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Nutrient - Flax and starflower oil may boost skin beauty

By Sophie Inglis

Flax and starflower oil may boost skin beauty 

According to European researchers, flax seed oil and starflower oil may protect skin against reddening, scaling and roughness. This is thought to be due to the high levels of essential fatty acids in these two plant oils. 

The researchers recruited 45 non-smoking, healthy women between the ages of 18 and 65 and divided them into 3 groups. One group received flax oil supplements, another starflower oil while the third group were given dummy pills for 12 weeks. During the study, the participants’ skin was purposely irritated by applying a substance called nicotinate to induce redness and inflammation. 

Following this nicotinate treatment, the researchers noted that those taking the flax and starflower oil displayed a 35-45% decrease in skin reddening. Moreover, the oil supplement groups lost 10% less water from their skin and showed a significant decrease in roughness and scaling by the end of the 12-week trial.

Blood tests performed after 6 and 12 weeks showed that flax and starflower oil supplementation significantly changed the levels of essential fatty acids in the blood. This supports the ‘beauty from within’ hypothesis, suggesting that what we eat has as much influence on skin health as the skin creams we use. The researchers suggest that the beneficial effects of flax and starflower oils may stem from beneficial changes in cell membrane health or the role of essential fats in curbing inflammatory processes in the body but, either way, the benefits are clear.  

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