Acne is awful because it makes you feel like no matter what you do, the acne won't go away. You think to yourself, “What can I possibly do to make this acne go away and never come back?”
Well, there is a very simple solution: fish oil!
Fish oil includes omega-3 fatty acids which are great for your skin. It helps heal blemishes that might be on your face and will reduce any future breakouts!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reduce Acne
When it comes to fish oil, there are two ways to get it: by consuming fish, especially oily fish like salmon and mackerel, or taking a fish oil supplement.
Both contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids. Fish oil supplements, in particular, contain two omega-3s called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
10 Fish Oil Benefits For Acne
Here are some of the benefits you might notice from taking fish oil for acne.
Less oil production
Several studies show that fish oil supplements, such as those containing EPA and/or DHA, reduce sebum (oil) production.
A study published in The British Journal of Dermatology, for example, found that a supplement containing 2.2 g of omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA helped decrease sebum levels by nearly 40 percent.
Another study concluded that taking 3 to 4 g/day of an omega-3 supplement reduced acne lesions for about 16 weeks.
Several studies have shown that fish oil supplements are anti-inflammatory.
Inflammation, including acne flare-ups that are red and swollen, is often the first sign of a breakout before the actual pimple forms.
Taking 1 to 3 g/day of an omega-3 supplement can help reduce this type of inflammation, according to NCCIH.
A study published in “BMC Dermatology” found that taking 2 g of fish oil for 12 weeks caused significant reductions in both non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne lesions.
Fewer rosacea symptoms
People with rosacea may also benefit from taking fish oil because it has anti-inflammatory properties similar to those used to treat arthritis and other conditions associated with chronic inflammation, says Dr. David Ludden, a board-certified dermatologist and ACP Dermatology Media advisory board member.
In fact, taking fish oil supplements may help reduce the severity of rosacea symptoms such as redness and bumps, according to a study published in “Journal of Dermatological Treatment.”
Another study found that people with moderate rosacea who took 2 g/day of fish oil for 12 weeks significantly improved their overall symptoms compared with those who didn't take any supplement.
On the other hand, people with milder rosacea did not see an improvement when they took fish oils for six months.
Less dry skin
You might notice an improvement in your skin's texture if you take fish oil supplements, according to NCCIH.
People with acne tend to have drier skin than those without the condition because of all the chemicals that clear away excess oils, called sebum, on their faces, says Dr. Ludden.
By reducing inflammation and suppressing oil production, fish oil, along with collagen, can help treat this type of dryness for people with acne.
Another benefit of taking fish oil is that it may boost your intake of other beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
ALA's are found in many fruits and vegetables as well as flaxseed and other seeds.
However, ALAs aren't considered potent anti-inflammatory agents like EPA and DHA found in fish oil, says Dr. Ludden.
The benefits of fish oil supplementation can be noticeable in as little as four weeks to three months. However, it may take up to six months for the full benefits to show up.
If you are taking an oral supplement, avoid taking it at the same time as other supplements or medication because the interaction may reduce the effectiveness of both.
Studies show that fish oil can help reduce acne flare-ups for both teens and adults.
One study showed a 40 percent decrease in breakouts after eight weeks of taking 2 g/day of fish oil supplements.
Another study found that 44 percent of participants were clear or almost clear after 12 weeks when they took 3 g/day of fish oil.
In addition, combining 1 g/day Borage Oil with Fish Oil was more effective at reducing the number of pustules when compared to 400 mg/day doxycycline or a placebo, according to a study published in “Journal of Dermatology Treatments.”
The borage plant is also known as starflower because its seeds contain a high concentration of fatty acids.
Less inflammation – Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements not only help reduce acne lesions but can also reduce the number of flare-ups during treatment, according to NCCIH.
Lower sensitivity to pain
If you're planning on giving yourself a facial or applying an acne medication that might cause stinging or burning, taking fish oil supplements can help you tolerate the pain better.
One study found that men who took fish oil for two weeks experienced less sensitivity to pain when they applied capsaicin, a substance found in chili peppers, to their lips than those who didn't take any supplement.
However, taking fish oil alone won't improve your tolerance to pain below normal levels without capsaicin or another painful stimulus.
If you use fish oil for acne, you might notice that the inflammation caused by breakouts is reduced over time. Fish oil can reduce acne-related inflammation because it has anti-inflammatory properties which help fight against free radicals in the body that lead to irritation and pain associated with acne.
It can also help to decrease post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) caused by pimples if used regularly twice a day. The omega 3's in fish oil are believed to stimulate collagen production which can even out pigmentation issues like PIH that are caused by breakouts.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to have anti-aging properties which is why they are added to many skincare products. This ingredient can also improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin by increasing collagen production, reducing inflammation, and protecting your skin from free radical damage that leads to premature aging.
Increasing collagen production
Collagen is one of the major molecules in your body that makes up your connective tissues, ligaments, tendons, and bones. Omega-3 fatty acids help increase collagen production which can make your skin look smoother and healthier.
Many beauty products like anti-aging serums often contain fish oil to deliver the benefits of omega-3's directly to the skin.
Protecting your skin from free radical damage
Free radicals can harm or even kill cells in your body which is why you want to avoid them as much as possible. They form when UV rays hit your skin, makeup substances like cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes, and metabolic processes in your body break down food.
When used correctly, fish oil for acne is an effective way to treat existing breakouts and stop future ones from forming. While you will notice results after three months of regular use, this treatment works even better when taken with every meal as a preventative measure against breakouts.
Take at least four capsules daily and watch your skin clear up over time. Even those who suffer from severe cystic acne can see results if they take this supplement twice a day and combine it with other treatments like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If possible, try to eat fatty fish two or three times a week.
Alternate Sources Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
For those who cannot eat fish or take supplements, eating other sources of Omega-3 fatty acids is still helpful for fighting acne. This includes foods like walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds as well as eggs from chickens that have been fed fish meal.
In addition, the appearance of your skin can improve if you drink plenty of water, wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser and moisturize regularly.
Omega-3's are not only beneficial for your overall health but they can also help you maintain clear skin.