the right ratio of Omega 3 can clear acne

by Lori and Michelle on January 16, 2012

hello luvs!

today we are picking back up with more of our findings about what has helped us heal our acne.

if you are just joining our blog today, first hello and welcome, and second please check out our other two acne post on our new face products that we love and then our face routine that has helped clear up our acne.

today we are focusing on Omegas. now remember we are not doctors nor nutritionists. just sharing our own experience and research. we are not claiming this will 100% cure your acne but it COULD HELP! it helped us!  and there are so many great health benefits of Omegas (fatty acids) we are just relating them to skin and acne in terms of the ratio of them all.

Omega 3 to be specific. how Omega 3 fatty acid is great for clearing up acne.

we have mentioned before that we were going to take a closer look at our Omega intake when we first started seeing our acne come back.


you may not hear to much about what is omega-3. or really worry about Omega-3. mostly you hear more about Omega 6. but we feel everyone needs to be more aware of their Omega-3 intake. to be even more specific their Omega-3 ratio to Omega-6 ratio. majority of people have a TON more Omega-6 then Omega 3, which is not necessarily good.

 we shall explain.

you need both to be healthy. but the best ratio for optimum health is 2:1 or 1:1 of 3 to 6.

there are studies showing that those of us who live in the United States actually have a diet something close to 1:15 to 1:32 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 when the goal is actually 1:1 to 2:1. pretty scary

here is how Omega-3 awareness changed us?

 Omega-3 we feel really helped with our acne! hands down changed our skin for the better. *we did these changes in our Omega 3 intake back in September time frame.

back in Sept/Oct time our acne had gotten out of control again. we researched and found our plan to get rid of our acne. we were taking control again and not letting our acne control us anymore!

so what happened?

it is something called Omega-3!

slowly Omega 3 is getting more attention. and attention it deserves. Omega 3 is one essential fatty acid that gets overlooked by so many. there is a deficiency of Omega 3 in the world.  you’re probably eating foods all day, every day with various ratios of these essential fatty acids without you even knowing!

think about your diet for a minute. think about everything you eat in a day. how much omega 3 do you really get in a day?

we never really questioned our Omega 3 intake since we ate chia seeds and hemp seeds everyday and fish about once a week and eggs here and there.

so what changed our mind about Omega 3’s?

the more we dug into our diet and researched what foods have Omega 3 in them we were shocked. not as much as we thought.

and on top of that we were not getting the right balance of omega 3 to 6! getting the right balance was something else we learned and that most people probably do not really pay attention too.

if we were to ask you right now how much Omega 3 to Omega 6 do you get in a day, would you be able to answer it?

from our research almost every one is deficient in Omega 3.  the problem with that is, foods that we eat here in the states that are much higher in Omega-6 than Omega-3. most of the foods that a typical Western diet eat are cooked in Omega-6 such as corn oil, soy, sunflower oil, and safflower oil.

wait a minute, I think the foods I eat are ok? can you explain more.

sure, we thought the same thing.

all the foods that we (Michelle and I)  do eat are high in Omega 6 and some are good sources of Omega 3.

but again not everyone thinks about Omega 3 in terms of how much 3 to 6 ratio one is getting. Omega 3 is so important! especially for the skin!!

back to the diet – we researched what amounts of Omega 3 and Omega 6s are in the foods we were eating. we quickly realized our diet did contain Omega 3 but our Omega 6 was TOTALLY out winning. not good. *but it is not good to have too much Omega 3 either, so we just did our increase in Omega 3 temporarily then went back to adding in Omega 6 foods too

it’s the RATIO that will bring you acne free clear skin and stop breakouts. if you have acne, it may be a prime indicator that you do not have the correct ratio of Omega 3, 6, and 9 acids.

our skin was finally having an enough of it and things had to be changed!

we realized that the foods we ate daily like avocados, tahini are all high in Omega 6 and not really Omega 3.

 what foods should I eat then to help increase my Omega 3 and not Omega 6?

flax seeds and flax oil are great. as well as salmon, sardines, scallops, any green leafy vegetable, lettuce, broccoli

 what is the ratio of Omega 3 to 6 should I be having?

that really depends on each person. the ultimate ratio should be 1:1 or 2:1 of Omega 3 to 6. Udo’s oil book, Fats that Heal Fats that Kill, goes into great detail of this information. a book we recommend.

