- Omega-3 fatty acids can help support skin health.
- Not all omega-3 sources are created equal, choosing the right food and supplements is crucial for best results.
Many of us are familiar with omega-3 benefits for heart health, but did you know that they support skin health too? Our skin has a tough job of protecting us from the environment around us and often needs a little TLC. Continue reading to learn more about omega-3 benefits for skin health.
What are Omega-3’s?
Omega-3’s are a type of essential fatty acid commonly found in fish, algae, nuts and seeds. The three main types of omega-3’s are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
ALAs are “short-chain” fatty acids that are typically found in plant-based sources like flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. EPA and DHA are more biologically active “long-chain” fatty acids commonly found in cold-water fish and other seafood.
Our bodies are not able to make our own omega-3 fatty acids. Although ALA can be converted into EPA and DHA within the body, this conversion is poor at a rate of less than 5%.1 That is why omega 3’s are called essential fatty acids, meaning it is essential to find sources from food or supplements to maintain healthy levels.
Omega-3 Health Benefits
Essential fatty acids give us energy and are an integral component of the membranes surrounding every cell in our body.2 This is why omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain the health of many organs and body systems, including our heart, brain and skin.*3
Omega-3 Benefits for Skin Health
Most research on omega-3’s is centered around heart health, but there is an increasing interest in the use of omega-3’s for skin health. Here are two key ways omega-3’s can benefit the skin.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help protect the skin from inflammatory compounds.* Omega-3’s help keep arachidonic acid (AA) levels in check. AA releases inflammatory compounds called eicosanoids that can affect skin health and integrity.4,5
Omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain a healthy skin barrier function.6* This helps keep in moisture and keep out irritants, which can soothe occasional dry skin and irritation.
Is Fish the Best Source of Omega-3?
Fish is a rich source of both EPA and DHA, but not all fish are created equal when it comes to omega-3 content. Oily cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines have higher amounts of EPA and DHA compared to warm-water fish like tilapia. According to the National Institute of Health and the USDA, adults should get 8 or more ounces of oily fish per week and 1 to 1.6 grams of total omega-3 fatty acids per day.7,8
Supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids can also provide a healthy ratio of bioavailable DHA and EPA, but quality really matters when choosing the right product.
How to Choose a Good Quality Omega-3 Supplement
Quality is everything when it comes to omega-3 supplements. Here is a quick checklist to make sure you’re choosing the purest and best quality omega-3 supplement:
- Fish oils are sourced from small cold-water fish like sardines, anchovies and mackerel.
- The supplement company follows Good Manufacturing Practice requirements set by the FDA
- Omega-3 fatty acids are purified to remove heavy metals and other toxins.
- Plant-based oils are cold-pressed without the use of chemical solvents.
- The product is free from additives and common allergens.
Solgar® Omega 3-6-9 Softgels: This formula provides a blend of three premium oils – Fish, Flax and Borage. The bioavailable DHA and EPA found in this blend is sourced from anchovies, mackerel and sardines, and goes through molecular distillation to remove mercury. The premium non-GMO flax and borage oils are cold-pressed without the use of chemical solvents. Solgar® standards go above and beyond Good Manufacturing Practice requirements to ensure a great quality product.
Solgar® Flaxseed Oil Softgels: The concentrated ALA omega-3 fatty acid in our premium non-GMO flaxseed oil helps to support cellular, heart and skin health.* The softgel form is easy to take, and it’s also cold pressed without the use of chemical solvents.
Other Essential Fatty Acids for Skin Health
Omega-3’s may be the most popular essential fatty acids for skin health, but they certainly aren’t the only ones. Two omega-6 fatty acids have also been shown to support healthy skin, these are Linoleic acid (LA) and Gamma-Linoleic acid (GLA).
Along with omega-3 fatty acids, LA and GLA play an important role in the maintenance of healthy skin barrier function, helping to maintain skin hydration and manage irritation.9 In fact, LA is the most abundant essential fatty acid naturally found in skin.10 You can find LA and GLA in several plant-based oils, including evening primrose oil, borage oil, and black currant seed oil.11
Solgar® Earth Source® Organic Flaxseed Oil: This supplement is one of the most concentrated vegan sources of ALA to help support heart, skin and nerve health.* The premium organic flaxseed oil in this product is cold-pressed without chemicals and has a light nutty taste. Earth Source® Organic Flaxseed Oil is non-GMO, vegan, kosher, and gluten-free.
Solgar® Evening Primrose Oil Softgels: Evening primrose oil is a rich source of LA and GLA used to support healthy skin.* This cold-pressed non-GMO supplement is made without chemical solvents and is free of gluten, dairy, wheat, soy, yeast, sodium, artificial flavor, sweeteners and color.
Summing It Up
Your skin works hard to protect you and deserves a little TLC in return. That TLC can include essential fatty acids to help protect your skin and maintain hydration. Beneficial essential fatty acids include both omega-3’s (ALA, EPA, DHA) and omega-6’s (LA and GLA). Lastly, remember that not all sources of essential fatty acids are created equal. Take care in choosing the best food sources and the purest quality supplements to ensure best results.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Solgar® site.