic acid (up to approx. 6 %), stearic acid (up to approx. 4 %), lecithin (up to approx. 1 %), tocopherols (mainly α-tocopherol), phytosterols. 
  • Cosmetic use: Dry, mature, irritated skin.


The sunflower reaches a height of up to 2.5 m and has a strong, branched and foliated stem. Its alternately arranged leaves are heart-shaped, rough haired, long stalked, and strongly serrated at the edge. The flower heads have a diameter of up to 40 cm and contain up to 10 cm long yellow ray flowers. The tubular flowers on the other hand have a brown color. After withering, the flower head contains up to 2000 seeds from which the oil is extracted. The color of the seeds ranges from black to whitish to striped lengthwise black and white. The skin of the seeds is woody and easy to separate from the seed. The seeds can contain up to 60% fatty oil.

Extraction of Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is obtained from the seeds of the sunflower and has a light yellow color. First, the seeds are removed from their shells and then pressed either warm or cold. Cold pressing isa gentle procedure that produces an oil with a limited shelf life but a high content of fat-soluble vitamins. The more efficient hot pressing process ensures a longer shelf life (up to twoyears), but the content of valuable ingredients is lower. In addition to pressing, there is also the possibility of extraction with critical CO2.

Cosmetic use of Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is a light, well-tolerated oil that is absorbed quickly by the skin and leaves no oily film behind. The high content of Omega 6 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E make sunflower oil (both natural and cold pressed) a very nourishing cosmetic ingredient. The oil is also said to have anti-inflammatory and skin-protecting effects, which is why it is also used in the treatment of eczema and irritation. In addition, the oil is also used in anti-aging cosmetics due to the antioxidants it contains. The effect of free radicals on cell damage and premature skin aging can be counteracted by regular application of the oil.

Sunflower oil does not have a very long shelf life and should be mixed with more stable oils in cosmetic products to increase its durability.