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The Skinny on Fats

Published: Thu November 20, 2014
Categories: Top 5 Advice

Likewise, avoiding fats and oils in the diet can play havoc with our skin leading to dryness, inflammation and premature ageing.  Before you get too excited, this is not a green light to go eat doughnuts and French fries, we need to make sure it is the essential fats we are eating as these are what the skin needs.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will have heard that eating essential fatty acids (EFAs and otherwise known as Omegas 3 and 6) can help alleviate or even prevent a number of ailments and diseases. These so called fatty acids are actually found in naturally derived oils and are called essential as they cannot be produced by the human body. These essential fats must therefore be consumed daily in the diet to contribute to good health.  A poor diet high in saturated fat, fried foods and packaged foods or a diet lacking in fish, raw seeds and nuts may mean that you are not getting enough Omega-3.  Lack of Omega not only can affect health and wellbeing, it can affect the condition and health of your skin. Applying EFA’s topically can ensure these essential fats target exactly where they are needed in the skin thereby transforming a dull, dry, prematurely ageing skin into a soft, supple and radiant skin.

So what exactly do these EFAs do for us?   

Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acid is a major anti-inflammatory agent therefore it is the superhero ingredient to treat inflammatory health and skin conditions. Additionally, it counteracts the pro-inflammatory properties of Omega-6 and is the most important essential fat to improve the skin conditions such as dryness, post inflammatory hyper pigmentation and healthy cell function.  Omega-3 food sources: Oily fish (salmon, sardines, halibut, tuna, her- ring, mackerel, cod), seeds & nuts e.g. almonds, brazil nuts, flaxseeds, macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and fruits & veggies e.g. Avocados, cabbage, broccoli, turnip greens, spinach.

Omega-6

Omega-6 is another EFA that our bodies cannot produce. It assists with healthy brain function, the immune system, healthy skin and helps regulate blood pressure. The typical Australian diet is high in Omega-6 therefore a deficiency is unlikely. Getting the right balance of essential fats is important as too much of one can affect the utilisation of another. A diet high in Omega-6 and low in Omega-3 can lead to inflammation within the body which can further lead to accelerated age- ing. It is therefore extremely important to ensure adequate intake of Omega-3 in the diet or even consider taking an Omega-3 supplement if you are a junk food junkie.Omega-9 Omega-9 is a lesser known non-essential fatty acid. This is due to the fact that it is non- essential due to our bodies having the ability to generate it from unsaturated fats. Omega-9 helps regulate bad cholesterol and supports immune function. Getting Omegas in your body is one thing, getting them on your skin is another.  Let’s take a look at some of the most nutrient dense oils available in skincare.

Go nuts!

Macadamia oil is excellent oil rich in EFA’s to keep the skin soft, smooth and hydrated. It also protects the cells from oxidation which in basic terms means it can help slow down the ageing process. The additional bonus of macadamia oil when applied topically to the skin is that it has the highest palmitoleic acid content of any plant. Palmitoleic acid is a natural component of human sebum which decreases as we age leading to dull, dry skin. This is a perfect oil to treat dry, dehydrated and sun damaged skins.

‘Ave an avo!

We may love an avo for lunch but did you know avocado oil can be used on the skin? Avocado oil is jammed packed full of skin saving nutrients such as lecithin, beta-carotene, proteins, and vitamins A, D and E. Vitamins A, D and E are all involved in cell regeneration. Vitamin A and E also have anti-inflammatory properties to assist faster healing of wounds, scarring, acne breakouts and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema. Vitamins A and D are important vitamins for skin health and collagen production therefore avocado oil is a wonderful way to treat sun damage and promote healing and repair of the skin. Avocado oil is a rich of lecithin and sterolin making it an excellent moisturiser for the skin.

The future is Rosy!

Rosehip seed oil is rich in EFA’s, powerful antioxidants and beta carotene making it a perfect oil to hydrate, regenerate and prevent signs of ageing skin. This nutrient rich nourishing oil may also help to promote wound healing and soothe sensitive skins.

Perfect Pommy!

Pomegranate seed oil is extremely nutrient dense, nourishing oil containing high levels of anti-oxidants to fight free radicals and premature aging. Pomegranate oil is a rich source of Punicic acid which has strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The nourishing properties are perfect to treat and protect the skin from premature ageing and accelerate skin regeneration leaving even the dullest complexion looking soft, radiant and glowing.

So there we have it, the latest and greatest topical oils to be found in skincare. For best results use a combination of oils for a jammed packed nutrient rich blend. So yet another myth dispelled - oils are good for the skin.  The secret is picking the right oils and not over using them. If your skin feels oily or greasy after use it is a sign that you may have used too much oil.  One drop is all you need to healthy, glowing and radiant skin. If you're ready to boost your skin with these smart fats, try Skinstitut Multi Active Treatment Oil (RRP: $45.00 AUD): it contains all of the essentials in one silky smooth hit. With key active ingredients including Macadamia, Jojoba, Pomegranate Oil, Avocado and Rosehip , you will be on your way to supple, healthy skin. 

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