Flax seed oil contains high levels of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids which can either be taken internally by eating the flax seeds or taking flax seed oil supplements or it can be applied externally as a pack for healthy skin.
Flax seed oil is useful for healing scars, abrasions and also has anti-inflammatory properties and so is useful for inflamed skin or skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema. Flax seed oil is also useful for dry skin.
Many skin problems today such as acne, eczema and psoriasis may also be partly due to the fact that the modern diet is lacking in omega 3 essential fatty acids. As a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids flax seed is able to replenish the correct body levels of these fats and so benefit skin disorders that may result from a deficiency.
Patrick Holford says in his book “New Optimum Nutrition Bible”, “Another important component of a good skin diet is the Omega 3 and 6 essential fats. Each cell membrane – in effect the skin of each cell – is composed partly of essential fats, and in turn your skin is made up of countless cells. So the fatty acid content of your cell membranes is vital. Not only do the essential fats keep cell membranes smooth and soft, but also they help the membranes to do a better job of controlling what goes in and out of the cells. Without enough fats in the cell membranes, they are not able to retain water and they lose their plumpness. So for soft skin, include plenty of essential fat rich foods in your diet such as fish, nuts and seeds and their oils. Have seeds in salads, as snacks or ground up, and on cereals, yogurt or soups” (Holford, P. “New Optimum Nutrition Bible”)
Flax seed oil benefits acne as the fatty acids present in flax seed help to prevent the clogging of the pores of the skin and thin the sebum which causes these clogged pores.
Psoriasis is another skin disorder that is benefited by taking flax seed. Flax seed contains the omega 3 fatty acid ALA which is broken down by the body into EPA. EPA supplementation has been found to be beneficial for psoriasis sufferers when used with their normal medication.
You can take flax seed oil internally by sprinkling ground flax seed over cereals and salads or adding whole flax seeds to a glass of water and drinking immediately (if you leave it too long it will solidify the water).
Make a flax seed oil pack by grinding flax seed and adding about three times as much water. Leave it to stand for a while until it becomes a gel (due to the mucilage escaping the seeds). This oil pack may then be applied externally to the skin.
Omega 3 essential fatty acids such as are found in flax seed are essential for healthy skin and can benefit skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. In order to get the full benefits of flax seed for your skin include flax seeds in your diet, take flax seed supplements and use external applications of flax seed oil packs.