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Effets huile de carthame rosacée.

Couperose, Rosacea: Can Safflower Oil Reduce Skin Redness?

Redness, hot flushes, physical and social discomfort... Rosacea is a conspicuous dermatosis that can be troublesome to live with on a daily basis. In addition to the treatments recommended by the dermatologist, some people are in search of natural solutions. Safflower oil, rich in bioactives, is sometimes considered as such. What are its real effects on redness? More information in this article.

Published April 9, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 6 min read

Redness and Rosacea: How can we explain them?

The widespread and diffuse redness on the face caused by rosacea is due to a significant dilation of the blood vessels in this area. Particularly noticeable in people with fair skin, the redness can be accompanied by tingling, small pimples, and hot flushes. Several factors are at the root of a rosacea flare-up, including genetic predisposition, exposure to heat and sun, stress, spicy food, and parasitic colonisation. These various factors, coupled with a hypersensitisation of the sensory receptors present in the skin, trigger a nociceptive mechanism leading to the dilation of the blood vessels and de facto the appearance of redness.

It is important to consult a dermatologist in the event of redness persistent. A mild rosacea can quickly progress to more severe forms of rosacea and affect the eyes.

Is safflower oil a natural solution to rosacea?

The safflower oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the safflower plant. Used in everything from cooking to painting and cosmetics, it presents itself as a fairly light orange liquid that emits a hazelnut fragrance. A safe natural ingredient, the safflower oil is suitable for sensitive skin and can also be used by those with oily skin. Regarding its composition, this vegetable oil mainly contains fatty acids responsible for its hydrating and nourishing benefits for the skin. It also contains phytosterols and several vitamins, active ingredients appreciated by those suffering from a skin disease due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Dilation of blood vessels and rosacea: can safflower oil help to reduce them?

If safflower oil is so frequently cited as a natural solution for rosacea, it is due to its richness in vitamin K. Several studies conducted on this molecule have highlighted that it possesses vasoconstrictive properties. Vitamin K acts on different levels of the coagulation cascade and notably allows the activation of the Stuart-Prower factor, an enzyme promoting blood coagulation. The redness associated with rosacea is primarily due to an excessive dilation of the blood vessels, hence vitamin K and, by extension, safflower oil can prove useful in reducing them.

Furthermore, a clinical trial conducted in 2018 evaluated the effectiveness of a topical cream containing 1% vitamin K as part of a treatment for rosacea. The study involved 75 women diagnosed with a type of erythematous rosacea. They were divided into two groups: group A consisted of 25 patients who applied a standard anti-redness moisturising cream twice a day. Group B consisted of 50 patients who did the same with a 1% vitamin K topical cream. The patients in each group were evaluated after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. Vasomotor flushes, non-transient erythema, telangiectasias, burning sensation, and dryness were among the factors measured. The results revealed that the average severity score on these various parameters had significantly decreased more in the individuals from group B, highlighting the benefit of a topical vitamin K treatment for patients with rosacea.

Safflower oil to reduce inflammation caused by rosacea?

As previously mentioned, safflower oil has proven anti-inflammatory effects. These are primarily due to the phytosterols it contains, compounds that inhibit NF-κB and AP-1 proteins, which are pro-inflammatory transcription factors. These factors modulate the expression of genes coding for inflammation proteins. By blocking these signalling pathways, phytosterols reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which soothes and calms the skin by reducing redness and feelings of discomfort.

Safflower oil for skin reconstruction.

Safflower oil also contributes to the healing of the skin following inflammatory events. Its richness in fatty acids allows it to provide hydration to the skin, a key factor for its reconstruction. Moreover, the linoleic acid present in more than 70% of its composition is a precursor in the synthesis pathways of several mediators (thromboxanes, prostaglandins and leukotrienes) that are highly active in neoangiogenesis and dermal regeneration.

Furthermore, the Vitamin K found in safflower oil significantly enhances the epithelialisation process as well as the formation of fibroblasts, collagen fibres, and blood vessels. A double-blind study conducted over 14 days involving 63 individuals with wounds highlighted these effects. Each day, a portion of the participants applied a "standard" moisturising cream, while another group used the same moisturising cream to which 1% Vitamin K had been added. At the end of the study, scientists observed a better healing in patients who applied the cream with Vitamin K.

Note : Despite all the benefits of safflower oil, no studies have been conducted on individuals with rosacea, which should prompt us to remain cautious.


  • SANTIAGO J. L. & co. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Certain Plant Oils. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2018).

  • BEHNAM G. & al. The Healing Effects of Topical Vitamin K: A Randomised Controlled Trial. Indian Journal of Pharmacology (2019).

  • BITRI L. & al. Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Capabilities of Seed Oil from Carthamus tinctorius L. in the Treatment of Skin Wounds. Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Oxidative Stress in Wound Recovery (2020).

  • GALAWISH AHMED A. The efficacy of topical 1% vitamin K cream in the treatment of steroid-induced rosacea. Journal of Pharmacy and Technology (2020).


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