Fish oil comes from fish that are rich in omega-3, such as mackerel and herring. Some studies suggest that fish oil may benefit people with certain skin conditions, though not all researchers agree.
Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), which is a type of nutrient that the body cannot make for itself.
In this article, we look at fish oil for the skin, including its potential benefits, what the research says, and which skin conditions it may help. We also discuss how to use fish oil to get the maximum benefit.
A 2018 review in Marine DrugsTrusted Source notes that fish oil and its components, including omega-3, can help support the skin’s overall health. The review found evidence that fish oil can help by:
- maintaining homeostasis
- improving barrier function
- inhibiting inflammation, particularly from UV light
- promoting skin healing
Scientists believe that these benefits are due to the PUFAs in fish oil, which include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The body incorporates dietary fatty acids into cell membranes. When a cell membrane is healthy, the cell can hold water. In the skin, this results in cells being hydrated and soft. Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce the production of inflammatory compounds that contribute to the aging process.
Some fish oils contain other nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and selenium. Vitamin A is an antioxidant related to retinol, a popular ingredient in skin care products and a treatment for skin disorders.
However, while evidence supports the idea that fish oil boosts general skin health, the research on its benefits for specific skin conditions is more mixed. Read More