How omega-3s can help your winter skincare
Adding more omega-3s to your diet can lead to a number of different health benefits, but did you know it also make your skin look and feel better? Winter is an important time to take care of your skin because it's more prone to dryness and, despite there being less sunlight, you're still being exposed to harmful UV rays, especially if the sun is reflected off white snow.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a renowned dermatologist, recently told New York magazine that anyone looking to prevent or improve their dry skin this winter should eat more fish or any food high in omega-3s. The essential fatty acids can't be manufactured by your body, so the only way to get them is from dietary sources or supplements.
The reason why eating more foods rich in omega-3s is so good for your skin is the effect the fatty acids have on the skin cell membrane of the epidermis, or the outer layer of your skin.
"These fatty acids are responsible for the health of the cell membrane, which is not only what acts as the barrier to things that are harmful, but also the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell," Ann Yelmokas McDermott, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, told WebMD.
Because omega-3s strengthen the part of your skin that is responsible for nutrients as well as holding onto water, they can help your skin better retain moisture and even prevent or improve the look of wrinkles. According to Perricone, foods rich in omega-3s also inhibit the the body's production of inflammatory compounds, which play a huge role in the aging process.
This effect also comes in handy against other types of skin damage. Some research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce damage and the production of cancer cells from UV light, while others have demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s are useful in treating conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne.
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