Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Oil
What Is It?
Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil is an edible oil expressed from the seeds of Linum Usitatissimum. Linseed oil is also called flax seed oil. The fatty acids obtained from linseed oil are called Linseed Acid. Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil may be used in bath products, cleansing products and skin care products.
Why Is It Used?
When used in cosmetics and personal care products, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil functions as a skin-conditioning agent – occlusive and as a skin-conditioning agent- miscellaneous. Linseed Acid functions as a An ingredient that helps two substances that normally do not mix to become dissolved or dispersed in one another. Also called a surface active agent. – cleansing agent.
Linum usitatissimum is a widely cultivated plant native to an area from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Used as a dietary supplement, linseed oil contains high levels of an essential fatty acid, linolenic acid. In addition to approximately 57% linolenic acid, linseed oil also contains approximately 19% oleic acid, 15% linoleic acid, 6% palmitic acid and 4% stearic acid.
The safety of Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil and Linseed Acid has been assessed by the The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated scientific data and concluded that these ingredients were safe for use 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:
Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil and Linseed Acid were included in the CIR Expert Panel’s review of plant-derived fatty acids oils. Based on a history of safe use in food, the composition of the oils, and data indicating that these ingredients were not dermal irritants or sensitizers, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that plant-derived A natural organic compound that consists of a carboxyl group (oxygen, carbon and hydrogen) attached to a chain of carbon atoms with their associated hydrogen atoms. The chain of carbon atoms may be connected with single bonds, making a ‘saturated’ fat; or it may contain some double bonds, making an ‘unsaturated’ fat. The number of carbon and hydrogen atoms in the chain is what determines the qualities of that particular fatty acid. Animal and vegetable fats are made up of various combinations of fatty acids (in sets of three) connected to a glycerol molecule, making them triglycerides. oils including Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil and Linseed Acid were safe as used in cosmetic products.
More information about botanical ingredients.
Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil and Linseed Acid may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the Under the general provisions of the cosmetics regulation of the EU, ingredients appearing on the following function-specific annexes must comply with the listed restrictions and/or specifications: colorants (Annex IV), preservatives (Annex V), UV filters (Annex VI) and other ingredients with specific concentration limits and/or other restrictions (Annex III). Ingredients specifically prohibited from use in cosmetic products are listed in Annex II. Other ingredients listed in the EU cosmetic ingredient database (CosIng) may be used without restrictions..
Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm
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 linseed is known as Linum usitatissimum L. where “L.” stands for Linneaus, the person who first described the type of plant specimen.
Plants are also known by a common name that has been handed down through generations. For example, linseed is also known as flax. 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: http://www.personalcarecouncil.org/botanicals-cross-reference-latin-bino…
Find out more about the history of using plants to obtain beneficial materials:
- Duke University: Brief History of Beauty and Hygiene Products http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/adaccess/cosmetics-history.html
- National Library of Medicine: Beauty and the body: the origins of cosmetics http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&lis…
- University of Maryland “Herbs by Name” http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsLookups/Herbs.html
Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm
EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/