Fish Oil Benefits Skin Acne – Is it Really Useless? The Best
Have you ever heard of using fish oil to cure acne?
If you regularly deal with breakouts, you’ve tried it all.
That said, I’m sure you’ve spent money on a new miracle cure...
...and was it worth it?
The trouble is, most “cures” don’t work. In fact, it’s almost as if no solution really works on any two people. What clears up skin seems to be different for everyone.
Usually, we buy a product, and if the acne doesn’t get worse, we convince ourselves there are modest improvements.
But eventually, we’re onto the next thing, hoping that another product will be The One.
Today, we’re looking at one solution in a sea of thousands - fish oil. We’ll look at what it actually is, and how fish oil benefits skin acne.
Is it right for you?
Read on to find out.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids - The Basics and Benefits
It should come as no surprise that fish oil comes from actual fish. The process may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Typically, fish are cut up, steamed, and then pressed to extract the oil in their tissues.
Why in the world do we want the oil?
Because it’s the best known source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) that our bodies don’t make. This is what really separates them from other fatty acids; omega-3s are essential.
Therefore, we have to get omega-3s from food sources.
Here’s where things can get tricky, as there are a few different kinds of omega-3. There’s AHA, DLA, and EPA, and they vary quite a bit in effect and composition.
DHA is the omega-3 found in fish that people most desire. It helps us build cells, especially from the neck up. A good portion of the DHA we consume will be found in the eyes and brain.
Sources of DHA:
EPA is similar to DHA, but it has a slightly shorter chain. It’s great for the brain, and may even be beneficial for mental disorders. But we like this one in particular because it may help decrease inflammation.
Sources of EPA are much the same as for DHA, with one exception. Algae, the lone non-animal source of DHA, is not very high in EPA.
But things get drastically different when we discuss ALA. When we eat foods with ALA, our bodies convert it to DHA. Unfortunately, the amount of DHA isn’t very much when you weigh it against the amount of ALA in foods.
Good food sources of ALA include:
So what are the benefits of getting good amount of omega-3? As it turns out, there are many.
Inflammation - Inflammation manifests itself in so many ways. The funny thing is, it’s our own bodies deciding to send the signal. If you get plenty of omega-3, you can reduce proinflammatory markers.
Depression - Today, 1.5 out of 10 of us are on antidepressants. Many of these individuals have mild cases that come and go. One way we can alleviate mild depression is with omega-3s. In particular, EPA seems to be the best kind. In fact, there’s a chance it could be as effective as Prozac.
Cognition - As we age, our brains just aren’t as sharp as they used to be. In addition to serious diseases like Alzheimer's, we find ourselves having great difficulty remembering details. For all of this, omega-3 can protect our brains from the consequences of aging.
Bone health - Calcium is a funny little nutrient. We need it, and it’s easy to get it, but it can’t do the work all on its own. It needs lots of help from other nutrients, and omega-3 is one. Omega-3 may help deliver more calcium where it’s needed - the bones.
Menstrual cramps - Interestingly, women who have a higher intake of omega-3s have more tolerable symptoms with their menstrual cycles. In some people, omega-3 from sources like fish oil have a balancing effect on hormones.
Less pain in the abdomen and lower back may be reflective of this.
Why is Adult Acne So Hard to Treat?
Right now, today, I have a challenge for you:
Stop buying so many over-the-counter acne products.
If you have mild acne, buying some benzoyl peroxide cream - click for price, or salicylic acid wash is fine. Honestly, it may even work well for you. Especially if you’re a teenager.
But if you have moderate or severe acne, it’s a different story. To be clear, moderate cases of acne would include more than 10 spots, some painful, with new ones emerging regularly.
Generally speaking, OTC treatments alone are not effective in treating moderate to severe cases of adult acne. All acne is hormonal, but with adults, our hormonal activity is different than that of a teenager. After all, puberty is long gone.
You may find that your adult acne is worse than the acne you had as a teen. Ultimately, it may be that adult acne is more likely to be inflammatory. In the end, adults with acne more often also have inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea.
Personally, I had a few pimples and such as a teen, but it was nothing compared to my 30s. Adult me laughs remembering the 17-year-old who thought those little bumps on her forehead were a very big deal.
That’s because with adult acne, you’re more likely to have those deep, painful cysts. And the face wash you relied on as an adolescent won’t do anything for it.
Without any further ado, here’s why your adult acne puts your teenage skin to shame. Consequently, this is why it’s harder to treat.
Treating adult acne takes a few different approaches at once. First, you have to use the right products, and just a few of them. Next, you have to make some lifestyle changes. I’ll talk about both coming up.
The final, and most important, approach involves healing acne from the inside. And that’s where fish oil comes in.
How to Use Fish Oil for Acne
If you want to know how fish oil benefits skin acne, look no further than the anti-inflammatory properties.
This excerpt from a piece in Science Magazine explains how one team of researchers draws the link:
“To understand how omega-3s curb inflammation, Jerrold Olefsky, an endocrinologist at the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues trawled through the data on a family of proteins called G protein-coupled receptors, which can bind to a number of different fatty acids.
“One of these receptors - GPR120 - ’jumped right out,’ Olefsky says. Olefsky's group found it on immune cells involved in inflammation, as well as in mature fat cells, and they noted that it seemed to bind to omega-3s.”
Instead of using adhesive strips to yank sebum out of pores, adults should add omega-3s to suck up inflammation receptors.
So, should we be rubbing fish oil on skin to cure acne?
Definitely not. There are two ways to go about this - eat plenty of wild-caught fish, or try a fish oil supplement.
Listen, getting enough fresh seafood isn’t easy for the average person. If you do eat fish, canned tuna and the occasional cod fillet are easy to come by. But for specific skin benefits, a supplement may be more effective.
As usual, though, there are landmines in the sea of supplements. Here are a few quick tips for picking a good fish oil supplement.
Finally, give it time, and keep it up. It can take weeks or even a few months to see results when battling acne. Once you do begin to clear up, don’t stop. If your routine is working, sticking to it can prevent future breakouts.
The Best Ways to Fight Acne
Fish oil isn’t useless when it comes to adult acne, but it can’t do all of the heavy lifting. While teen acne responds well to topicals, adults have to take that multi-pronged approach.
Limit dairy and reduce sugar. Sugar and dairy are two of the most inflammatory types of food we can eat. You see, a lot of acne is from excess male hormones, and many dairy products have hormones in them.
The inflammatory impacts are actually worse when we choose skim products, which contain sugar. Sugar has long been associated with higher levels of inflammation. On the other hand, moderate amounts of full fat yogurt and cheese may be okay.
What do we replace these foods with? Plenty of healthy fats, whole grains, and cruciferous veggies. For example, nuts, broccoli, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and legumes are some of the best acne-fighting food you’ll find.
Reduce stress - seriously. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is actually supposed to help reduce inflammation. But when we stress yourself to the point of adrenal fatigue, all bets are off.
Furthermore, the production of cortisol will be lower when there’s less inflammation. That’s key, because cortisol is related to testosterone, the excess of which leads to acne. To maximize the results of your anti-inflammatory efforts, reduce stress and lower your cortisol.
Meditation, yoga, and massage are all excellent stress-fighters to work into every day. In addition to these, take more time for your hobbies. Spend less time on toxic relationships and long sessions worrying about the future.
Stop stripping your skin. If you remove your makeup and cleanse your skin at night, there’s really no reason to use soap on your face the next morning. Overwashing can lead to more oil and bacteria.
Despite this extra oil production, your actual skin will not be hydrated. Wash your face once a day, and don’t use skin brushes or scrubs on your face. Instead, go for gentle exfoliation via glycolic acid - click for price. From there, use a non-comedogenic moisturizer to nourish.
If picking a moisturizer proves difficult, try plain, pure jojoba oil - click for price. It’s the best!
Protect your skin from the environment. Pollution from exhaust and manufacturing, as well as the harsher rays of the sun, contribute to inflammation.
In particular, the sun can aggravate breakouts, making them much redder and more sensitive. Not to mention, the use of acne-fighting ingredients makes skin more sensitive. Always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 35.
Antioxidants will help, too. Each night, use a serum - click for price that will help smooth and brighten complexions dulled by the environment.
My conclusion on...
Fish Oil Benefits Skin Acne
Although common, acne is a very complex problem to solve. It gets even more difficult in adulthood, when our skin is not as responsive to the usual, teen-friendly treatments.
Ultimately, adult acne requires a more internal approach, and getting more omega-3s is part of this. These essential fatty acids help quell inflammation, a common factor in the severity of adult acne.
Additionally, there’s some evidence that omega-3s, such as from fish oil, are effective in treating mild depression and anxiety. We carry an increased risk of mood disorders when we have acne.
Do you think fish oil benefits skin acne?
How do you deal with adult acne?
Do you have any fish oil skin benefits before and after results to share?
Share below, and I’ll be back soon with more.