What is Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids, also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), are a family of essential fatty acids that your body can’t produce and you must get from the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for not just your growth and development, but also your skin. In fact, it plays an important role in anti aging.
The layer of skin cell membrane, called Epidermis, is the layer that benefits most from omega-3 fatty acids. Not only does it monitors the intake of nutrients but also dispose of nutrients and waste products entering and leaving the skin cell.
Why is this happening?
As we age, the cells become thinner and less adherence, leading to loss of barrier function of the epidermis. When this happens, it is harder for epidermis to retain moisture (water) and this will lead to dryness of the skin. Simultaneously, structural elements supporting the skin starts to thin and this promotes wrinkling.
One of the common occurrence to human skin is sun exposure. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation increases the aging process of the skin and elicits sagging. This process, also known as photoaging, causes the skin to have fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots and pigment irregularities. Chronological skin aging can’t be helped (it’s hard to fight time), but photoaging accelerates the process and this accounts for 90% of visible changes to the skin.
So what can we do?
Omega-3 fatty acids contributes to the upkeep of the skin cell membrane. Not only does it improve the texture but also improves the quality of our skin and helps in anti aging. Research in the fields of cosmetology and dermatology has demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids can play a role in decreasing skin damage from UV light and the production of cancer cells caused by UV light. The lack of essential fatty acids has been shown to increase transepidermal water loss which results in skin barrier function deficiency. Therefore, omega-3 fatty acids is able to assist skin cell’s hold onto water leading to moister, softer skin, which promotes wrinkle prevention and may eradicate existing mild wrinkles.
Omega-3 fatty acids benefits in anti aging
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil benefits includes
- improve skin barrier function
- inhibit UV-induced inflammation and hyperpigmentation
- improve dry skin and pruritus elicited by dermatitis
- accelerate skin wound healing
- prevent skin cancer development
In fact, all the benefits can be achieved by different administration routes, including oral supplementation, topical application, and intravenous injection. Common foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, fish oils, flax seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts.
Not your type of diet? Try this!
For people who do not eat much of these foods, an omega-3 supplement, such as fish oil, is often recommended. It is important to note that impurities, such as mercury, can also be present in omega-3 derived from fish. When choosing a fish oil supplement, it is crucial to make sure that it has potency guarantee, pure and safe (free from impurities).
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Or try these 5 useful tips for youthful skin here.