Dehydrated skin may not seem like such a troublesome issue, but the harsh reality is that it can lead to premature lines and wrinkles, congestion and a dull skin tone.
Even if the best way of treating it is by applying the right products, there are some ways that we can also help it from the inside
Drinking enough water isn’t going to cut it though. We need some more specific nutrients in our hydration diet.
Fatty acids for fighting dehydrated skin
So, even if drinking water is going to help hydrate our skin to some extent, it’s just part of the solution, especially if you have an impaired skin barrier. When the skin is dry, it is more sensitive to external aggressors and this is usually caused by the impaired skin barrier, basically the water in your skin is evaporating off it.
Omega fatty acids like those found in fish oil, nuts and seeds are well known for their remarkable nutritional benefits when consumed as part of a healthy diet. But have you ever thought that they’re also essential for a healthy looking skin, both when you apply them on the skin and if consuming them part of your daily diet.
What are omega fatty acids?
In a series of studies dating ever since 1929, George and Mildred Burr determined the essentiality of certain fatty acids by feeding rats diets entirely devoid of fa. Fat-deprived rats developed visible skin abnormalities, increased water loss across their skin (also referred to as transepidermal water loss (TEWL)), stunted growth, and impaired reproduction. By systematically introducing oils with defined fatty acid combinations in rescue diets, it was determined that oils rich in certain polyunsaturated fatty acids (corn oil, linseed oil) could completely reverse the skin defects in the deficient animals, while oils containing only saturated fatty acids (coconut oil, butter) were ineffectual. Similarly, essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD) in humans clinically manifests as dermatitis (scaling and dryness of the skin) and increased TEWL. The skin abnormalities associated with EFAD have prompted scientists to investigate the effect of essential fatty acid (EFA) supplementation, both topically and through diet, on skin health.
EFAs are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) that cannot be synthesized in our bodies and must therefore be obtained from the diet. EFAs have documented roles in both the dermal and epidermal layers of the skin, and the appearance of skin is linked to its functional health. There are two classes of EFAs: omega-6 (n-6) and omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids. Linoleic Acid (LA) is the parent compound of the n-6 PUFAs; α-linolenic acid (ALA) is the parent compound of n-3 PUFAs. From these two parent compounds, the body synthesizes longer chain derivatives that also have important functions in healthy skin.
Omega fatty acids – food source
As we’ve established, omegas are extremely valuable when introduced in both your diet and your skincare regimen. There are 11 omega fatty acids of which two (omega-3 and omega-6) are considered essential fatty acids because the body cannot make them on its own. Among the omegas, the most vital for skin are:
- Omega-3—Found in foods such as fish oil, flax seed (linseed) oil, walnut oil, chia oil, and certain species of algae.
- Omega-6—Abundant in many plant oils, linoleic acid, and passion fruit oil.
- Omega-9—Plentiful in flax seed (linseed) oil and soybean, canola, peanut, and sunflower oils.
How do omega fatty acids help your skin?
These remarkable ingredients for skin serve as the essential building blocks of skin’s surface layers, creating a smoother, more even, younger-looking, and healthier complexion, no matter your age or skin type.
These are some of those amazing benefits that omegas offer your skin:
- Reinforce and smooth skin’s surface.
- Increase hydration without giving it a heavy feel, and help keep skin hydrated.
- Calm signs of external stressors, including redness and sensitivity.
- Eliminate flakiness and the dehydrated, fragile look of skin.
- Visibly strengthen skin against signs of environmental damage.
- Deliver antioxidants for anti-aging results.
To maintain a healthy, strong skin, don‘t over-do it with harsh cleansers and face scrubs as these will only disrupt your barrier.