Geeking Out over EFAs like Omega 6

Omega-6, a.k.a linoleic acid, is an essential building block for lipids called ceramides and is one of the main moisturizing elements in the skin. Since our bodies need it but can't make it the term essential fatty acid (EFA) is used; we need get it from food or put it on our skin topically.

Linoleic acid helps makes the skin's barrier stronger so it can effectively keep water in and irritants out. Plant oils used in skincare that are rich in linoleic acid include safflower, sunflower, borage, rosehip and evening primrose. Crocodile oil is an animal source that is a rich source of linoleic acid that can be applied topically though it is currently difficult to find skincare made with it if you live in the US.

A study done at Oregon State University, written in February 2012 by Giana Angelo, Ph.D. at the Linus Pauling Institute noted that “after 12 weeks, subjects consuming 1.5 g of evening primrose oil per day had significant improvements in skin moisture, TEWL, elasticity, firmness, and roughness compared to placebo.”

Sensitive skin issues like eczema and dermatitis can be related to a compromised skin barrier that makes it difficult to heal properly. Skincare products, foods and supplements rich in linoleic acid can all help support this main function of healthy skin.

Borage flower

Borage flower