 I do not have skin problems do I need to worry?

yes and no. if you do not have bad skin issues or acne then no, you might not need to worry too much about your Omega 3 intake. but we feel it is still worth you consuming more foods that contain the right ratio for better health in the long run.

if you are someone like us who suffers from poor skin and high stress, then yes we feel you should pay more attention to your ratio.

the thing though to remember is that you have to be careful how you go about increasing your Omega 3. you don’t want to just start eating a bunch of walnuts because you have heard they are a great source of Omega 3. which is true they are, but there is a catch!

the catch being that they are also high in Omega 6. they have more Omega 6 then 3…. not the correct ratio needed. so if you kept eating walnuts thinking you are helping your really not. from our research that only increases both your 6 and 3, so again making matters a little worse if you are trying to just increase your Omega 3.

 what DID WE DO to fix our Omega 3 ratio: (here is a quick glance of what we did)

  • Took out all foods that contained Omega 6.
  • Took out all foods that contained both Omega 3 and Omega 6.
  • Just ate foods that contained Omega 3.
  • Took Udo Oil 2-3 tablespoons a day.
  • Ate salmon or tuna 2-3 times a week.
  • Did not eat any nuts nor seeds.
  • Did not eat any avocado, tahini, chia nor hemp seeds.
  • Did not eat any grains.
  • After 2 weeks we added in chia seeds and a little hemp seeds.
  • After a 3 weeks added in a little avocado, tahini, nuts and seeds along with a few baked good items.
  • Ate mostly fruit, veggies and salmon, eggs or tuna.

*again we did this strict diet eating to increase our Omega 3 for about 2 weeks before we slowly started adding in back other foods.

 what can I do?
well we shared what we did. but again we are not doctors. just sharing our personal experience and our own research. again depending on your situation and health you may need to speak to a doctor about any changes.

we only want to share what we did and how it worked for us in hopes that it can help someone else.  start slowly with the changes. so take it slow, add a little bit at a time and slowly take it up a notch if you don’t see any improvement.

 now back to present:

since we did a hard core Omega 3 push for a few good 2 weeks. after that for about 1 to 2 months we were more aware of what we were eating in terms of our Omegas. we feel currently our levels are back to be good. we still watch our intake but not us strict as we did a few months ago. we do not stress over it as much as we did at the beginning.

we are also realizing that there might be other issues with food that is now causing our acne. we shall expand on that tomorrow. Omega 3 is just part of the puzzle to clear skin. though we do feel the change in our Omega 3 has made tremendous improvement in our skin. and another note we did not really discuss what the Omegas in general can do for skin and health. today we wanted to really point out it is the ratio that people with troubled skin and high stress need to be aware of

 Twins Question: What are your thoughts on Omega 3? Does your diet have a well balanced ratio of 6 to 3?

till next time,

xoxo

L&M

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa January 16, 2012 at 10:02 am

Thank you SO much for this! I know some of the information, but not all of it. I hadn’t really considered how taking out even “healthy” sources of Omega-6 could help. I’m really interested in this topic, and definitely will be exploring the Omega 3:6 for myself.
:-)
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Lori and Michelle January 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

Yes Lisa please do, we would love to hear your thoughts.

Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous January 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

I take a fish oil pill to help me get Omega 3s but I wish I knew if pills were accessible by my body or if I simply excrete them.
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Lori and Michelle January 16, 2012 at 10:13 am

Rebecca we found in our research that pills are not always the best source for omega 3s, we have oil form is better to digest. Of course eating foods that have omega 3 is best. Hope this helps.

katie @KatieDid January 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

Awesome info! I had never considered the link to skin, only the fact that omega 6 causes internal inflammation and can lead to cardiovascular disease. I have a bottle of cod liver oil on its way and will begin supplementing to balance out my ratios as I know how important it is. Maybe I will even see improvement in my skin? Self experimentation is always a good thing I think.

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Lori and Michelle January 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Katie, we just started taking cod liver oil along with our udo’s oil. we have heard great things about cod oil, so we are excited to see our results. best of luck to you too!

Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan January 16, 2012 at 11:23 am

It’s funny you guys posted about this because I just came across an article about it in the newspaper. Avocados and tahini are basically what I live off of so I’m thinking of replacing chia and flax seeds for the time being to see if I feel any different. All this info really helps! Thanks!
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Lori and Michelle January 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

We live off avocados and tahini too girls!! haha realizing we need cut back and get our source of omegas from other sources

the delicate place January 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

totally agree about the importance of the correct ratio! i supplement 1g of nordic naturals fish oil softgel tabs daily in addition to eating dark leafy greens most days of the week and salmon, tuna or sardines 3x weekly. i also eat brined smoked oysters dunno if they are a source but are really rich in iron. i drink tons of water, juice 1x daily either a green or fruit juice & rotate my nuts/seeds (one week i’ll do almonds, then walnuts, then macas then cashews etc). i stay way from things with high PUFAS like sunflower seeds or legumes (peanuts) which are inflammatory. i eat avocado about 3 avocados per month i’d say and have hemp protein powder most days of the week & well eggs i eat 7 a week usually :) i also try to put 1/2tsp of maca powder into my smoothie for 4wks then take a week off.

