If you want to clear your skin for good, support the healthy functioning of your skin's barrier and acid mantle, encourage proper sebum production, and provide an environment where your skin thrives, then it's important to take a look at what you're eating (or not eating.) Proper nutrition is the foundation to a healthy, functioning body in addition to what you apply TO your skin. Let's talk about optimizing your skin + health through consuming + topically applying essential fatty acids to your skin!
Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid part of the omega 6 family and is vital for our optimal health and clear, healthy functioning skin. Ironically, omega 6s increase inflammation in the body to make room for healing where omega 3s assist the body in reducing and maintaining a low level of inflammation.
However, the modern western diet provides omega 6: omega 3 in an extreme 20:1 ratio. when the ideal ratio is 3:1 or 1:1. It's no wonder that people struggle with optimal skin and heart health along with chronic inflammation! You might be one of them?!
If you find yourself struggling with acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, or any other inflammatory skin pattern, it might be worth looking at your diet to ensure that you're getting a balance of omega 6s to omega 3s.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to balance your skin through your diet. I prioritize functional nutrition over countless supplements (and even herbs!) because we all need to eat! And taking a pill doesn't align with my vitalist + holistic way of looking at the human mind/body/spirit.
Balance your omega 6: omega 3 ratio by upping your omega 3s. If you see a regular doctor or even a functional doctor, they likely recommend that you take an omega 3 supplement. You can also add omega 3s through eating wild salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
Prefer to get your nutrients through a plant-based diet? Add in botanical oils to your diet like flax, hemp, perilla, chia, and walnut seed oils. You can also freshly grind flax or chia seeds and add them to smoothies and yogurt.
In addition to nutritional optimization, it's important to use the right skincare product to make space for your skin's healing. Even if you experience dry, flaky, and even "normal" skin, linoleic acid is crucial for your skin health and maintenance, too.
Linoleic acid for optimal skin health
Linoleic plays a crucial role in maintaining the barrier and passage functions of the skin. When the skin is deficient in linoleic acid, skin problems are exacerbated by increased sebum production - huge sad face if you're already experiencing over-oily skin or inflammatory conditions like acne.
Naturally, this can result in more acne + breakouts because the skin is unable to keep out harmful bacterial, chemicals, and dirt nor keep in moisture, nutrients, and fatty acids. It becomes essentially a free for all where your skin and complexion loses in the end.
Interestingly, studies have shown that by approaching skin healing through both consumption of omega 3 fatty acids and topical application of omega 6 fatty acids can help to restore the skin barrier in as little as a month.
You also want to supplement your skin with products that include oils high in linoleic acid. Some of the best are grapeseed, safflower, evening primrose, hemp seed, sunflower, and passionfruit seed oils. In the attuned version of Boho Bloom Oil Serum coming soon, you'll find lots of these cold-pressed and organic oils that are naturally high in linoleic acid so that you can holistically support your skin from the outside in.
Lagom Body Co. is an organic, elegant, and holistic skincare line designed to bring you closer to nature. Founded by holistic herbalist, Kristen Runvik, Lagom Body Co. aims to offer beautiful organic skincare made from nature while offering education on nature and plants for more peace and joy in the world. Learn more about our plants and our process here.