Can Fish Oil Cause Acne? Omega-3 & Skincare
Fish oil is one of the most powerful supplements one can take. Based on studies, it may have a host of beneficial properties.
It’s believed to be heart protective and can help fight chronic inflammation. It may even boost brain function.
But it’s crucial to be aware of any potential side effects as well. It’s what has many people thinking about taking the oil about how it will impact their skin.
Fish Oil & Acne
Before embarking on a new fish oil quest, it’s paramount to understand what acne is and how fish oil can help fight it. At its core, acne is an inflammation of the pores.
The pores on your skin can become clogged with dead skin cells and debris. This results in an overgrowth of bacteria, forming excess oil.
From there, painful red bumps can form, known as pimples. So since acne is ultimately an inflammation, could fish oil help with the condition?
Can Fish Oil Help Acne?
There have been studies on the effect of fish oil on acne. And it has proven there could be a correlation between taking fish oil and a reduction in the prevalence of acne, especially when it’s moderate to severe.
However, it may be better to incorporate more fish into your diet rather than taking a supplement if you really want to see some changes. One study found that people who ate fish (as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables) had far fewer acne outbreaks than those who didn’t.
Other foods believed to contribute to acne include chocolate and peanuts. Eat those sparingly and pay attention to your skin’s health after eating them to see if they impact you worse than others.
It goes to show the importance of a healthy diet. If you want clear skin, it’s advantageous to eat well. But the benefits of fish oil don’t end there, it can help with other skin conditions, including dandruff.
Omega-3 and Inflammation
Many people take omega-3 supplements to help with inflammation. It’s long been linked with cardiovascular health, and omega-3 fatty acids aid with this due to their concentration of special molecule “mediators” that help regulate certain aspects of blood.
Still, more research is needed in this area. For now, most doctors recommend diet and exercise to help improve cardiovascular health. And both of those areas also aid in your skin if you’re looking for clearer skin.
Can Fish Oil Cause Acne?
In those same studies, some people who took fish oil supplements saw an increase in their acne. This was rare, but it did happen. It’s unclear what the reasoning could be behind this, but it’s worth pointing out that it’s an extreme side effect.
Ultimately, it may not be worth it to take fish oil supplements for the sole purpose of reducing acne. However, if you need them for another reason, it may not hurt your skin.
How to Tell If Your Fish Oil is Oxidized
Before you take any old fish oil, you need to ensure it hasn’t gone rancid. This can happen if it’s been out for longer than recommended.
You can tell when it’s gone bad due to its unpleasant odor and taste. Fish oil, normally, should taste very mild. When it’s too fishy, it’s gone bad.
Additionally, after taking oxidized fish oil, you may notice you’ve got fish-flavored burps. It’s disgusting, and a surefire sign you should throw it away and get new supplements.
Supplements vs. Dietary Sources
Omega-3 fatty acids are plentiful in fish oil supplements, but they’re also found in regular fish. When it comes to reaping the benefits, it may prove more beneficial to simply incorporate more fish into your diet.
You receive the nutrients first-hand, but for some, supplements may be the way to go. You may have a fish allergy or be a vegetarian. You may simply not like the look or taste of seafood.
In this instance, you will want to augment your diet with a supplement. It’s certainly better than nothing, and you may even notice an improvement in your skin.
Generally, fish oil is pretty safe, and acne can come from other sources. From genetics to Pre-Workout shakes, monitor your skin carefully for any changes.
Simopoulos AP. Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Dec;21(6):495-505. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2002.10719248. PMID: 12480795