as far as my BC withdrawl update from dec 22 to now, i have 2 pimples and that’s it! i just got them but it’s about TTOTM so…we shall see!
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Lori and Michelle January 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Thank you for sharing Melissa!! We are working on better rotation of our food, just we get to liking something and want it all the time, haha

Charissa January 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Wow, this was GREAT! What a lot of research you gals did! I’m loving it!
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Lori and Michelle January 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Thank you Charissa!

hihorosie January 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm

I knew Omega 3 is especially important (Omega 6 is bountiful!) but didn’t realize its importance to healthy skin. Good to know!
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Lori and Michelle January 17, 2012 at 6:44 am

glad we could help Heidi :)

Kris | iheartwellness.com January 17, 2012 at 7:00 am

Ahhhhhh…I love this post!!! I agree with the Omega’s and since I’ve cut out grains, fruits and anything that will raise my GI index along with adding in Omega’s, Zinc and Vit D my skin is wayyy better and scars are actually healing!

I didn’t know you can do this cycle you have above so I’ll try this! AWesome dolls!!

xxoo
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Lori and Michelle January 17, 2012 at 7:12 am

thanks Kris! I know we are doing similar things and yes our faces and scars are doing much better!! HUGS for clear skin of all of us :)

sam January 17, 2012 at 9:07 am

Yes girls!!!

Go more paleo like. As I wrote I had big skinn issue aón raw vegan diet and paleo have cleaned tottaly. I eat fish daily salmon at least little piece sometimes 3oz sometimes 8 oz, but have it every day. Nuts I eat only walnuts macadamia and hemps seed, no chia!!! have you read Loren Cordain controversery on chia seed?
I do eat avocado daily as well as coconut and meat like lamb(highest in omega 3 and CLA)
I recomend you no fruit no carob(high carb),no chia, no other nuts as I mention and you will clear up within month. Keep your fish intake as high as possible

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Jenny January 17, 2012 at 10:43 am

I don’t comment often (because I didn’t read often before… I wasn’t a vegan or big on raw food, but I did read occasionally!), but as a former, fellow acne-sufferer, I couldn’t resist!
Several years ago, I suffered from such horrible acne that I could not touch my face without it hurting… Today, years later, my skin is almost entirely clear (I still get breakouts once a month and have the odd pimple that pops up). There are of course many things responsible for that, I’m sure, but one of the first changes I made as well was eating more omega-3s. I took fish oil tabs for a great length of time, which did wonders to get rid of my acne (along with cutting out refined sugars and – for a short while – cheese).

So I think both of you are on the right track!! Glad to see that there was an improvement and I wish you all the best in clearing your skin and scars away. :) Fish are the way to go!
(This is very random, but do either of you sleep on the side? I found that my acne would always flare up on the side of my face that I had against the pillow (and I’m someone who changes their pillowcases twice a week, heh), and that it mostly went away on either side of my face + jaw when I FORCED myself to sleep on my back, haha.)

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Heathy January 17, 2012 at 11:06 am

Such a great post girls! Im curious to know more about the ratio too. Macadamia nuts are the GOOD ratio of omega 3:6. Yay!!! I definitely need to get some more salmon into my diet again. Its just so hard and expensive to get the wild stuff vs farmed :(
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Lori and Michelle January 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

Heathy – i know we love salmon. but hard to get good quality one reason we only have it once a week. sometimes twice! and yay for mac nuts!

Ela January 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Thanks so much for putting this out there. You probably know that I’m kind of obsessed about this topic, which is why I tend to avoid nuts, and am even wary of avo, which I love, and tahini, which is a traditional food for my genes.

Walnuts are 4:1 omega 6:3, which is an acceptable ratio. On the other hand, they have so much omega 6 that I think it almost cancels out the good. I tend to stick to mac nuts, flax, chia and coconut. I’ve been taking a DHA/EPA algae-based supplement and it might be helping with my mood issues.

My ND keeps encouraging me to eat nuts, partly just to eat dense food, but he also really wants me to eat fish. I guess when I do neither, they cancel each other out!

Just listened to an audio by Nadine Artemis on skincare–thought of you ladies. She recommends cleaning the skin with oil!
love
Ela
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Sarah January 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thanks so much for the info! I had never really done much research on how omega 3′s are connected to skin and acne, I will definitely be trying this!
I know you ladies use Cod Liver Oil but I was wondering if you have looked into Krill Oil. Since it’s virtually at the base of the food chain it means not having to worry about bioaccumulation of toxins and heavy metals. Also the omega 3′s are linked in phospholipid form which is the same structure as the fat cells in the human body meaning that it is easier to absorb than the triglyceride form found in fish oils.
Let me know what you think as I am still looking to find the best source for omega 3′s before I start taking them.
Love reading your posts! Thanks for the info!

