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Safflower Seed Oil - Information and Tips for Using it in Handmade Soap and Cosmetics | Start and grow your soap making business

Safflower Seed Oil - Information and Tips for Using it in Handmade Soap and Cosmetics

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The oil extracted from the safflower plant (Carthamus tinctorius) is used widely in the food and cosmetic industries. There are two types of safflower oil which are commercially available - high oleic safflower oil and high linoleic safflower oil. High oleic safflower oil contains about 70% oleic acid. High linoleic safflower oil contains over 70% linoleic acid.

About Fatty Acids in Fats and Oils

All fats and oils are composed of fatty acids and glycerine. Fats and oils are also known as “triglycerides.” This is because fats and oils are composed of fatty acid molecules and glycerine molecules in a ratio of three to one. Although there are several different types of fatty acids, the ones that occur in the largest percentage in liquid vegetable oils are oleic and linoleic.

Which Is Better, Linoleic Safflower Oil or Oleic Safflower Oil?

Both high-linoleic and high-oleic safflower oil are excellent ingredients in cosmetic products. Linoleic acid is one of the “essential fatty acids” that our bodies need, but that our bodies do not produce. The topical application of products containing large amounts of linoleic acid has been demonstrated to help soften skin, hydrate skin and soothe minor irritations. High-linoleic safflower oil is a rich and inexpensive source of linoleic acid. Oleic acid is not an “essential fatty acid” but it is an important fatty acid in cosmetics because it is very penetrating and helps to moisturize the skin. In addition, the high percentage of oleic acid make high-oleic safflower oil less susceptible to rancidity than high linoleic safflower oil.

How To Know Which Type of Safflower Oil You Are Getting.

Safflower oil is available at grocery stores, health food stores, oil wholesalers, and cosmetic ingredient suppliers. Not all bottles of safflower oil will indicate which type it is. If the label says that you are buying an oil that is high in monounsaturates, you are buying the high oleic type oil (oleic acid is a monounsaturated oil and is very helpful in lowering cholesterol). If the label says that the oil you are buying is high in polyunsaturates, you are buying high linoleic type safflower oil. If you buy your safflower oil from a cosmetic ingredients supplier, you will pay more, but they should be able to tell you if you are buying the high oleic or the high linoleic variety.

Keeping Your Safflower Based Products Fresh

It is a good idea to always add a small amount of Vitamin E oil or rosemary oleoresin to any cosmetic product that contains vegetable oil. This is especially important when using high linoleic safflower oil in your recipes, because linoleic acid is more susceptible to rancidity than oleic acid.

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