All of us want to have that healthy glow that comes with radiant good health and vast sums of money are spent on trying to create that look using cosmetics.
There is an increasing realisation that the best way to get that healthy glow is to look at the nutritional factors missing in your diet that could be supplemented to create that beauty from within that comes with real wellness – enter the concept of neutraceuticals!
One of the key neutraceuticals is flax seed oil, because usually the first place you see a lack of Omega-3 is on your skin or hair and nails.
Why can this happen?
The ALA in flax seed oil is a key building block for healthy cell membranes. So if your body is lacking in Omega 3 it will use whatever fats you are consuming to build your skin cells – this can lead to “leaky membranes”, which is a primary cause of allergic conditions such as eczema.
One of the characteristics of ALA is that the molecule is not straight like a saturated fat molecule, but is kinked because of the presence of three double bonds.
This unique shape means that it will pack neatly into the cell wall and create a membrane that is flexible, but retains its integrity.
Skin cells made from “bad fats” are likely to have compromised integrity and so be susceptible to toxins and irritants in the environment such as pollen, soaps, foods and various chemical allergens.
Can Omega-3 help in other ways?
The prostaglandins, which dampen down inflammation, are made from Omega 3, so taking flax seed oil also helps regulate inflammation, which is important in skin conditions such as Psoriasis.
What is some of the science around Omega-3 and skin?
In a recent study with healthy women with sensitive or dry skin, supplementing with only 2.2g per day of flax seed oil reduced skin reddening after applying a chemical irritant.
Skin hydration was increased and trans dermal water loss was reduced, with the improvement continuing throughout the 12-week experiment.
The incidence of skin roughness and scaling were also reduced. Borage oil, which is rich in Omega-6, was not as effective as flax seed oil.
A follow-up study confirmed the same greater effectiveness of the Omega-3 – flax seed oil compared to an Omega-6 oil and also measured an improvement in skin smoothness.
What is the best way to take flax seed oil to maximise the effect on my skin?
The ideal way to take flax seed oil is to make a yoghurt – flax seed oil – fresh fruit smoothie. These combine to make a delicious drink to start your day.
Cottage cheese spread/dip
Another alternative is to us a whizz stick to mix up low fat cottage cheese and flax seed oil and add herbs or spices to make a spread or dip.
The important part of either of these recipe ideas is to make sure the flax oil is mixed at high speed to create an emulsion or “lipoprotein” that can be absorbed straight from your stomach into your bloodstream and from there into your cell walls.
The ALA in flax seed oil and the sulphur amino acids found in abundance in milk protein combine in your cell wall to become a major component of the oxygen transport system into your cell.
The big bonus from this is, not only do you maximise the benefits for your skin, but most people experience an energy lift as well.
I have a friend who was recovering from ME who had experienced a useful lift in energy from taking flax seed oil straight. His wife then started taking the oil in a smoothie to help with her cellulite and fed him some smoothie as well and within 2 days he had another lift in energy.
The ultimate way to recieve flax oil for your skin is to get your imtimate partner to give you a full body massage.
Being light and non sticky it makes a lovely oil to use for a massage and leaves your skin feeling wonderful – I liken it to feeling like you have just swum in a mountain stream.
The essential fatty acids are readily absorbed into your skin to truly nourish your body.
After your massage you do need to wait until all the oil is absorbed or have a quick rinse under the shower, otherwise the high levels of carotene pigment that give it the characteristic yellow colour could stain your clothes.