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Megan @ The Detoxinista January 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Just catching up on your blog, and you ladies just totally reminded me to go take my Omega 3 supplements!! Thanks for sharing the info! :)
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carrie January 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I’ve been catching up since the holidays so thank u for all kinds of wonderful info and recipes!! Just curious if you have experimented with any vegan DHA supplements? From all you wrote above I’m pretty sure i’m slacking in the omega 3s!

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Lori and Michelle January 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Carrie yes the UDO oil is vegan and there is also THRIVE EHA oil blend that is good too for vegans. We love the UDO oil but now trying Cod Liver Oil to see if that helps our skin even more. It is all about finding what works the best ;) HUGS

Sara January 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Hi Ladies,

I to suffered form acne for quite a few years. It came out of the blue (although it was right after christmas and big sugar binge) and stayed for 4 years. It was always all over my right cheek and the breakouts wouldn’t heal and would be there all month. Then when they did “heal” they would leave a red spot. I tried all the natural creams and washes I could get my hands on with no success. I also tried laser therapy.

I then came across Seabuckthorn and my skin changed. I wash with SBT Sea Buckthorn tea soap, put Seabuckthorn oil on my skin. I also take 4 capsules daily of Seabuckthorn oil. The Berry Flavone capsule, the Seed Oil capsule and the Fruit Oil capsule. I will say it changed everything. My skin is clear. I still have some light scarring but nothing like I used to. Seabuckthorn contain omega 7 which is what they say makes the difference. The website for the product that I use is http://www.seabuckthorn.com. It is a Canadian company and they are very helpful.

That is my Acne story. Hope yours get better.

Sara

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Ared January 22, 2012 at 5:24 am

Thank you for the post. I wish you all the success with skin care and health.

I would disagree with you regarding the benefits of raw food and minimizing the intake of dairy products. Controlled diet is essential, exercise, and skin care without cosmetics.

My recommendation, based on personal experience, is to eat a well balanced diet based on fruits and vegetables, to eat raw food regularly, and to drink really only water. You may minimize the amount of dairy but do not stop eating nuts, grains, avocados as recommended in the post. In the long run, oils in nuts will be very beneficial and if you are vegetarian they are a good source of protein.

Anything you buy at a supermarket or a grocery store will not help your cause, try to buy only organic. The results will not be immediate and may take up to four years to have the perfect skin you are looking for but along the way you will see many other benefits to your body and mind.

In addition, exercise outside on a regular basis (or just walk) and try to avoid using cosmetics and bath products purchased from a store, all of them have an effect you body usually leading to hormone imbalance.

Finally, do your own exhaustive research, set a plan and stick to it, just like you did and hope it works for you.

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ync February 2, 2012 at 4:43 am

I fully agree, the majority eat too many more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. Many turn to fish oil products to try and increase their omega-3 intake. The problem with the majority of fish oil products is that they are very heavily refined and processed. In many instances, they need to be because of the poor quality of the starting materials used.

After an exhaustive search, I finally came across a remarkable paleolothic quality oil (http://ratfishoil.org/) manufactured in the remote areas of Northern Norway by a group of fisherman who are not into mass marketing! This wild handcrafted oil is extracted using no heat, chemicals, or mechanical pressure whatsoever. They only use fresh healthy livers and only during specific months. As a result, production is limited. Their oil appears to be nutrient dense and rich in omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids (omega-9) – particularly oleic acid.

The problem is that the Western diet has changed abruptly over the past 100 years, resulting in a very high omega-6:omega-3 ratio. The current modern diet typically contains ten times or more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-6 fats are found at high levels in many of the oil seed crops that we now consume and are also present in the meat of farm-reared, grain-fed livestock. But wild ruminants and grass-fed livestock have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and an omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid ratio of about 2 to 1.1. Cold water fish are the highest source of omega-3 fatty acids. Other foods containing these fatty acids include flax oils and walnuts . Our modern diet is low in good sources of omega-3 fats, and very high in vegetable oils, and grain-fed beef, pork and poultry which are high in omega-6 fats. Readdressing this balance may also have a beneficial effect on inflammatory gene expression.

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Allyson November 22, 2012 at 10:36 am

Hi! I found your post because I was looking to see if anyone else has had as much success with the right omega blend and acne. I’ve had acne since I was about 13 (I’m 26 now) and at this point I’ve been able to help my acne a lot by using a gentle cleanser (Weleda Cleansing Milk), which is important because it helps your skin balance natural oils to keep from overproducing oil. This made an amazing difference, but I still wasn’t in the clear.
I recently started taking Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Blend and every day my skin is better and better. I am so amazed! I put 3 tablespoons in a smoothie every morning and a while back I had tried to limit the sources of omega 6 (usually corn based), refined sugars, and dairy and I have increased whole grains. Even though I had been taking fish oil before, nothing has given me the same results as the Udo’s Oil. My skin is softer everywhere and my face is looking great! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve had a lot of success with Udo’s too!

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