While winter is a season many of us look forward to for the festive celebrations, quality time spent with family and friends and a chocolate box picturesque scenery, it can also bring some unwanted changes in our skin.
Indoor heating, extreme weather conditions, the overindulgence of rich foods, increased consumption of alcohol and not to mention the late night parties, can all collectively contribute towards a dull, lacklustre complexion and surge of unwanted breakouts.
If your normally regimented skincare routine has been somewhat neglected over the last month or so, as your focus shifted towards others in the season for goodwill, then the support of one of our favourite skincare essentials, may be just what your complexion needs to retain a healthy glow and keep acne flare ups under control throughout the coldest months of the year.
Here at Envision Acne and Skin Care Center we believe that maintaining healthy skin shouldn’t be complicated. In addition to following our protocols to cleanse, tone and moisturize using products from our PoreInfusion acne control range, we strongly advocate the benefits of a good balanced diet and more specifically the incorporation of Omega 3 supplements, to help keep your skin nourished and hydrated from inside out.
Why is Omega 3 essential for skin health?
Unlike other key vitamins and minerals which we can obtain from the foods we eat, our bodies are not able to naturally produce essentially fatty acids, which are also known as Omega 3 and Omega 6. While EFA’s are considered by Doctors and Public Health Researchers to be important for our wellbeing in order to support the functions of our bodies, studies have indicated that many North American diets are deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 is believed to have numerous benefits, ranging from helping to reduce inflammation to decreasing anxiety in young adults.
Have you ever noticed that when you become overly stressed about a situation your acne can flare up and appear to get worse? Research has been carried out as to the potential link between stress and breakouts, with some results revealing that reoccurring acne may occur because the cells in your body are receptive to stress hormones. These cells therefore have the ability to increase sebum production in response to hormonal changes, such as those caused by stress and when you become anxious about a situation.
As our largest organ, the skin plays an essential role when it comes to protecting our internal organs and outer layers from external threats and the invasion of harmful bacteria. The surface of our skin, also known as the epidermis is made up of essential fatty acids and lipids, which create a waterproof barrier required to keep the skin hydrated and supple while ensuring that PH levels are regulated, making it important to provide the skin with all the ingredients it needs to stay healthy and protected.
Omega 3 nourishes the skin with healthy fats, keeping it smooth, while helping to maintain elasticity.
Omega 6 is also important as it has the ability to stimulate collagen production and act as an anti-inflammatory. Omega 6 can over time assist in calming inflammation associated with conditions such as rosacea and psoriasis, while helping the body to absorb antioxidant and other nutrients it needs to function to optimum capacity.
While essential fatty acids are believed to be important for skin health, obtaining a balanced Omega 6/Omega 3 ratio is vital. Statistics nowadays document that the Western diet is significantly higher in Omega 6 intake as a result of our love for processed, fried and convenience foods, in addition to dishes containing saturated fats, which may lead to increased inflammation and long term health issues.
What are good sources of Omega 3?
Remember that as our bodies can’t produce Omega 3 essential fatty acids naturally, we must obtain them from our diet or supplements. Good sources of Omega 3 can be found in; cold water fish such as Atlantic salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herrings, tuna, nuts, seeds, oils such as rapeseed, canola and flaxseed and dark green leafy vegetables, as well as other foods such as soybeans and tofu.
When it comes to topical skincare, many cosmetic companies recognise the benefits and anti-inflammatory properties of Omega 3 and have incorporated ingredients rich in it such as jojoba, avocado and walnut oil and kukui nut, to name a few into their skin care lines.
A small amount of Omega 3 can potentially make a significant difference when it comes to skin health, which is why we always discuss the benefits of it with our clients. If you prefer to take daily supplements vs making subtle changes to your diet, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.
In summary essential fatty acids are important in the role of skin health and shouldn’t be overlooked, especially in the winter months when our complexions have the tendency to become dryer and more susceptible to extreme weather conditions.
As we age sebum production also declines, so the use of Omega 3 to keep our complexions hydrated and to help minimise inflammation is key. However, Omega 3 shouldn’t just be thought of as an ingredient for those with dry and mature skins, as its anti-inflammatory properties, ability to help target oxidative stress, repair the skin’s barrier function and balance oil production are equally important factors to those who suffer from reoccurring acne and flare-ups during the winter months.
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