We sacrifice a lot for beauty, but as it turns out, one of the things we tend to avoid most is actually really good for our skin.
Yes, fats. Everyone wants to cut them, but they are essential to healthy, glowing skin. There are several different fats so don’t go diving into that bag of potato chips just yet.
It’s time for a fat-ucation.
When you think fats, you likely picture all the heart clogging, artery destroying saturated fats. What you should be focusing on are all the unrefined, unsaturated, trans-fat free fats that are ripe with essential fatty acids - also know as EFAs.
The most notable EFAs are Omega 3 and Omega 6. These fats are responsible for hydrating, nourishing and renewing your skins cell membranes. Finding the right balance between Omega 3s and 6s is what can really benefit your skin.
Omega 3 gives you the glow
These particular fats hit the limelight a few years ago when everyone starting buzzing about how great they were. I can only imagine the rise in sales of salmon and eggs that took off during this time.
What’s so - dare I say - “essential” about these fatty acids is that our body does not make them on its own. Containing the important acids ALA (alpha linolenic), DHA (docosahexaenoic) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic), we must get these Omega 3s from our diet in order to make our body work better.
You can easily find high sources of Omega 3 in foods like salmon, tuna, anchovies, eggs, flaxseed, walnuts and even algae. Just don’t overdo it because many of these options are high in calories, which means they are hard on the waistline.
What makes these essential fatty acids so great for your skin is that they are responsible for sustaining natural collagen production, as well as balancing your oil secretion by maintaining happy hormone levels. Ultimately, it is these EFA’s that are keeping you glowing and young.
Omega 6 to maintain youthfulness -- and improve appearance of cellulite
Another EFA that is not made in your body is Omega 6. This polyunsaturated fat contains 3 key acids; linoleic (LA), gamma linolenic (GLA) and arachidonic (AA). Together they regulate your metabolism, encourage healthy bone growth and stimulate the regeneration of your hair and skin.
Remember when I mentioned you need to balance Omega 3s and 6s? It turns out we often consume way more Omega 6s than we do 3s. This may have something to do with the fact that they are easily found in our most common plant-based oils - corn, safflower, sunflower - and some of our favourite food staples like chicken and egg yolk.
To put this in perspective, most western diets have a ratio of 15 to 1 Omega 6 to 3s. This is far from ideal. Too much Omega 6 has been found to wreak havoc on your skin, but even worse, on your entire body functioning.
The ideal balance - not to mention most skintastic - is 3 to 1 Omega 6 to 3s. When you achieve this balance you will notice so many great beauty benefits.
To begin, your skin will look more hydrated and nourished, which means you are less likely to see premature wrinkles. It also means your skin will be firmer and more youthful.
If you suffer from acne, a healthy EFA balance may just be the fix. As they manage your skins natural oil secretions, you will notice few breakouts. These fatty acids are also key in breaking up oil and dirt that clogs your pores and instead, regenerates and renews your skin.
Finally, another outstanding benefit is that because EFAs are so great at locking in moisture and improving your skin cells' flexibility, they significantly decrease your chances of getting cellulite dimples.
Not too bad for fats, right? If you are interested in giving your skin what it needs, make sure to add foods like salmon, mackerel, hemp, flax, almonds and dark leafy greens to your diet.
Are you considering incorporating more healthy essential fatty acids into your diet? What results are you most hoping for? Share in the comment section below!
About the author
Sabrina Taylor is sassy skincare blogger for BESskincare.com. From beauty tips, dirty DIYs and down to no-nonsense product reviews like her ZENMED review, she blogs it all. She wants nothing more than to help her readers feel and look their very best for years to come. Stay connected with her on Twitter and Facebook.