ASCP Skin Deep

MARCH | APRIL 2019

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ascp now offers advanced modality insurance! ascpskincare.com/ami 31 Although GLA is primarily found in vegetable oils, it's also found in smaller amounts in hemp seeds, spirulina, and flax seeds. Turn the page for my super seedy baked oatmeal recipe, using hemp and flax seeds. Notes 1. M. M. McCusker and J. M. Grant-Kels, "Healing Fats of the Skin: The Structural and Immunologic Roles of the Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids," Clinical Dermatology Jul-Aug 28, no. 4 (2010): 440–51. 2. D. Simon et al., "Gamma-Linolenic Acid Levels Correlate with Clinical Efficacy of Evening Primrose Oil in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis," Advances in Therapy 31, no. 2 (2014): 180–8. Moisture Lock Tackle dry skin from the inside out with gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, an essential omega-6 fatty acid by Alex Caspero expertadvice FEED YOUR FACE Serums, oils, moisturizers— when it comes to topical solutions for dry skin, the options are virtually endless. But what about edible nutrients that can tackle this common complaint? Let me introduce you to GLA— gamma-linolenic acid. WHAT IS GLA? GLA is part of the omega-6 family, found in evening primrose, black currant, and borage oils. The body converts GLA to a hormone- like substance called prostaglandins, which controls virtually every organ in the body. Our bodies do not produce GLA; therefore, we must get it from our diet. And since GLA is one of the rarest forms of omega-6 fatty acids, supplementation is usually recommended. HOW DOES GLA BENEFIT SKIN? Our skin is made up of many protective layers that are designed to keep moisture in. Extreme weather conditions, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and aging can all lead to transepidermal water loss, causing dry, rough skin, and premature skin aging. GLA helps prevent moisture loss by strengthening these protective barriers. Think of GLA as an internal serum that locks in moisture for healthier, more supple skin. Researchers at Oregon State University found that participants who consumed GLA daily for 12 weeks had firmer and more elastic skin.1 They also had less transepidermal water loss. Other skin conditions related to inflammation, such as eczema and psoriasis, have also shown to improve with consistent use of GLA. A 2014 study found that supplementation with GLA had significant effects in patients with atopic dermatitis, reducing skin dryness and severe itch.2 While not a definitive cure, there is enough evidence to recommend GLA supplementation for those suffering from such skin conditions. HOW MUCH GLA DO WE NEED? Even though omega-6 fatty acids are typically considered inflammatory, GLA is the exception. An optimal diet of 4:1 omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids is recommended, as too many omega-6 fatty acids in the diet can promote inflammation by favoring synthesis of inflammatory hormones like prostaglandins. However, the amount of GLA needed to treat eczema and other skin conditions (about 500 milligrams twice a day) is too small to affect that ratio significantly. Think of GLA as an internal serum that locks in moisture for healthier, more supple skin.

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