A clear to pale yellow, thin, dry oil made from the pressed seeds of the borage plant. The oil has a strong natural odour that can be masked with essential oils if used in an oil only blend. When used in creams and lotions, the odour is less noticeable.
The oil has 0.5% Vitamin E (Tocopherol) added as an antioxidant which will reduce the potential oxidation of the Borage Oil whilst it is in the bottle. That Vitamin E is itself in Sunflower Seed Oil to make the tocopherol pourable. This is the only way to ensure we have a potent product that is effective.
It is a very dry and thin oil that is quickly absorbed by the skin. Rich in natural vitamins and essential fatty acids.
Borage oil has an exceptionally high content of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) which helps combat skin dryness, loss of suppleness and wrinkling. GLA is needed by the body to make prostaglandins which are an essential part of the repair and maintenance action of the body. With good levels of GLA, the skin is more tolerant to sunlight on a daily basis and the skin heals quicker.
Typical Fatty Acid Profile
C16:0 Palmitic Acid 5% to 13%
C18:0 Stearic Acid 1% to 6%
C18:1 Oleic Acid (Omega 9) 5% to 30%
C18:2 Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) 30% to 76%
C18:3 Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) max 18%
C18:3 Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3) max 1%
Saponification Value mgKOH / g 185-195
Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (Cosing), the functions of Borage Oil are:
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
To view more information, visit the Cosing Database here.
Excellent oil to use on damaged skin such as acne prone or eczema and especially, psoriasis prone skin. The high GLA content is involved with prostaglandin production which helps the skin to heal and repair itself quicker. Perfect to use with all sensitive skin types.
Makes dry and crepey skin softer and more flexible giving it a younger appearance.
Excellent to add to massage blends as it helps to remove inflammation in the joints and ease stiffness and pain.
Reduces the appearance of aging by diminishing fine lines and wrinkles whilst encouraging the skin to retain hydration levels. Use in mature skin creams, lotions and serums.
Very good to moisturise the hair shaft and promote hair growth making it stronger.
Effective to eliminate dandruff.
Makes the hair feel soft and flexible.
Use 1% to 100%. However, because it feels very dry, it is much better to use it blended with other oils to enrich it further and feel nicer on the skin. From experience, we find that at least 5% in a cream or lotion has a very good effect.
Oil soluble so cannot be used in water only products. It can be used in small amounts in water based gels that will hold it in suspension.
The GLA content of the Borage Oil is not heat stable so it should be used in Stage 3 (below 40°C) when making creams and lotions.
Excellent to blend with thicker and heavier oils like Castor Oil or Shea Butter Oil to increase the functionality as well as improved the sensorial feel on the skin.
Conditioning Hair Butter
Stage 1: (above 75°C)
8% Brazil Nut Oil
7% Argan Oil
5% Avocado Butter
10% Emulsifying Wax
Stage 2: (above 75°C)
55% Boiling Spring Water
Stage 3: (below 40°C)
5% Borage Oil
2% Vitamin E
1% Preservative 12
1% Essential Oils of your choice
Weigh all Stage 1 (fat stage) ingredients into a stainless steel bowl and place over a saucepan of boiling water (bain marie). Bring up to a temperature of over 75°C.
When the Stage 1 is over 75°C, add the Stage 2 (water stage) ingredients to a larger stainless steel bowl. Swap the bowls over so the larger bowl is in the double boiler.
Pour the Stage 1 ingredients into the Stage 2 ingredients and stir gently without creating air bubbles. Ensure the mix is still over 75°C and stir continually for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, remove bowl from the double boiler and put into a pan of cold water to cool it down quickly. Keep stirring all the time.
When the cream or lotion is below 40°C add the remaining stage 3 ingredients. Combine thoroughly, jar and label.
Intensive Dry / Mature Skin Serum
Stage 1: (room temperature)
23% Oat Oil
21% Borage Oil
15% Rosehip Oil
14% Vitamin E
12% Avocado Oil
9% Macadamia Nut Oil
2% Remodelling Intense
2% Eco Marine Algae Extract
1% Q10 Plus E
0.5% Rosemary Antioxidant
0.5% Sandalwood Essential Oil
Combine all ingredients together and mix together. A bottle with a pipette is a good way to use this products as a few drops will go a long way. Bottle and label.
For more information and guidance on making your own skin care products please see Aromantic's books and eBooks in our Publications section.
These notes are not meant to replace medical guidance and you should seek the advice of your doctor for your health matters. The formulae are given in good faith and are intended for educational purposes only. They have not been evaluated or tested in any way and Aromantic Ltd. makes no claim as to their effectiveness. It is up to the reader to ensure that any products they produce from these recipes are safe to use, and if relevant, compliant under current cosmetic regulations.
Traditional Aromatherapy Uses
Traditionally used by qualified aromatherapists to manage psoriasis especially if it is on the face and scalp.
Often used in sickbed situations as a rich source of vitamins and GLA to stimulate prostaglandin production.
Also blended with Ylang Ylang Essential oil to help with diabetes.
Although native to the Mediterranean area, borage seeds have been found in Roman archeological remains in the UK.
Borage was often planted as a companion plant to help other plants grow better. It was also loved by honey bees which also helped to pollinate the other plants nearby.
The borage leaf tastes like freshly cut cucumber. In the 1920’s, it was fashionable to finely chop some borage leaf (it looked better than a complete leaf which is hairy) and put this into an ice cube tray with a blue borage flower on top. The tray was topped up with water and frozen. The delightful ice cubes were added to the popular Pimms drink for flavour and appearance.