There is a lot of talk in skin care circles about the importance of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) in skin health. They are a fundamental part of the protective skin barrier and help to keep skin well hydrated, firm, calm and luminous. Last week, in Part One, we talked about what fatty acids are and their role in the protective skin barrier. This week, in Part Two, we discuss how you can incorporate these crucial fats into your skincare regime and diet in order to keep your skin looking it's glowing best!
Eating Your Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are found in fish—particularly mackerel, sardines and salmon—broccoli, spinach, soy, pumpkin seeds, and shiso oil. While Omega-6s are found in eggs, meat, poultry, wheat germ, walnuts, hemp seeds and watermelon seed oil. It's important to keep a proper balance of omega-3s to omega-6s. Unfortunately, the American diet typically provides plenty of omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3s. According to the University of Maryland, the “typical American diet contains 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.” (1) Too much omega-6s compared to omega-3s in the body can actually promote inflammation and lead to illnesses, so you want to make sure you're taking in enough omega-3s—even if you have to take it in the form of a supplement. Recommended daily intake of omega-3s for adults is about three grams. For omega-6s, recommended intake is 10 grams.
Alternatively, you can try the Mediterranean diet, which is low in meat products and provides an abundant amount of omega-3 fatty acids by emphasizing the consumption of foods like fish, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, and garlic.
Getting Your Essential Fatty Acids on Topically
Essential fatty acids can also be applied topically to the face and body. In fact, doing so it the quickest way to begin supporting and reinforcing your skin barrier. The best way to get EFAs on your skin is by using serums and moisturizers that include plant oils that have high levels of them. Our HARMONY Omega 3|6 Recovery Serum, HARMONY Omega 3|6 Recovery Body Serums and SANCTUARY Vita 3| Anti-Ox Defense Serum contain blends of nutritive plant oils that are exceptionally high in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, particularly shiso (omega 3, 54-64%) and watermelon (omega 6, 55-65%) ) oils.
Applying these serums after cleansing and spritzing with a facial mist locks in precious moisture, fortifies and replenishes the skin barrier so skin is optimally hydrated, soft and supple and irritants are kept out.
As you can see, essential fatty acids are key to many body functions and are especially important to your skin. Be sure you’re diet includes foods rich in these crucial fats and apply serums and moisturizers daily that include plant oils with high levels of omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids. Your skin will love you for it!