Borage Seed Oil Vs Rosehip Oil For Post-Inflammatory Erythema

Certain plant oils can have beneficial effects when topically applied to the skin. Specifically, some may be able to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as post-inflammatory erythema. While there are a plethora of oils to choose from, borage seed oil and rosehip oil are widely available for topical use and may improve post-inflammatory erythema.

Post-Inflammatory Erythema

This is a chronic inflammatory skin condition.

It occurs after trauma, injury, or infection of the skin. This includes acne breakouts, rosacea, and other types of tissue injury that damages the skin barrier.

It is a red spot underneath the surface of the skin that often looks like red scarring. However, it is not a scar. It is the pooling of blood underneath the skin due to the capillaries being damaged.

This causes the skin to look red and inflamed.

One way to determine whether or not you have post-inflammatory erythema is to press on the surface of the skin.

If the red/pink colour temporarily fades away, then it is post-inflammatory erythema (PIE) and not a permanent scar or change in pigmentation of the skin.

There are not many treatments available to treat this condition. Sometimes, it can go away on its own after 6 months to a year.

Lasers can also be used to treat this condition, however, this treatment can be very expensive.

Lastly, the best way to treat PIE is to use anti-inflammatory skincare products and consistently moisturize to repair the skin’s barrier.

Borage Seed Oil For Post-Inflammatory Erythema – An In-Depth Analysis

What Is It?

Borage seed oil can be extracted from the seeds of the borage plant. It has been used for many years in foods and for medicinal properties.

Depending on the extraction method used, the content can be rich in gamma linolenic acid (GLA).

This plant has one of the highest concentrations of GLA, which is a type of fatty acid. Specifically, it is an omega-6 essential fatty acid.

Not only does GLA decrease inflammation in the body, it also improves the health of bones and skin function.

In regards to skin, fatty acids contribute to the lipid barrier.

This is a layer of substances that form over the skin that includes fatty acids, cholesterol, ceramides, and other proteins.

It protects the skin from microbial contamination and other environmental stressors. 

The Benefits of Borage Seed Oil For PIE

When looking at the benefits of any type of plant oil for PIE, it is important to look at a couple of different properties.

One, the oil needs to be able to effectively penetrate the epidermis in order to work well when applied topically.

If it is being consumed, then it must be biologically available to help skin conditions or other bodily ailments.

In addition, the oil must have beneficial properties that repair the skin barrier

Oral Consumption

There are quite a few studies highlighting the effect of borage seed oil on the body when consumed orally.

It is safe for consumption when properly extracted. However, one review by the Journal of Nutrition warned that there may be short-term effects of oral consumption of this oil, but no long-term effects have been documented.

During a study on the consumption of this oil in the elderly, skin barrier function was monitored.

The researchers found that there was an improvement in skin barrier function and a decrease in transepidermal water loss.

This means that the water content in the skin was maintained and even improved.

This is due to the biological availability of capsules containing borage seed oil, which allowed it to have a significant effect on the function of the skin.

Dry skin and itchiness was reduced as well. These can be beneficial to the healing of PIE.

Anything that improves the hydration of the skin can improve the skin’s barrier, which in turn improves inflammation and redness.

When the function of the skin is restored, it reduces irritation and can improve the look of PIE. 

Topical Application

In terms of topical application of borage seed oil, it has been shown to have beneficial effects on those suffering from atopic dermatitis (a skin condition characterized by dryness, redness, and irritation).

In a study of topical application of this oil on babies, a reduction of transepidermal water loss on the back was seen.

With the studies that are available, it is difficult to say whether borage seed oil is effective at treating PIE with topical application of this oil.

Its antioxidant and wound healing effects have not been thoroughly researched.

However, it has been established to repair the skin barrier and have a possible anti-inflammatory effect.

Therefore, it may be able to improve PIE by reducing redness and creating a sturdy structural environment to heal PIE.  

Rosehip Oil For Post-Inflammatory Erythema – An In-Depth Analysis

What Is It?

Rosehip oil is extracted from the rose hip plant. It has a number of fatty acids including a high concentration of linoleic acid.

This functions as an antioxidant and has other beneficial properties.

Rosehip oil also contains phenolic compounds. These have anti-inflammatory properties that have been used to treat a variety of skin disorders. 

The Benefits of Rosehip Oil for PIE

While rosehip oil can be consumed orally, it is not well-researched. It is best to take caution when consuming this.

It can be taken orally in the form of the pure oil, in a capsule, or most popularly in the form of a tea.

To avoid harsh side effects (potential diarrhea and vomiting), it is best to steer clear of oral consumption of this oil and instead apply it topically to the skin, which has more research behind it. 

Topical Application

Topical applications of rosehip oil have been shown to treat certain skin conditions, such as eczema.

It may be a promising treatment to use in conjunction with oral supplements to heal the skin barrier and treat these dermatoses.

It has an established ability to provide antioxidant effects on the skin when applied topically.

This is especially important when treating PIE. When the skin is exposed to the sun’s rays or other environmental pollutants, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are formed and damage DNA.

This can exacerbate skin redness and inflammation, making PIE worse.

Since rosehip oil acts as an antioxidant, it can work to scavenge these free radicals and reduce their effect on the skin.

In addition, rosehip oil has direct anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.

They contain galactolipids, which make up a portion of their plant cell membranes. These modulate inflammatory factors on the skin and can reduce redness, improving PIE.

As mentioned earlier, rosehip oil also contains phenolic compounds which have antioxidant effects as well, and can treat skin conditions like atopic dermatitis. 

A Comparison Table

Comparison chart of benefits of rosehip oil vs borage seed oil for post inflammatory erythema

As shown above, the best choice is rosehip oil for post-inflammatory erythema. Simply, it has more data to back up its topical use in skincare. It is anti-inflammatory, which is especially important for treating PIE. 


Health-Promoting Properties of Borage Seed Oil Fractionated by Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction – PMC (

Protective Effect of Borage Seed Oil and Gamma Linolenic Acid on DNA: In Vivo and In Vitro Studies – PMC (

Borage oil in the treatment of atopic dermatitis – PubMed (

Effect of borage oil consumption on fatty acid metabolism, transepidermal water loss and skin parameters in elderly people – PubMed (

Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils – PMC (


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