I have battled acne for 17 years, and AHA and BHA products have really helped, but I've been curious about the underlying causes of acne and why there are some parts of the world where acne is virtually unheardof. I did some web research and found that 2 dietary factors are repeatedly mentioned in literature as causes/aggravators of acne: The imbalance of Omega 3s vs Omega 6s in the common western diet, and a high glycemic diet.
When my mom suggested to me in the past that my diet was a factor in my acne, I became really upset, because avoiding foods like chocolate and french fries that are commonly thought to aggravate acne didn't seem to do anything for me. But I finally realized that even what we consider to be a healthy western diet is pretty unbalanced when you look at the kind of diet we have evolved to eat. Think of how much vegetable oil is in everything we eat, which has very high ratios of Omega 6 to Omega 3 (the exact ratios depend on the type of oil, but all are not great with the exception of flax oil). Some research I read said that we have evolved to eat a diet of 1:1 or 2:1 Omega 3:Omega 6. But the ratio of the typical western diest is skewed way towards Omega 6s, which are more inflammatory fatty acids.
Also, we eat refined foods that have been stripped of fiber and therefore are high on the Glycemic index scale. You may think eating white rice or crackers or mashed potatoes is not going to aggravate your acne, but they are higher on the glycemic index than ice cream (which has fat in it which slows digestion) and therefore the sugars in these foods are quickly digested and send a rush of insulin into your bloodstream that can aggravate acne.
I have been eating a diet of steamed vegetables and brown rice, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, yams, 2% unsweetened yogurt, lentils, nuts and seeds, using only flax seed oil (and vinegar) as a garnish or salad dressing and making sure there was no extra sugar or oil in what I bought (they even put oil and sugar in trail mix!) and eat 2 fish oil capsules a day, and even without the AHA and BHA my skin has been amazingly clear. Its a hard diet to follow but I wanted to test if diet really worked, and it finally did for me. If I want a sweet desert, I eat fresh fruit or mix up some agave nectar (low glycemic sweetner) with cocoa powder and silken tofu in the blender, or use agave nectar on unsweetened yogurt.
Years ago I tried just fish oil capsules without changing my diet and it didn't improve my acne. I think you really have to go all out and be diligent about eating high in omega 3s, low in omega 6 and 9, and low on the glycemic index to see results.
Read about the imbalance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 in the common western diet on the University of Maryland Medical Center webpage: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm
I have just started taking fish oil again after a short break (few months) and I'm really regretting it now. Three weeks into it I've broken out pretty bad, I currently have six pimples on and around my chin/mouth area. I can't remember the last time I had a break out this bad. I took fish oil for a year or so previously and I found pimples were constant - thought it might be the fish oil so decided to stop taking it for a while. Can't believe I decided to start taking them again.. mostly because they were expensive and I hadn't finished the bottle. The recommended dosage is two capsules a day but I only took one a day. This is the Nordic Naturals brand of Omega 3 fish oil. I've found that it does help with improving the overall complexion of my skin but that's the only postive and that alone is not enough for me to continue because I'm certain this is what's causing the breakout as I have not added anything else to my diet or changed/started using any new products.
I started supplementing with Carlson's Finest Fish oil (liquid) 4 months ago. Within a month my combo/oily face became super oily. I thought it was my imagination but I stopped taking it for a few weeks and lo and behold my face went back to normal. Strange but true- fish oil (and flax/primrose) makes my skin VERY oily-which I am not interested in - more oil= more breakouts:(
Unfortunately, this broke me out and clogged my pores. I had already been taking it for 3 weeks before it happened, so it actually took me a couple of days to figure out what I changed in my routine and this was the only thing. There were not any noticeable benefits to my skin or anything else during that time I took it. It took about a month for my skin to get back to normal after I stopped taking it. The specific brand I used was Vitafusion Omega 3 with DHA, and the DHA they use is derived from algae, not fish. Not interested in trying any other brands, though, after this bad experience.
My family has a history of heart disease, so I wanted to supplement my predominately (I do eat fish once or twice a week) vegan diet with fish oil: the omega fatty acids are supposed to be good for cardiovascular health. Anyway, after about two weeks of taking 2 pills a day, I started to break out. I was taking high quality fish oil, purchased at a local health foods store, so I don't think it was the quality, rather the oil itself. Anyway, my breakouts were predominately concentrated on my chin, and were what I consider cystic acne: deep below the skin, painful, and swollen. I was alarmed because I have never had problems with my skin besides the occasional bump or two, and I am well into my mid-20s, so I shouldn't be developing any new acne issues. I tried tons of different facial washes, to no avail; the problem was underneath my skin. I finally figured out the fish oil was probably the problem (thanks to a search on MUA), and I stopped taking the pills. Within a month was skin was clear and blemish free. Maybe one day I will take them again (if the doctor orders) but for now, I am steering clear of the supplements because of the absolute havoc it wreaked on my skin.
