Omega-3 fatty acids do it all. They serve as building blocks of cell membranes, protect the brain, reduce inflammation directly, improve risk factors for heart disease, relieve menstrual pain and promote bone health. That’s not all – they help build the skin barrier, prevent acne, and leave your skin looking supple, healthy, and glowing. We spoke to the pros about why you should be taking omega-3s now and applying them topically.
So omega-3 fatty acids are a must in your diet
There are three main types of omega-3 fatty acids – ALA (alpha lipoleic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). “They can help by maintaining homeostasis, improving barrier function, reducing inflammation and promoting skin healing,” says QUA Nutrition’s nutritionist Ryan Fernando. He notes that both EPA and DHA can reduce inflammation, which can be beneficial for the skin. “According to one study, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduced acne lesions over the course of 10 weeks. It could potentially help reduce hyperpigmentation in a number of ways. Omega-3 can minimize wound infections and accelerate healing, which is useful for hyperpigmentation due to skin trauma, ”says Fernando.
Omega-3 fatty acids are often found in fish and other seafood. “They are mainly found in fatty cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines. You can also get them from nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts, vegetable oils like flaxseed oil, soybean oil and canola oil, and fortified foods like certain egg brands, yogurt, juices, milk and soy drinks, and baby foods, ”says Fernando.
If you choose to take the supplement, a dose of 1 g is normal unless your doctor recommends more. Fernando recommends a combination of EPA, ALA, and DHA to cover various benefits. “I’m always looking for a brand with an EPA and DHA content of 500 mg. The higher it is, the better, ”he says.
This is why you should also add omega-3 fatty acids to your skin care routine
The stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin, is likened to a brick wall, in which the cells are bricks held together with a mixture of sebum, ceramides, and fatty acids. Topical application can strengthen and smooth the skin’s surface and increase hydration without feeling too heavy or slimy on the skin. It can soothe signs of external stressors, including redness and tenderness, and provides antioxidants to visibly reduce fine lines. “Fatty acids are a natural part of the epidermal barrier – they help keep the skin strong so that water and nutrients stay trapped and bad substances stay out,” says Dr. Kiran Sethi, owner and founder of Isya Aesthetics part of the lipid content of your skin and help to build the barrier function, which acts as a seal when it functions properly, but when the skin is damaged, moisture escapes and the skin becomes dry and rough.
Omega-3s are great for dry, eczematous skin and help prevent acne by healing cracked skin, blocking the way for bacteria to penetrate the skin. They’re even useful for conditions like rosacea. For Best Results “At the end of your routine, use an omega-3-based product as a barrier. Put your moisturizer on, then smear the oil on it. This will prevent water from leaving your skin while allowing more water through the moisturizer” says Dr. Sethi. Here’s what you can try now.
Dr. Sheth’s rose hip and retinoid power emulsion
Paula’s Choice Omega + Complex Serum
The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely revitalizing face oil
True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil
Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2: 4: 2
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