ASCP Skin Deep

MAY | JUNE 2020

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find your dream career! 27 Faen Up Consuming healthy fats from whole foods is essential for glowing, radiant skin by Alex Caspero Fat was a four-letter word in some diet circles and wellness books of the early 1990s, but now we know that for healthy skin—and overall health—you need to be consuming more, not less, of it. But when it comes to fat, quality matters, and the standard American diet has tipped the scales in consuming too much unhealthy fat and not enough nourishing fats. Here are the types of fat that are essential for glowing, radiant skin—and one that isn't. GAMMA LINOLENIC ACID (GLA) Gamma linolenic acid is an internal serum that locks in moisture for healthy, supple skin. Extreme weather conditions, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and aging can all lead to more epidermal water loss, causing dry, rough skin and premature skin aging.1 Our skin is made up of many protective layers that are designed to keep moisture in, and GLA helps prevent moisture loss by strengthening these protective barriers. Find GLA in supplements and in vegetable oils like evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, and borage seed oil. It's also found in smaller amounts in hemp seeds, spirulina, and f laxseeds. DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID (DHA) AND EICOSAPENTAENOIC ACID (EPA) These long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are primarily found in oily fi sh like salmon, sardines, and anchovies, and to a lesser extent in DHA-enriched eggs. In a small study, those who consumed high amounts of EPA increased their resistance to sunburns by 136 percent, compared to no changes in the group that didn't consume additional EPA.2 Another study showed that consumption of DHA and EPA helps reduce skin redness, especially following UV exposure, though more research is needed.3 Even with the limited amount of studies on this topic, there's enough to suggest that increasing EPA and DHA in the diet may help increase resistance to sunburn and reduce the severity of burns after UV exposure. ALPHA LINOLENIC ACID (ALA) Like DHA and EPA, consumption of the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid ALA may help to moisturize skin and relieve red, dry, or itchy skin. ALA appears to improve skin barrier function, and one study showed high intake of ALA was linked to a lower risk of atopic dermatitis in infants. ALA is found in plant-foods such as fl axseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and soy. SATURATED FAT While there are many factors that contribute to chronic acne, diet being only one of them, evidence suggests that a diet high in saturated fat can trigger acne production. Animal foods that are rich in saturated fats are also associated with higher concentrations of insulin growth factor, or IGF-1, which has been shown to stimulate the production of sex hormones that can increase acne production. Just one more reason to reduce your intake of foods like red meat, processed meats, cheese, and butter. expertadvice FEED YOUR FACE Notes 1. Kawamura et al., "Dietary Supplementation of Gamma-Linolenic Acid Improves Skin Parameters in Subjects with Dry Skin and Mild Atopic Dermatitis," Journal of Oleo Science 60, no. 12 (2011): 597–607. 2. L. E. Rhodes et al., "Eff ect of Eicosapentaenoic Acid, an Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid, on UVR-Related Cancer Risk in Humans. An Assessment of Early Genotoxic Markers," Carcinogenesis 24, no. 5 (May 2003): 919–25. 3. C. Puglia et al., "In Vitro Percutaneous Absorption Studies and In Vivo Evaluation of Anti-Infl ammatory Activity of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) from Fish Oil Extracts," International Journal of Pharmaceutics 299, nos. 1–2 (August 2005): 41–8.

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