Most Popular in:


Email This Item! Print This Item!

Exclusive Online Expanded Version—The Essential in Fats: A Global Perspective for Healthy Skin Cells

By: Alexandra J. Zani
Posted: March 5, 2014, from the March 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 11 of 11

There is no one-size-fits-all recommendation for dietary requirements for omega-3. However, given the immunomodulatory role of n-3 fatty acids, dietary supplementation may increase their presence in the epidermis and benefit overall health. Required amounts may be individual-specific, dependent upon age and health. Most countries provide guidelines for recommendations of EFA omega-3. Currently, Americans have the lowest intake of omega-3 in any developed country and consume an over-abundance of omega-6. The U.S. National Institutes of Health has recommended guidelines that can vary for male/female/children and individuals afflicted with disease. (Editor’s note: Recommend that clients discuss the addition of EFA supplementation with their physician before starting any program.)

Oral consumption of supplements requires care and should come from reliable sources that produce a pure product free of contaminants, such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, dioxins and PCBs. Top supplement producers set high standards for manufacturing and normally follow the stringent European Pharmacopoeia Standards, as well as standards set forth by the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3. International guidelines indicate the following.14

  • 500 mg EPA + DHA to avoid deficiency
  • 1 g EPA + DHA for proactive support
  • 2–4 grams EPA + DHA for high-intensity support

Improve EFA composition

It is easy to appreciate the role of all lipids, especially EFAs. It does take some studying to understand the implications of how skin disorders result from imbalances in the EFA ratios, as well as poor health. There is a close correlation with the breakdown of the skin barrier that causes water loss and poor pH acid mantle balance. Fatty acid composition of the skin can be significantly improved through nutrition and topical application of skin-mimetic ingredients rich in linoleic acid, linseed oil, choline, ceramides, phosphatidylcholine and more. It could take several weeks for skin barrier correction, so patience is recommended. In-spa modalities such as microcurrent and LED are highly beneficial to the correction process, by gently stimulating the epidermis. Excessive “wounding” of the skin through thermolysis or chemical peels is not recommended as the first choice for correction, especially when the skin is already compromised.


  4. PT Pugliese Advanced Professional Skin Care—Medical Edition, The Topical Agent, LLC (2005)
  5. MG Enig Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol, Bethesda Press, Bethesda, MD (2012)
  9. AM Bianchini J Aliberti, et al., Sterochemical assignment, anti-inflammatory properties, and receptor for the omega-3 lipid mediator resolvin E1 J Exp Med 201 5 713–722 (Mar 7, 2005)
  10. U Erasmus, Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill Alive Books, Summertown, TN (1993)
  11. RT Holman, The Slow Discovery of the Importance of w3 Essential Fatty Acids in Human Health J Nutr 128 2 4275–4335 (1998)
  12. DF Horrobin, Essential fatty acid metabolism and its modification in atopic eczema A J Clin Nutr 71(suppl) 367S–372S (2000)
  15. (All websites accessed Dec 27, 2013)