Have you heard that having balanced omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids in your diet is beneficial for your overall health? Guess what? They are also beneficial for your skin. It is important to make sure your internal intake contains an appropriate ratio of all omegas due to their demonstrated benefits on health such as improved moods and reduced inflammation among other things. For smooth, resilient skin, It’s not enough to get your omega fatty acids through food; you need them topically as well. The best way for this is though carrier oils that can penetrate the skin and deliver these micronutrients. While it’s important to know that different carrier oils have slightly different compositions, we love cranberry seed oil for topical skincare, because of how balanced its own unique fatty acid profile is.

Why is it important to have the correct balance of Omegas-3, 6, and 9 in your skincare?

For those who are curious why omega-3s (ex: alpha-Linolenic acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid) are essential for skin health: these fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and support skin elasticity. Omega-6 (gamma linoleic acid is the most common one) keeps nutrients flowing throughout cells, which is so important to support healthy skin function as we age. And finally, omega-9 helps to protect us against free radical damage caused by pollution and sun exposure. Omega-9 (most commonly oleic and erucic acids) also touts anti-inflammatory benefits.

When properly balanced in an oil like cranberry seed oil, these fatty acids promote a healthy inflammation response.

About skin inflammation:

While it’s not the sole root cause of every skin concern, inflammation is at least partially linked to issues like acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and even premature skin aging. Some causes of skin inflammation itself have to do with internal factors like diet and stress, many are external such as pollution, sunburn, excessive cleansing, and harsh exfoliation.

Inflammation also has an adverse effect on the skin’s barrier, which makes the skin more susceptible to sensitivity, irritation, flare-ups, breakouts, and hyperpigmentation. It is primarily a lipid barrier, comprised mainly of fatty acids.

Here’s a little analogy from CNAP student Vicki Parra to help you explain the importance of barrier function to your clients:

Think about a fence meant to keep nosy neighbors out. In order to have an effective fence, it needs to be continuous, with no holes or gaps. Your skin is like that too. Its various cells arrange themselves in a way that their cell membranes essentially put up a “fence” to keep either allow or deny entrance into the body. In order for this “skin barrier fence” to function optimally, it can’t have gaps.

If your cell membranes are lacking (this is typically due to poor diet, dehydration, stress), that means your skin barrier isn’t as strong as it should be. There may be gaps or weakness in the membrane. While we need to improve cellular growth and function from the inside out with food, we can also help fortify our cells on the surface by applying balanced carrier oils like cranberry seed oil.

More about the skin benefits of cranberry seed oil:

Cranberry seed oil is pressed from the seeds of the Vaccinium macrocarpon fruit. It is a mildly-scented oil, with a golden to greenish-gold color, and is known as the only carrier oil with the correct ratio of Omegas 3, 6, and 9. In addition to the above mentioned benefits, this also means that cranberry seed oil absorbs quickly and moisturizes efficiently for most skin types.

Cranberry seed oil is also rich in organic acids such as benzoic acid and ursolic acid, which add to its anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s also rich with polyphenols–including Pro-Vitamin A carotenoid antioxidants (the specific group of antioxidants that convert to retinol)–phytosterols, Vitamin E (both tocopherols and tocotrienols), and Vitamin K.

Fun fact about cranberry seed oil:

cranberry seed oil is pressed from the seeds of cranberriesCranberry seed oil is considered a “newer” carrier oil. “Previously, cranberry seeds were treated as the leftovers of cranberry fruit production, but in 1992, Bernard Lager developed a method to cold-press the oil from the tiny seeds of the tart berries. It takes approximately 31 pounds of cranberries to produce one half ounce of cranberry seed oil.”

Are you interested in learning more about how micronutrients like fatty acids affect the skin’s function?

We teach about topics like these, and MUCH MORE, extensively in our professionally accredited Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® Training Program! Click HERE to learn more and start your journey to becoming a CNAP today!