Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil

What Is It?

Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil is an edible vegetable oil. In cosmetics and personal care products, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil is used in the formulation of topical skin care lotions, moisturizers and bath products.

Why Is It Used?

Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil acts as a lubricant on the skin surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance. It is also used as a skin conditioning agent – occlusive.

Scientific Facts

Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil is the oily liquid obtained by pressing the seeds of the Carthamus tinctorius plant. Linoleic acid, which is considered to be an essential fatty acid, is a major component of this oil. Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil has an extensive history of use in food. It is commonly found in mayonnaise, salad dressing, frozen desserts and specialty breads.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil to be used as an indirect food additive as a component of coatings for incidental contact with food. The safety of Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated scientific data and concluded that Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil was safe as a cosmetic ingredient. In 2004, as part of the scheduled re-evaluation of ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on this ingredient and reaffirmed the above conclusion.

CIR Safety Review: Laboratory tests indicated that Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil was not an eye or skin irritant, nor was it a sensitzer, or photosensitizer. After evaluating metabolic studies and the results from negative dermal studies of Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, the CIR Expert Panel was not concerned with the present uses this oil in cosmetics and personal care products.

FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Safflower Oil

Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) 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.


More Scientific Information

Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil consists primarily of triglycerides of linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an important carrier of vitamins A, D, K, and especially vitamin E. Linoleic acid is essential for proper growth in children, to prevent drying and flaking of the skin, to maintain cell membrane integrity, to regulate cholesterol metabolism and for synthesis of hormones.


Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Food Ingredients and Packaging

Food Contact Substances

Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)

Search the Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory