Omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) play a critical role in normal skin function and appearance. In clinical studies, it has shown that a deficiency in fatty acids essential fatty acid deficiency leads to dermatitis (scaling and dryness of the skin) and increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

How does the skin works?

The skin is a complex organ It has two main layers. The epidermis (most outer layer) and the dermis. The epidermis serves as barrier, preventing water loss and invasion by microbes and toxins. The main function of the dermis, which consists mostly of collagen and elastin, is to provide physical and nutritional support to the epidermis. (1)

How do Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) work?

The body’s normal secretion of essential fatty acids decreases with age, leaving a less moist and emollient skin, characteristic of most ageing skin. Therefore, we need to ensure that our skin retains the necessary level of Omegas-3,-6 & 9 in order? to preserve a high EFA level.

This can be done both through diet and supplements and feeding the skin directly. Topical application of EFAs moisturizes and hydrates.

These essential fatty acids support skin health, improve nerve and vascular function, and act as antioxidants.

Research suggests that they may not only reduce sun sensitivity in those with photodermatitis, they may also diminish the inflammation associated with acne. Other studies found that psoriasis treatment that included medication and EFA supplementation was more successful than treatment with medication alone.

Omega-3 has strong anti-inflammatory properties and may calm skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema and minimize redness.

1).? Ziboh VA, Chapkin RS. Metabolism and function of skin lipids. Prog Lipid Res. 1988;27:81-105.? (PubMed)