The skin is the only organ that can take in nutrients from two sides, from the inside and from the outside. Topical creams help the skin from the outside, but it is unpractical to reach the complete skin of our entire body. Supplements that reach the skin from the inside are distributed by our vascular system to every single cell of our skin.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important skin nutrients for a number of reasons. On one hand the fatty acids are needed to build the fatty barrier against the enviromental influences and to reduce the loss of water through the skin. A shortage in certain fatty acids decreases the fatty barrier and this leads to dry skin.
As we age, we lose more and more the ability to maintain this healthy fat barrier with the consequence that our skin gets more and more dry which causes many problems.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also needed to produce cell hormons that play an integrall part in skin health and in mantaining the structural integrity of the skin.
These hormones have an impact on inflammatory events that developed in response to enviromental factors, such as exposure to ultraviolet radiation and infammatory and allergic disorders, including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
UV aging and UV protection
Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in sunlight has negative effects on skin. The clinical impact of sun exposure includes a yearly increase of skin cancer incidence and topical sunscreens alone are an inadequate means of combatting overexposure to UVR.
Novel methods of sun protection increasingly investigated, with growing interest in the potential of systemic sun protection through naturally sourced nutrients.
Omega-3 fatty acids show potential to protect the skin from UVR injury through a range of mechanisms. Exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation induces infammation and skin cancer in humans. DNA has been reported to possess anti-flammatory and chemopreventive properties in the skin.
Therefore, people who are going to face high exposure to sun light (e.g. during vacations) can help their skin by taking Ω krill oil and use its sun protection from the inside in combination with sun creams from the outside.
Psoriasis and atopic eczema
Also in cases of psoriasis and atopic exzema omega-3 fatty acid supplementation might help by decreasing inflammation and incresing the buildup of our skin’s barriers,which increases the moisture content in the skin and reduces water loss and drying out of the skin.
Some case reports show that EPA and DHA supplementation might also help for acne vulgaris by improving its symptoms on the skin level while additionally oggering mental benefits.
Acne vulgaris is a skin condition that affects many and can also impact psychologically. The psychological symptoms in acne cases include higher rate of depression,anger,anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
Because population studies show non Western diets lead to less acne and omega-6 fatty acids promote the development of inflammatory acne, it was suggested that the antiflammatory omega-3 fatty acids might help patients with skin conditions and/or mental health disorders.
EPA and DHA also increase cytokine (proteins involved in an immune response) production on wound sites and thus have a noninvasive,therapeutic potential to positively impact skin wound healing.
This is especially of importance for people with a decreased wound healing capacity, such as elderly people or diabetics.
In conclusion, effects on omega-3 fatty acids on skin include:
* Reducing dry skin, increasing skin moisture.
* Increasing fat barrier of the skin, preventing water loss and protecting against enviromental toxins.
* Decreasing skin inflammation.
* Decreasing symptoms of psoriasis and atopic eczema.
* Helping against UV light radiation and sunburns.
* Increasing wound healing.