Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 are important dietary fats generally thought to be the best fatty acids for promoting smoother, younger looking skin with a healthier complexion regardless of age or skin type.
They are good fats as your body also needs them to function at its best.
People with Essential fatty acid deficiency, (EFAD) experience loss of moisture, causing dry, flaky and damaged skin, but topical application of oils rich in these fatty acids Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9, help to improve hydration.
These fatty acids help to keep the outermost layer of the skin strong and healthy and prevent moisture from escaping, smoothing the surface of the skin, they have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Supporting the skin’s barrier function
Visibly plumping the skin
Aiding in skin repair and regeneration
Preventing moisture loss
Reducing redness and irritation caused by environmental aggressors
Strengthening the skin
Whilst EFAs are important for healthy skin, they also help to prevent other health problems such as heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke and diabetes.
Omegas 3 and 6 are are polyunsaturated, “essential” fatty acids because the body can not produce them, therefore you get them from your diet or topically.
Omegas 7 and 9 are monounsaturated, “nonessential” fatty acids because the body can naturally produce them, however it is still recommended that you include them in your diet.
To get the full benefits for your skin, you should take them orally (in food or supplements) and apply them topically.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: The most common in this category is Alpha-linolenic acid, found in green vegetables.
Omega 6 Fatty Acids: The most common in this category is Linoleic acid, found in vegetable oils.
Omega 7 Fatty Acids: The most common in this category is Palmitoleic acid found in plants and fish.
Omega 9 Fatty Acids: The most common in this category is Oleic acid found in seeds and nuts.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Impact on overall health: Omega 3 reduces inflammation, improves heart health, reduces high risk of cholesterol, supports an efficient metabolism, and helps manage depression.
Impact on skin health: Omega 3 helps reduce sun sensitivity, reducing inflammation and acne flare ups and improves the skin’s barrier function by keeping moisture locked in. Omega 3 is typically thought to be the best fatty acid for skin.
Best food sources of omega 3: Because the body does not produce omega 3 naturally, it is recommended that you get at least two servings weekly of this essential nutrient.
Fish – Salmon, Tuna, Halibut, Trout, Mackerel and Anchovies
Seeds – Chia and Flax seeds
Seaweed and Algae
Green vegetables – Kale, Brussel Sprouts, Spinach and Broccoli
To ensure you are getting plenty of omega 3, you could also consider supplements.
Impact on overall health: Omega 6 helps with heart health, joints, bones, healthy cholesterol, weight management and improves energy levels.
Impact on skin health: Omega 6 (specifically Linoleic acid) improves skin’s ability to retain moisture.
Seeds – Hemp, Grape and Sunflower
Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews and Pistachios
Omega 7 Fatty Acids
Impact on overall health: Omega 7 helps reduce bad cholesterol, levels, and promotes an increase in good cholesterol, contributes to good hydration of dry skin and mucous membranes (nasal, vaginal, ocular, oral and digestive).
Impact on skin health: Omega 7 promotes healthy moisturised skin, hair and nails helping nourish from within.
Best food sources of omega 7: Unlike omegas 3 and 6, fatty acids are not considered “essential,” because the body can produce them, however, they do have health benefits and are considered better for you than many other kinds of fat.
Fish – Salmon, Herring, and Mackerel
Impact on overall health: Omega 9 helps reduce inflammation, raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol levels, raise energy levels and help control blood sugar levels.
Impact on skin health: Omega 9 can help maintain skin’s moisture level and improve skin’s elasticity.
Best food sources of omega 9: Unlike omega 3 and 6, fatty acids are not considered “essential,” because the body can produce them, however, they do have health benefits and are considered better for you than many other kinds of fat.
Seeds – Sesame and Chia
Nuts – Pistachios, Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts and Cashews
Almost all animal meat
Topical applications have been shown to be an effective method of delivering EFAs directly to the skin.
This is why many quality skincare products add omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 fatty acids.
Utilising topical use and diet is the best answer for great skincare.
Apply skincare products that are naturally high in Omega acids.
Since Omega acids benefit skin in so many ways, these essential ingredients can help to keep you looking your very best.