Evening Primrose Oil:

Research published in the August 2005 issue of the “International Journal of Cosmetic Science” found several anti-aging benefits associated with evening primrose oil supplements. This study focused on improving biophysical skin parameters, which indicate age-related changes in skin. One group of participants took evening primrose oil and another a placebo capsule. By 12 weeks, the evening primrose group experienced significant benefits. They had better skin moisture, elasticity and firmness compared with their original skin parameters, as well as decreased skin roughness. GLA is useful, for example, for relieving symptoms of eczema. This condition causes reddened, itchy and scaly skin due to allergies or in reaction to irritants. GLA may be useful for reducing rheumatoid arthritis pain, but research results are conflicting, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. 

Applied topically, Evening Primrose's high level of antioxidants, which counteract the detrimental effects of oxidation in living tissue, make it a worthy inclusion in skin preparations for smoothing roughness, reducing fine lines, and lightening dark circles around the eyes. A group of Canadian researchers recently identified the specific antioxidant compounds present in evening primrose oil. One of these you'll recall is present in the White Tea Extract: catechin, a flavonoid that has the potential to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors and lower the risk of heart disease.

Even though the therapeutic use of herbs is a time-honored and generally safe approach to strengthening the body and improving overall health, as we saw with Basil Oil, certain components within evening primrose oil can interact with other medications (in particular phenothizines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and blood-thinning drugs) and trigger negative side effects, so it is not recommended for use if you are taking any of the above medications.