When living in Japan for several years, one thing I noticed was how great my skin started to look and I generally had far fewer breakouts than before. I did get a few breakouts here and there but not as many cystic angry red spots. This was mostly attributed to my diet which was rich in Omega 3 (EPA) – lots of fish, vegetables and eventually, I would even start sprinkling flax seeds in my salads.⠀
Omega 3 are essential fatty acids (EFA) which pretty much make up the essential component of the skin’s lipid layer in order for it perform its duties. Fatty acids are also the building blocks of oils. The differences in the structure of the fatty acids give oils their characteristics and how they will affect our skin. Fatty acids come in a variety of forms – saturated, unsaturated, long, short and more (see my OILS 101 infographic). Omega-3s are often regarded as reducing symptoms in many inflammatory skin diseases like heart diseases, psoriasis, allergies and most importantly, acne. #BWSpotSeries #BWIngredients
The top 3 types are:⠀
1️. A (Alpha-Linoleic-Acid) found in many plant foods, including kale, spinach, purslane, walnuts, chia, flax, hemp seeds and soybeans. (Some of these ingredients are also in some amazing topical facial oils and creams).⠀
2️. EPA & DHA- Eicosapentaenoic acid &⠀
3️. Docosahexaenoic acid found in fish and seafood, particularly oily, ocean fish (such as mackerel, sardines & anchovies) and algae⠀
Here are some of the key Omega 3 Benefits: ⠀
(Acne treatment – The relationship between inflammation & acne:⠀
Inflammation is often regarded as the main root cause of acne. Where the inflammation process is thought to first be triggered at the systemic level, then together with other factors causes acne at skin level. Omega-3 fish oil for acne works by inhibiting two inflammatory chemicals (prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and leukotriene B4 (LTB4)) that are responsible for acne breakouts. Taking EPA omega-3 fatty acids is seen as the natural way inhibiting the production of these chemicals.
✔Emollient, natural moisturiser
✔Antioxidant- fights against free radicals preventing collagen breakdown.
✔Healthy heart ✔Normal metabolism
✔Brain and cognitive benefits
✏ Vital ERP and DHA content have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can treat and prevent skin diseases like psoriasis, allergies, and acne (Balbás et al, 2011)
✏ 13 individuals with inflammatory acne were given 3g of fish oil containing 930 mg of EPA. Acne severity improved in 8 individuals (7 of which were classified as having moderate to severe acne at baseline) (Khayef et al, 2012)
✏ Topical application of sardine oil extract (rich in EPA and DHA) reduced UVB-induced erythema compared to control sites on each subject’s forearm (Puglia, 2005)
The key for me was to balance my ratio of Omega-3 to pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats for clear, acne-free skin not just in supplement form but also in all the foods I eat too like swapping out sunflower oils. Please note this is from personal experience and I cannot make recommendations on which supplements to take or what dosages (this is something you will have to take up with your doctor or nutritionists someone who can assess your diet first).