Primrose oil is derived from evening primrose, a yellow flowering herb native to the Americas. It is a natural source of omega-6 fatty acids that help to maintain optimal health.
The structure and function of the skin, the largest organ in the body, is dependent on fatty acids. LA accounts for approximately 12% of fatty acids in the skin. It is essential to maintain epidermal barrier integrity, which protects against environmental factors and the loss of electrolytes and water. Omega-6 fatty acid deficiencies have been associated with impaired epithelial cell function, including the loss of moisture in the skin and eyes.
In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, daily supplementation with primrose oil for three months significantly improved the firmness, elasticity and barrier function of the skin in adults with dry skin. Recent research indicates that long term primrose oil supplementation may be required to improve skin health as it takes over four weeks for skin cells to regenerate and for a new fatty acid equilibrium to be reached.