Fish oil for skin: Fight acne, dryness and more with its benefits

Fish oil has a pungent odour, but it is great for skin. Let's find out the benefits of fish oil for skin.
Fish oil benefits for skin
Fish oil benefits for skin. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 29 Oct 2023, 18:00 pm IST
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Skin dryness has been troubling me for a while now. If I am not trying out different moisturisers from stores, you will see me using home remedies like coconut oil to combat dryness. My mom suggested me to use fish oil as it has many benefits for skin. A 2018 study published in the US National Library of Medicine also showed that fish oil, which includes omega-3, can help to support skin health. Read on to find out what an expert has to say about using fish oil for skin.

What is fish oil?

Fish oil, which has a strong taste, is a dietary supplement derived from the tissues of fatty fish, such as mackerel, herring, sardines, salmon, shellfish, oysters, crabs and trout. Dr Sandeep Babbar, Medical Director and Dermatologist at Revyve Skin, Hair and Nail Clinic, Faridabad, says it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, especially eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids. These omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential because our body cannot generate them on its own and must obtain them through diet or supplements. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), another omega-3 fatty acid, is found in several nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.

As for fish oil supplements, they come in liquid, capsule and pill form which people take for the anti-oxidant properties.

Fish oil supplements
Fish oil supplements have many benefits for skin. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Benefits of fish oil for skin

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and so, offers several benefits for skin health. Here are some of the benefits:

1. Fish oil helps in reducing inflammation

Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to prevent the release of cytokines, which further aids in promoting good health. This can be especially helpful for those who have psoriasis, eczema or acne, where inflammation plays a significant role in the development of symptoms, says the expert. Also, it can reduce digestive system inflammation, which promotes gut health and prevents a number of problems related to the gut. And as they say, having a heathy gut means having beautiful and glowing skin.

2. Fish oil moisturises skin well

As fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, it supports the skin’s lipid barrier. When this barrier is healthy, it stops the skin from losing water, retaining moisture, and minimising dryness.

3. Fish oil gives sun protection

One of the main benefits of consuming fish oil is that it can help to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. This is due to the fact that the special amalgamation of DHA and EPA can aid in lessening your skin’s susceptibility to sun exposure. Fish oil is also linked to lessened skin photodamage and offers protection against sunburn, skin dryness and hyper dryness brought on by extended sun exposure. While they should not be used as a replacement for sunscreen, incorporating fish oil into your diet can provide further protection against skin damage caused by the sun, says Dr Babbar.

4. Fish oil helps in delaying skin ageing

As you age, the state of your skin deteriorates. There is loss of collagen and failing lipid barriers can lead to wrinkles and other early ageing symptoms. Fish oil’s impact on the phospholipid bilayer, which helps your skin retain moisture for a softer and more moisturised texture, may reverse this. Also, moisturised lipids help to maintain your skin appearing physiologically plump, preventing the appearance of any ageing symptoms.

Fish oil
Fish oil is good for acne-prone skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Fish oil helps in reducing acne

Fish oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can significantly enhance the condition of your acne-prone skin. Omega-3 fatty acids have a calming impact on the body, which can help to manage excessive sebum production in the skin and prevent pore clogging.

6. Fish oil promotes wound healing

The antibacterial traits of fish oil can aid in the healing of minor wounds, bruises, and ulcers by easing itching and redness, accelerating healing, and minimising scarring, says the expert.

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Consider taking a fish oil supplement if your diet isn’t providing you with enough omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t like fish or have dietary restrictions, you can also think about taking omega-3 supplements like liquid fish oil or fish oil drops. But follow the suggested dosage for the product and get advice from a doctor first.

Also, fish oil may have advantages, but a good skincare regime should also be followed in addition to taking fish oil. That means continue to cleanse, moisturise and protect your skin from sun exposure.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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