Borago Officinalis Seed Oil

What Is It?

Borago Officinalis Seed Oil is the oil expressed from the seeds of the annual herb, borage. Borago Officinalis Seed Oil is used in many types of cosmetics and personal care products including bath products, eye makeup, foundations, skin care and hair care products.

Why Is It Used?

When used in cosmetics and personal care products, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil functions as a skin-conditioning agent – miscellaneous and a skin-conditioning agent – occlusive.

Scientific Facts

Borage is an annual herb that is widely cultivated. Its flowers and leaves are sometimes eaten. Oil from borage seeds, which contains a high level of linolenic acid (18-25%), is used as a dietary supplement. Borage seed oil also contains 33-46% linoleic acid, 10-22 oleic acid and 9-13% palmitic acid.

Safety Information

The safety of Borago Officinalis Seed Oil has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated scientific data and concluded that this ingredient was safe for use as an ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products. Botanical and botanically derived ingredients used in the formulation of cosmetics are generally mild and safe. Prior to marketing the finished cosmetic product, the safety of each ingredient must be substantiated in accordance with 21 CFR 740.10. Safety substantiation of cosmetic ingredients may include tests for ocular and skin irritation as well as allergenicity, phototoxicity, photoallergenicity and mutagenicity, depending on the application or intended use. There is a considerable body of information about the safety of botanical ingredients and a well-established history of use. These resources are consulted to ensure the safety of these materials as they are used in cosmetics.

CIR Safety Review:

Borago Officinalis Seed Oil was included in the CIR Expert Panel’s review of plant-derived fatty acids oils. Based on a history of safe use in food and/or dietary supplements, the composition of the oils, and data indicating these ingredients were not dermal irritants or sensitizers, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that plant-derived fatty acid oils including Borago Officinalis Seed Oil were safe as used in cosmetic products.

More information about botanical ingredients.

Borago Officinalis Seed Oil may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:

More Scientific Information

In naming plants, botanists use a Latin name made up of the genus and species of the plant. For example, under this system the plant, the borage is known as Borago officinalis L. where “L.” stands for Linnaeus, the person who first described this plant. Plants are also known by a common name that has been handed down through generations. For example, borage is also called bugloss, beeplant and starflower. These common names may vary from country to country. Therefore, Latin names, which are more likely to be recognized in many countries, are frequently used on the label of a product to identify an ingredient made from plants.


Cross Reference for Common Names and Latin names for Botanical ingredient:…Find out more about the history of using plants to obtain beneficial materials:

Search the Code of Federal Regulations Cosmetics Inventory