(Cross-posted here cuz this is basically just wild fish oil, with a coupla extra ingredients).
For Genuine Health o3mega+ glow (Genuine Health is rated among the highest brands for the quality of their oil, safety standards, etc: http://www.genuinehealth.com/o3mega-research)
I heard about them on the awesome Gala Darling's site when she was asked to cite some secrets to her good skin. I always trust what she puts on the site so I decided to go & buy them next time I was in Canada.
UPDATE: My dark circles (not hereditary) have up & left!
I have been pulling a lot of late nights & my sleep cycle's all messed up (jet lag, unpacking, stress), so I didn't expect "radiant" to be a good word for moi right now. But it is :)
Was gonna wait 4 weeks to review this, but I'm so happy with this after 2 weeks I might as well go ahead.
BTW, don't bother spending money on this stuff if you have no plans to reduce your intake of saturated fat. The reason is that both the good & the bad fats compete for absorption. End result would be minimal if you don't health-ify your diet.
If you want detailed info into WHY this product works you can see this link
I always research stuff like this before buying, and I was satisfied with this company. If you're wondering, why not just eat fish? It's cuz the kind that's usually available contains heavy metals/pollutants. The stuff in this has been FILTERED (molecular distillation) to remove the bad stuff.
Anyway I've been taking 4 a day as it says on the bottle. And btw this whole past week I've been super stressed & busy since I just moved to a new country. (That's why I bought this stuff). My skin is so so so perfect. Normally I'd expect acne with stress. I've also been taking Stress Formula tablets by Nature's Sunshine, so that might contribute.
"Results you can expect with o3mega+ glow include:
• Increased moisture, firmness and tone (yep!!!!)
• Reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (don't have any yet..)
• Extra protection against harmful UV sun rays (really? great!)
• Naturally glowing, radiant skin (yepppp)"
It's really expensive, in my opinion: $22 for 60 capsules. :'( But yeah, ppl spend more on external skincare, and according to Paula whatsherface, that doesn't always work. Why not spend on stuff that works, right?
Active ingredients include fish oil, rosemary extract, EPA, vit E, lycophene, vit C, bilberry extract, and 0.25 mg zinc. You can google any of these, to see the research done on health-giving or skin benefits.
People always suggest taking fish oils but every time I take them, I get HUGE cystic pimples. I tried it two different times to make sure and the pimples each time were sizes of dimes. It was horrible.
I don't think I'll ever be able to go without these pills again! Before I took them I had a really hard time growing out my nails. They were prone to splitting and snagging when they reached a certain length, but now my nails are extremely long and healthy and don't bend on light pressure. I have significantly less pimples and better skin everywhere on my body. My hair is noticeably thicker and shinier as well. When I stopped taking them for a week my pimples came back and some hair fell out...guess I gotta keep taking them.
Just wanted to share my experience with the Omega 3 fish oils...I heard about all the great benefits and was so excited to start taking them. When I first started, I was taking every other day, and did start to notice my hair grew faster (mind you - all body hair which is not necessarily the intended effect :) but also my nails grew faster and stronger, I was starting to see an effect on my skin....but unfortunately a few weeks after taking them, I started breaking out. I didn't want to believe it was the fish oils, soI stoppped for awhile. After starting up again and changing up the frequency (once every 3-4 days or so), I started breaking out again. And these zits were large and painful...not just the little whiteheads I normally get. Stopped taking again...waited a few more months....started 1/week....and started the breakouts again. I know there are certain times of the month where skin is more apt to break out, but this was not one of them. Sadly, I have to surrender and know I will have to get my extra Omega 3 another way....I am giving 3 lippies as these DO provide many health benefits...but I am just not willing to sacrifice my skin for them :( I'll probably end up dumping the rest out, as there is no way my roommate will take them after seeing what they have done to my face
I tried the Nordic Naturals brand fish oil pills. Within a few days, my hair were shiny and looked great, but after a few weeks, my skin broke out with a lot of zits. I was also trying a new blush at that time, so I thought that was causing it. So I stopped both the fish oil pill and the new blush. It took me a whole month to have my face cleared. After some time I started to use the filsh oil again as liked my shiny hair so much, but the same results, I started to broke out pretty bad after a couple of weeks. I stopped using it and my face is clearing up