Omega-3 supplements have been praised for their many health benefits, such as improving heart function and regulating blood pressure. However, these amazing supplements can also do wonders for your skin! Omega-3 supplements are one of the most powerful tools to keep your skin healthy, youthful, and glowing.
Hold on, I’m going to get all science-y on you…
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that our bodies can’t produce on their own. We need to get it from our diet or supplements. The two important types of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements are EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). (more about diet and skin here)
Another important Omega for skin care is GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid), which is an Omega-6 fatty acid. It’s most abundant in plants like borage, black currant, and evening primrose. GLA plays a MAJOR role in skin challenges like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis. (More about the role of fatty acids in a healthy barrier here)
(By the way, if you also experience PMS, breast tenderness and the occasional feeling that the next person that looks at you sideways is going to get throat-punched, you NEED GLA. NOW. Like yesterday.)
Inflammation and Omegas
I often refer to Omega-3’s as the body’s “fire extinguishers”: they play a vital role in reducing inflammation throughout the body and a significant role in keeping healthy skin.
Omega-6 fatty acids are mostly used by the body as “fire starters”. Our modern diet tends to be extra heavy on the Omega-6 due to modern factory farming practices. Inflammation is important; it tells us we’ve been injured. The problem comes when inflammation continues, like a long slow burn.
Inflammatory skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and rosacea can cause itching, redness, and swelling. Research has shown that taking omega-3 supplements regularly can significantly reduce symptoms of acne and other inflammatory conditions.
Here’s the thing about GLA: Most problem skin is deficient in GLA. Lots of other body systems get first dibs on the body’s intake of GLA, especially the circulatory and nervous systems. Skin is last on the list.
Dosing Omegas for Skin Care
Dosing for GLA (Omega-6) is 500mg 2x daily for at least 6 weeks to start seeing results, then maintaining from there. Remember it must be GLA, most omega-6 oils will not help.
Therapeutic dosing for fish oils is 1G or more daily. You should check with your doctor first before pounding down the supplements though.
These supplements can help regulate your skin’s oil production, helping prevent pore-clogging and reducing inflammation, leading to fewer breakouts and less redness.
One of the biggest reasons people take omega-3 supplements is for heart health. The positive effect of omega-3s will eventually help your skin too. A strong blood flow to your skin means better nutrient delivery which promotes beautiful, clear, and radiant skin.
Omegas not only prevent and combat skin problems, but they also help boost overall skin health by soothing dry and itchy skin, reducing wrinkles and fine lines, and ensuring your skin stays fresh and healthy for longer.
Overall, Omega-3 and Omega-6 GLA supplements can be incredibly beneficial for improving skin health due to their anti-inflammatory ability to reduce the risks of severe chronic skin conditions and as preventative support for skin aging.
Incorporating a healthy dose of omega supplements for skin care like this one or this one can help long-term skincare goals: fewer acne breakouts, repairing sun damage, combating dullness, and renewing overall radiance.
Of course, if you still need help achieving your skin care goals, give us a call or make an appointment in our Providence RI Acne Clinic now. We live for this nerdy stuff!