Omega 3 Fatty Acid: How do they help the Skin?


You have probably heard the term Omega 3 fatty acids tossed around when it comes to skincare and haircare. But do you know why they are great for the skin? Let’s find out!

What are Omega 3 fatty acids?

Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are found commonly in both plant and animal oils.

Where do Omega 3 fatty acids come from?

The common sources of Omega 3 are marine algae and phytoplankton. Another type of Omega 3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid is found in walnuts, edible seeds, and flaxseed oil. 

Fish oil is considered to be the most significant source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Chicken eggs and squid oils are also considered to be good sources. 

Omega 3 Fatty Acid Uses

1. Metabolism booster

Omega 3 is crucial for the normal metabolism of the body. That’s why as people age and their metabolisms reduce, they are usually given supplements of fish oil to aid in their metabolic activity.  

2. Repairs skin cells

The supplements that provide Omega 3, such as fish and walnuts, provide nutrients that help repair damaged skin cells. It essentially repairs the membrane of these damaged skin cells and works on making the skin better from the inside. This makes your skin look good and makes it healthier so that your skin will become more resilient against internal and external factors.

3. The effects of ageing

Research has shown that Omega 3 also helps in reducing the causes of ageing. It helps reduce the inflammatory compounds that are produced in the body and that are responsible for making the skin look old and unhealthy, thus keeping it revitalised and healthy.

4. Anti-inflammatory properties

The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega 3 fatty acids help in reducing redness and irritation on the skin. This reduces your skin’s tendency to encounter common inflammations such as acne, whiteheads, blackheads and other such issues. There are different skin issues as well that omega 3 helps in—for example, atopic dermatitis, or eczema and psoriasis.

5. The coveted hormonal balance

Omega 3 fatty acids help in metabolism, which means they also play an essential role in the hormonal balance. Most skin conditions mentioned above are aggravated due to dry skin. The oil balance provided by Omega 3 can be of help here.

6. Dryness and revitalisation

Omega-3 helps in revitalising the skin. As we know, the natural oils that our skin contains are necessary to provide moisture to our skin to keep it soft and glowing. Omega 3 can help in providing the same kind of moisturising effect for people with dry skin as it is made of fatty acids and oils. This can, therefore, reduce dryness as well.

7. Sensitive-skin friendly

Another benefit can be for those who have sensitive skin. A few of us have skin that is incredibly sensitive to the harmful UV rays of the sun. This might be due to genetics or if you’ve undergone other kinds of skin treatment before, like chemical peeling or laser treatment.

8. The sun protector!

Skin treatments tend to make your skin sensitive to the sun. A study has thus shown that by taking fish oil supplements, your sensitivity could reduce. That, however, does not mean that you can stop using sunscreen. That’s a must!

9. Stress and anxiety

It reduces the level of cortisol hormones which is known to be a stress hormone that causes excess sebum production as well. This is also why omega 3 is known to reduce anxiety levels and make you feel good.

Omega 3 fatty acids for oily skin

Even though omega-3 is made up of fatty acids, it can be used if you have oily skin. Oily skin only happens when there is a high production of sebum on your skin. Sebum is the oily waxy fluid secreted by the sebaceous glands under your skin.

Sebum in itself does not do your skin any kind of harm. In fact, your skin needs sebum to stay moisturised and healthy. The only time it causes trouble is when there is an excess production of sebum. This clogs up your pores with dirt and dead skin cells.

One of the causes for excess production of sebum can be a hormonal imbalance. What omega-3 essentially does is help in balancing your hormones, thus even giving you an oil balance. This helps balance the oil content in your skin while making sure it doesn’t dry it out.

Risk factors

The only risk factor associated with Omega-3 levels in your body is that an excess of this can lead to heart diseases as it reflects on your dietary intake, which can be harmful if it all consists of fatty food. 

The silver lining

Omega-3 is really great for most skin types and has so many benefits! Consider adding food rich in Omega-3 to your diet. You can also take Omega-3 supplements, but you might want to speak to a doctor before doing that!


1. Which foods are Omega 3 fatty acids found in?

They are found in walnuts, flaxseed oil, fish, fish oil, squid oil, and chicken eggs.

2. What do Omega 3 fatty acids do for the skin?

They help in reducing the compounds that cause inflammation in your skin. It thus prevents ageing. It also helps in revitalising the skin and keeping it moisturised.

3. What do Omega 3 fatty acids do for the hair?

As omega 3 reduces the inflammatory responses in your skin. It improves blood circulation and provides nourishment for your hair. It, therefore, encourages hair growth as well.

4. Do Omega 3 fatty acids help gain weight?

No, they do not affect your weight. But unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough research done to show any evidence of why yet.


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Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.