Benefits Of Evening Primrose Oil For Skin And How To Use It

An easy way to moisturize your skin, boost its radiance, and fight the signs of aging!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Meena KonadaDr. Meena Konada, MBBS, DDVL
By Anjali SayeeAnjali Sayee  • 

Evening primrose oil is fast becoming a popular home remedy for acne and eczema. It is said to improve skin elasticity and texture. But does it really work? If yes, how can we use it? Can it be a complete treatment for acne? Well, the answers are here. In this article, we discuss the benefits of evening primrose oil for skin, its effectiveness in managing acne, how to use it, and its potential side-effects. Keep reading.

Out of the four varieties of evening primrose, the essential oil is usually extracted from the seeds of Common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis).

Evening Primrose Oil For Acne

Woman dealing with an acne breakout

Image: Shutterstock

The gamma-linolenic acid in evening primrose oil may reduce non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne lesions (1). This acid is found primarily in vegetable oils. It may also hydrate the skin.

Research shows that evening primrose oil may treat xerotic cheilitis (chapping of lips) in acne patients being treated with isotretinoin (2). Anecdotal evidence suggests that massaging evening primrose oil on the face daily may reduce post-acne blemishes. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this claim.

Another study suggests that the oil may ease premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, including acne. This could be attributed to its linoleic acid content (3).

Fun Fact
Celebrities like Kate Bosworth and Anum Merchant swear by the effectiveness of evening primrose oil supplements for managing breakouts.

Adding evening primrose oil to your daily skincare routine can offer you a few other benefits. Check them out in the next section.

Benefits Of Evening Primrose For Skin

Evening primrose oil offers many benefits for the skin

Image: Shutterstock

  •  Evening primrose oil (Efamol) is effective in managing atopic dermatitisi  XA medical condition that causes itchy, dry and inflamed skin on the arms and behind knees due to allergens. (3), (4), (5). Certain symptoms of atopic dermatitisi  XA medical condition that causes itchy, dry and inflamed skin on the arms and behind knees due to allergens. are similar to that of acne, and it is possible that the oil may also help reduce acne.
  •  A study showed that evening primrose oil can moisturize skin and improve its elasticity. It may reduce water loss through the skin (trans-epidermal water loss) and tackle skin redness and firmness. It may also improve skin fatigue resistance in healthy adults (6).
  •  Anecdotal evidence suggests that using the oil once or twice daily moisturizes skin and boosts skin radiance. Massaging it into the face regularly may reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging, although there is no clear evidence for this. The oil may also help manage psoriasis (7).
  •  Evening primrose oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. These may help boost skin health and hygiene (7).
Evening primrose oil improves skin health and hygiene

Image: Shutterstock

Now that you know the benefits of evening primrose oil, here are the ways you can add it to your skincare regimen. Read on.

How To Use Evening Primrose Oil

You can apply evening primrose oil directly to your face or pair it with other oils

Image: Shutterstock

Ingest only about 1 to 8 grams of evening primrose oil daily. The dosage may vary for each brand. Check the label and consult a dermatologist before using any supplements.

  1.  To Manage Inflammatory Conditions: Apply 1 ml of 20% evening primrose oil to the skin twice daily for up to four months.
  2.  To Improve Skin Health: Take 500 mg of evening primrose oil capsules three times a day for up to 12 weeks.
  3.  You can apply this oil directly to skin. It can be paired with other oils and herbs to form face packs, creams, moisturizers, etc.

Note: Be aware of the brand of evening primrose oil supplements and topical products that you buy. Research about the company as well as the supplement.

Though evening primrose oil is considered safe for almost all skin types, it may have a few side-effects.


Evening primrose oil may cause headaches as a side-effect

Image: Shutterstock

The safety of evening primrose oil for long-term use is yet to be determined. It may increase bleeding when used with blood thinners. It may also lower blood pressure if too much is ingested.

Other side-effects are generally mild. These include (7):

  •  Headache
  •  Abdominal pain
  •  Nausea
  •  Loose stools
  •  Seizures

Ingesting the lowest and safest dosage of the oil may prevent side effects. In rare cases, this oil may cause allergic and adverse reactions like

  •  Inflammation of hands and feet
  •  Rashes
  •  Difficulty in breathing
  • Wheezingi  XA shrill whistling sound during breathing that occurs when the airway is partially blocked due to allergic reactions, or cold.

Note: There is no sufficient research on the safety of evening primrose oil on pregnant and breastfeeding women. Stay safe and avoid use.

Evening primrose oil is a popular home remedy used for managing eczema and acne. Its high gamma-linoleic content may reduce inflammation caused by acne. Additionally, the benefits of using evening primrose oil for your skin include improved skin elasticity, skin hydration, and skin health. Ensure that you follow the instructions given on the package before applying. While evening primrose oil is safe for application, some people may experience side effects such as abdominal pain, rashes, or nausea. Since there is no sufficient evidence on the long-term safety of primrose oil, pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid using it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is evening primrose good for pigmentation?

A study found that topical administration of evening primrose oil effectively lightened UVB-induced hyperpigmentationi  XUltraviolet B irradiation causes skin diseases and pigmentary disorder after any skin inflammation or injury. in human skin. The findings imply that this ingredient has the ability to be used as a cosmetic lightening agent (8).

Is evening primrose oil good for oily skin?

Evening primrose oil is an excellent moisturizer that improves skin health and rejuvenates the skin. However, because of the oil’s thick nature, it might not be a good choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

Key Takeaways

  • Researches suggest that evening primrose oil helps reduce non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne lesions.
  • You can use this oil once or twice daily to moisturize your skin, reduce the signs of aging, and boost skin health.
  • In some cases, this oil may cause side effects like headaches, nausea, difficulty breathing, and loose stools.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Effect of Dietary Supplementation with Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Gamma-linolenic Acid on Acne Vulgaris: A Randomised Double-blind Controlled Trial
  2. The Effect of Evening Primrose Oil for the Prevention of XeroticCheilitis in Acne Patients Being Treated with Isotretinoin: A Pilot Study
  3. Evening Primrose (Oenotherabiennis) Oil in Management of Female Ailments
  4. Evening Primrose Oil (Epogam®) in the Treatment of Chronic Hand Dermatitis: Disappointing Therapeutic Results
  5. Systemic evening primrose oil improves the biophysical skin parameters of healthy adults
  6. The Therapeutic Effect of Evening Primrose Oil in Atopic Dermatitis Patients with Dry Scaly Skin Lesions Is Associated with the Normalization of Serum Gamma-Interferon Levels
  7. Evening Primrose Oil (Oenotherabiennis L.)
  8. Saponified evening primrose oil reduces melanogenesis in B16 melanoma cells and reduces UV-induced skin pigmentation in humans
Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.