Evening Primrose Oil

About Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil is derived from the seeds of the Oenothera biennis plant, which is believed to be native to Mexico and the America’s, but can now be found in most temperate regions of the world.

Oenothera is a genus of about 145 species of herbaceous flowering plants and is often referred to as Evening Primrose because its yellow, white, purple or pink flowers open in the evening time, sometimes in under a minute.

It is rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids, particularly gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid. Both of these acids are essential components of myelin – a protective coating around nerve fibers, and the neuronal cell membrane. These acids along with the other nutrients in the oil aid in cell structure, and can improve the elasticity of the skin.


How It Works

Thanks to its rich stores of essential fatty acids, Evening Primrose Oil has significant anti-inflammatory and emollient benefits, making it a great addition to cosmetic and personal care products.

As an emollient, this ingredient works to soften and hydrate skin, reduce the irritations of dry, itchy skin as well as eczema, nourish the scalp and strengthen hair, and can be used to prevent nails from cracking. It can also improve the elasticity of skin, providing anti-aging benefits.

By working to dilute sebum, Evening Primrose Oil can help prevent pores from becoming clogged, therefore reducing the effects of acne. Further, its anti-inflammatory effects can help treat rosacea by producing prostaglandins to stimulate the contraction of blood vessels.

The high concentration of GLA is largely responsible for Evening Primrose’s healing abilities. Applied topically to affected areas, the anti-inflammatory benefits along with the GLA work to reduce joint or muscle pain and swelling, and has been found to be beneficial for those with rheumatoid arthritis.


Common Concerns

While there are some risks of taking Evening Primrose Oil orally as a supplement, particularly for those with blood disorders or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, when applied topically, it is considered mild, non-toxic and an anti-irritant. However, those who are allergic to plants in the Onagraceae family should avoid its use.


Quick Facts

Binomial Name: Oenothera Biennis
Common Name: Evening Primrose Oil
Source: Seeds of the Oenothera Biennis plant
EWG Score: 1


Proven and Possible Benefits


Acne Anti-aging Hair care Strengthen nails


Eczema Joint pain Headache Psoriasis Rheumatoid arthritis [con] Rosacea








Information contained in this website is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for diagnosis. The Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada have not evaluated this information. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For health problems, please refer to a qualified health practitioner.


  • Oenothera, evening primrose flowers in group
  • Bottle with Evening Primrose oil and fresh flower on white background