Why You Need to Start Taking Fish Oil Supplements

From acne to eczema, our skin doesn’t always look as healthy or glowy as we’d like. In an effort to achieve clear, blemish–free skin, I’ve used a ridiculously long list of products to no avail. Surprisingly, the remedy to my skin woes was not expensive creams or makeup; it wasn’t even a skin product — it was fish oil. Even though fish oil isn’t the most glamorous–sounding beauty supplement, it has many benefits. 

But first, you may be wondering what fish oil even is. Fish oil supplements are made from the tissue of oily fish like mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, or cod. Fish oil supplements are a great source of omega–3 fatty acids, which are important components of many cells, including those in the eyes and brain. They play a huge role in maintaining our overall health and support important functions in the heart, lungs, immune system, and endocrine system. 

Unfortunately, our bodies don’t naturally make omega–3, meaning we have to get it from our diet — this is where fish oil comes in. You can take it in a liquid form, like cod liver oil, or capsule form, like fish oil omega–3 supplements. Technically, you could even apply it directly to your skin, hair and nails, although that isn’t a popular option due to its pungent fishy odor. 

Aside from the health benefits associated with taking fish oil, this supplement has improved both my skin and hair in so many ways.

  1. 1. Omega–3 and Your Skin Microbiome

    Our gut microbiomes have a large effect on the appearance of our skin, a phenomenon known in the skincare world as the gut–skin axis. Recent studies show that a poor diet can lead to disruptions in the quality of our skin. For example, foods that are high in sugar and fat and are low in fibre have been linked to the development of acne, due to their effect on insulin level. 

    Fortunately, changing your diet can also help enhance the quality of your gut bacteria. In fact, studies show that increasing your consumption of fatty fish or supplementing with omega–3s helps promote the growth of “good bacteria” that not only optimize your health, but also the appearance of your skin. 

  2. 2. Omega–3s Provide UV Protection

    Skin damage resulting from sun exposure is one of the most common causes of both accelerated skin ageing and skin cancer. When sunlight comes in contact with your skin, it causes the production of free radicals, which can damage the skin’s cellular membrane. Omega–3 fatty acids play an important role in cellular membrane health, and having optimal omega–3 levels has been shown to increase the skin’s resilience to ultraviolet radiation. Many studies have reported that oral supplements like fish oil can help buffer the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.

  3. 3. Omega–3s Have Pimple–Fighting Properties

    Diets that are low in omega–3 levels have been linked to the prevalence of acne, as well as pimples in general. A study analysing the diets of over 1000 teenagers found that individuals who consumed higher amounts of fish and seafood tended to have fewer breakouts, and some studies suggest omega–3 fatty acids can fight active breakouts. In a recent trial, subjects with acne were given either omega–3s or a placebo. Those who had the fish oil supplement suffered from fewer breakouts as compared to the control group.

  4. 4. Omega–3 and Hair Growth

    Many people opt to consume fish or fish oil supplements in order to promote hair growth as well as prevent hair loss, due to the fact that the omega–3s found in fish oil provide essential proteins and nutrients to hair follicles and skin. They also prevent hair follicle inflammation, something that can cause hair loss. Research also suggests that ingesting omega–3s promotes blood circulation in the scalp, which may trigger hair growth.

All in all, taking fish oil supplements can be beneficial to both your skin and hair as well as your overall health. They’re a great source of omega–3 fatty acids, especially for those of us who aren’t the biggest fans of fish.