Using Fish Oil for Dry Skin

woman with towel wrapped around head applying lotion on dry skin

Recent studies show fish oils reduce dryness and redness, promotes wound healing and protects against UV-damage.

Fish oils are a natural source of the omega 3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Some of the proven health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids includes reducing inflammation and enhancing heart health.

This article will take a closer look at the research using these essential fatty acids and fish oils on skin health.

What Causes Dry Skin?

young woman massaging dry skin on shoulders

Having dry skin is one of the most common skin conditions.

Your skin is one of the body’s largest living organs. It helps keep out infections, regulates body temperature by sweating to stay cool and allows you to feel touch and sensations.

Keeping your skin moist and supple allows it to function properly.

Dry skin can be caused by a its upper layers losing lipids (fats, oil and waxes) which weakens it ability to stay moist and supple. Furthermore, certain medications and health conditions can also lead to dry, cracked skin.

The American Skin Association states that when dry skin isn’t cared for, it can increase your risk for itching, cracking, peeling and infections.

Some common methods to treat dry skin include increasing the humidity in a dry environment, applying moisturizing emollients and skin creams, and avoiding dehydration by consuming adequate amounts of water.

How Fish Oils Can Help Protect Your Skin

medical diagram of deeper skin layers

Anatomy of Skin Layer

Numerous studies have proven that the essential fatty acids in fish oil play a critical role in skin health.

Your skin is made up of thousands of skin cells held together by collagen and elastin fibers.

These ingredients help provide the backbone for firm healthy skin.

Researchers believe that a deficiency of these essential fatty acids can cause your skin to hold less water which may increase your risk for skin scaling and flaking.

A study published in the July 2018 issue of Marine Drugs concluded that fish oils can help reduce symptoms of photo-aging, dermatitis, allergies and promote wound healing.

Research on Fish Oil’s Effect on Skin Health

The following studies look at what effects EPA and DHA can have on skin health and certain conditions:


The research appears to indicate that the fatty acids in fish oil may help reduce skin inflammation and improve certain dry skin conditions.

The omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, were found to reduce the production of inflammatory co-factors commonly seen in psoriasis and eczema.

Increasing your daily intake of consumption of fresh, fatty fish, or using a fish oil supplement, can help improve the the overall health of your skin.

Using organic skin care products that provide healthy fats and oils can also help improve the skin’s natural moisture barrier and hydration levels.

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