All kinds of things can irritate your skin. Harsh detergents…soaps or solvents…showering in hot water…frequent exfoliation or use of perfume…exposure to cold temperatures, wind, or dry indoor air — any of these can leave your skin dry, itchy, flaky, and irritated. What’s a sensitive-skinned person to do? Moisturize from the inside out, with flaxseed oil!*
According to a study published in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, taking flaxseed oil supplements can help sensitive skin chill out.*[i] The randomized, double-blind, 12-week study enrolled 26 women with sensitive skin. Half took flaxseed oil and half took safflower seed oil. Researchers measured the fatty acids in the ladies’ bloodstream, their skin sensitivity, skin hydration, transepidermal water loss (water lost through the skin), and the appearance of their skin at the beginning, middle, and end of the study.
While both oils helped, flaxseed was the clear winner. The women who took the flaxseed oil experienced significantly less skin sensitivity in response to an irritant, less water loss through the skin, and less roughness and scaling.* Their skin also became smoother and better hydrated.*
Many people find once they reach middle age, their skin feels drier. That’s because starting at around age forty, you have fewer lipids in your skin. Lipids play an important role in your skin because they hold together the corneocytes. These flat cells form the barrier that locks water inside your body and keeps microbes, toxins, and UV rays out. When the skin barrier is weakened or damaged, skin becomes irritated.
If you’re prone to skin irritation, drink plenty of water, skip the scalding showers, use gentle body care products, keep a humidifier in your bedroom…and try a flaxseed oil supplement! It doesn’t take much: The women who participated in the study took about ½ teaspoon of flaxseed oil per day for 12 weeks.
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.
[i] Neurkam K, et al. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2011;24(2):67-74.