When the topic of skincare is brought up, most of us jump to thinking about creams, lotions, serums, oils, and many other cosmetic products that fill our bathrooms. After all, the cosmetics industry feeds them to us on a silver platter as essentials. Are we saying that you should ignore your favorite beauty influencers altogether as they’re shamelessly plugging their must-have skincare products? Absolutely not. There’s plenty of scientific evidence backing up topical solutions that undoubtedly lead to positive skincare results. Nevertheless, it is clear that health, as well as beauty, is formulated on the inside - as nutrient molecules are usually too large to penetrate the skin. So basically, bioavailability matters!
Today, we’re focusing on the importance of omega-3 fatty acids in your skincare regimen, which have to be obtained through diet given that our body is not able to produce them on its own. Without further ado, let’s find out why we shouldn’t rely solely on expensive face creams and good genes for healthy, plump skin glowing from the inside!
An Official Introduction: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Before we jump into the actual importance of omega-3 acids for skin health, it is of utmost importance to sort through all the noise surrounding these fatty acids by properly introducing them, along with their numerous benefits.
Fatty acids are best defined as long-chain hydrocarbons, which may be classified into four main categories: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fats. While saturated and trans fats have a rather negative connotation in nutritional science, and are also linked to cardiovascular conditions, the other two groups of fatty acids, especially polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, have promising roles in cardiovascular health, as well as many other aspects of healthy aging.
You may be wondering what does the “3” in the name of these fatty acids stand for? The secret is in their structure, as they’re polyunsaturated fatty acids, which means that they entail more than one double bond - as opposed to monounsaturated fatty acids. This bond pertains to a relationship between hydrogen atoms and carbon atoms in the fatty acid. Namely, a fatty acid is considered unsaturated when it’s lacking a pair of hydrogen atoms due to a double bond between two carbon atoms. Omega-3 fatty acids contain this double bond in the third carbon position from the methyl terminal - hence the number in the name. Confused yet? Keep reading, it’ll all become clear :).