When you think of clearing up your acne, you probably think of using cleansers, toners, medications and moisturizers.
But the last thing you would probably consider would be using oil to help alleviate your breakouts.
However, using fish oil for acne may help clear up your breakouts in addition to a host of other benefits!
Now, you may be thinking, how is this fish oil going to help clear up my acne? Am I going to rub fish oil all over my face?
No, but increasing the amount of fish oil in your diet can help you successfully combat breakouts by affecting several processes in the body.
Using fish oil for acne treatment begins by reducing inflammation of existing breakouts. Essential fatty acids found in fish oil increase the levels of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins in the body.
Prostaglandins are found in every cell, and they are synthesized in the cells by Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), Arachidonic acid (AA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). GLA and AA are Omega 6 fatty acids, which are pro-inflammatory and produce leukotriene B4, a prostaglandan that is also pro-inflammatory.
This leukotriene B4 may promote breakouts due to its pro-inflammatory properties. A diet too high in Omega 6 and not high enough in Omega 3 may also be conducive to breakouts for this reason.
Increasing EPA, which is an anti-inflammatory prostaglandan and is an Omega 3 fatty acid, can help restore balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6, and reduce the inflammation in the body thus reduce acne.
Omega 3 is an essential component of fish oil, so fish oil for acne treatment is largely recommended based on this balance of prostaglandans in the body. Be certain to focus on Omega 3 fish oil and not an Omega 3-Omega 6 blend if taking fish oil for acne.
Further, Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil can help regulate the production of androgens. Androgens, hormones that promote sebum production, are particularly active during teenage years.
However, androgens can be found in higher levels in adults and can contribute to acne breakouts. By increasing Omega 3 in the form of fish oil, you can help reduce the over-production of sebum and keep your pores clear.
So, how do you use fish oil for acne? Should you eat fish for three meals per day, every day? Certainly not! Eating too much oily fish can put you at risk for heavy metal toxicity, as these heavy metals, particularly mercury, tend to build up in the fish meat.
A safe and effective way to consume fish oil for acne treatment is to find a pure, filtered fish oil supplement. The fish oil that is collected from the fish does not come from the fish meat, so it does not carry the risk of heavy metal toxicity.
A high-quality fish oil should not smell fishy, and should be processed with the lowest oxidation levels possible to ensure freshness and prevent side effects found in lower-quality supplements like “fish burps.” A quality fish oil supplement will not produce these side effects!
Finally, you want to choose a fish oil supplement for acne treatment that is not synthetic–the best formula is a 50/50 blend of hoki oil in its natural triglyceride form and a concentrated molecularly distilled tuna oil in an ethyl ester form.
Both are exceptionally pure and easily absorbed by the body due to their omega-3s maintaining a natural molecular shape.
Photo by Jason