What Are The Fish Oil Benefits For Skin

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    Fish oil is quickly becoming an essential part of any comprehensive skincare routine. These powerful fatty acids can help reduce signs of aging and much more.

    Fish oil supplements are gaining traction as a major player in the world of skincare. Fish oil is a fatty acid found in marine life, and it has many benefits for skin health. For centuries, people have used fish oil to heal their skin and keep it looking healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids are the primary components of fish oil and are known for their incredible benefits for the skin — from boosting hydration to managing aging effects. An increasing number of people are turning to this natural remedy for their skin care needs, and it's easy to see why.

    What are omega-3 fatty acids?

    Omega-3s are one of the most important essential fatty acids. They are termed essential since they must be consumed in our diet, because our bodies cannot make them on their own. They are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is beneficial to the body in many ways, including by supporting heart health, brain health, and eye health.

    Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring. These foods contain two main types of fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in plant-based foods such as flaxseeds and walnuts, which contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

    The American Heart Association recommends supplementing with omega-3s if you do not consume fish at least 2x per week. It is also possible to obtain omega-3s in the form of ALA from plant-based foods, which is beneficial if you don’t like fish or if you follow a vegan diet.

    How Do Omega-3s (Fish Oil) Help Skin?

    Ever wondered what the largest organ in our body is? If you guessed skin, you are absolutely right. The skin is our largest organ and serves as a protective barrier to the outside world. However, there are things we need to do to properly take care of our skin. These include hydration, sunblock, consuming a nutrient-rich diet, movement, sleep, and maintaining hormone balance. All of these practices help protect our largest organ from serious damage.

    Our skin is prone to damage that is caused by oxidative stress. Some causes of oxidative stress include smoking, stress, environmental pollution, and UV exposure. If you are going to be spending time outdoors, some best practices include applying sunscreen regularly and wearing sun-protective clothing.

    Moreover, another way to protect our skin and keep it looking young and fresh is to obtain proper amounts of omega-3s, either in the diet or with supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important for delaying skin aging, assisting with dry skin, and helping with hormonal acne.

    Helps delay skin aging

    One of the most common reasons for early aging of the skin is repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Consistent sun exposure decreases the amount of collagen produced by the body. As we age, our collagen production naturally declines, which leads to reduced skin elasticity and signs of aging. Constant sun exposure without proper protection decreases our collagen production even more rapidly!

    Studies have found that omega-3 supplementation may protect the skin against visible signs of aging from those harmful UV rays. Omega-3s work to fight off free radicals, which helps reduce skin aging. Additionally, studies show that topical EPA, which is found in fish oil, can increase collagen and elastic fibers in aged human skin.

    Another way to further boost skin hydration and elasticity is by trying a collagen supplement, such as Veg Collagen Skin. This natural supplement contains collagen and hyaluronic acid from eggshell membrane.

    Dry skin

    Recent studies have looked into the effects of omega-3s on the skin and there is promising evidence that these essential fats can help to alleviate symptoms of dryness. Omega-3s contain linolenic acids (found in the epidermal layer of the skin) that can be turned into ceramides which acts as a moisturizing agent and can help to reduce water loss from the skin. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may therefore have significant benefits for those who suffer from dry skin.

    In addition, research suggests that people who consume more omega-3s show significant improvement in skin hydration and elasticity, which are two key factors that contribute to the appearance of wrinkles. Preliminary results from animal studies suggest that DHA, ALA, and LA may also be able to assist with hyperpigmentation, which occurs when melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, forms excess deposits in the skin, often as a result of sun exposure. The hypothesis is that they can block the major enzyme associated with producing melanin. This is only the beginning stages of research and more studies including clinical trials need to be done to determine the best dose, safety, and sources of omega 3s that should be used.

    Helps with hormonal acne

    Hormonal acne is an irritating condition. It's caused by a hormone imbalance which can be hard to manage. However, research shows that fish oil could help maintain and improve overall skin health.

    An epidemiological study with more than 1,000 adolescents found that participants who consumed large amounts of fish and seafood, both rich in omega-3 fatty acids, had less oily skin and fewer skin issues.

    Additionally, along with the regular consumption of fish oil, Shatavari has been known to help manage hormonal breakouts. Shatavari is an essential herb, known as a phytoestrogen, that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to help balance hormones and support fertility.

    Research has found that phytoestrogens help support hormone balance by communicating with the same receptors as estrogen. Balanced hormone levels may help reduce hormonal acne, which usually appears on the chin, jawline, chest, and back.

    If you're looking for simple ways to help manage hormonal acne, then Shatavari may be worth considering.

    Can Fish Oil Cause Skin Issues?

    Fish oil will only cause skin issues if you are allergic to any of the ingredients present. So, if you are allergic to fish or any of its byproducts, you should avoid supplementation and pay close attention to the label in regard to other potential allergens.

    The Bottom Line

    When it comes to the supplementation of fish oil and skin health, the research keeps piling up in favor of this natural remedy! Here's the bottom line on fish oil's benefits for the skin: Fish oil has good research that shows how it supports heart, brain, and eye health. More recent research shows the potential uses of fish oil in the future that can promote healthy skin and potentially delay signs of aging from UV exposure, promote skin hydration, and even help alleviate some of the symptoms that go along with hormonal acne. These are all exciting areas that can be explored, and you may even come across cosmetic products that contain fish oil extracts or omega 3s as ingredients.

    The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have antioxidant properties that make them ideal for promoting healthy skin. Preliminary studies suggest that, in addition to preventing wrinkles, fish oil may have the potential to boost collagen production and increase elasticity. This means fish oil not only helps keep your skin looking youthful, but also helps keep it hydrated and supple. If you are unable to receive an adequate amount of omega-3s in your diet from fish, it could be beneficial to add a fish oil supplement to your daily routine.

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Jordana Tobelem, RD
    Freelance Contributor
    Jordana Tobelem is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys helping others become the best versions of themselves through proper nutrition education. Jordana is passionate about promoting lifestyle changes through nutrition, physical activity, and behavior to create a superior quality of life. She uses her experience in the clinical field of dietetics to provide consulting services to an array of healthcare brands and companies. Jordana loves finding the most current research in nutrition to create meaningful content to share with her clients. Jordana has been a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2018 and also holds certifications in both Personal Training and Health Coaching.