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Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are those fatty acids that are required but not synthesized within our body, and therefore need to be replenished through the diet. Dietary sources include canola oil, flax seed, walnuts, soy, salmon, and fortified eggs. EFAs maintain the integrity of cell membranes, promote skin hydration and facilitate removal of waste. Deficiency of EFAs results in dry and saggy skin and hastens aging process. EFAs also help prevent acne and cellulite. Omegas -3 and -6 are essential fatty acids that are known to improve skin health. They are especially helpful in treating rosacea, and the inflammatory skin disease psoriasis, leading to reduced itching and erythema. EFAs are a necessary component of the lipid layer coating the skin’s surface, which maintains moisture, softness and elasticity in the skin as well as providing a protective barrier against the entry of disease-causing organisms and harmful bacteria. Deficiency of EFAs results in dry and saggy skin and hastens aging process. Mild deficiencies, which are very common and often go unnoticed, may not cause clinical manifestations but clearly impair the skin’s ability to heal and renew itself. But all skin types, and in particular dry skin or that which is exposed to cold and windy conditions, will benefit not only from more efficient cellular activity but from the protection and additional hydration within the lipid barrier promoted by the intake of essential fatty acids. Topical application of EFAs ensures their absorption into epidermal and dermal layers thus making the skin soft and elastic. Here are some of the skin care ingredients that contain essential fatty acids in addition to other beneficial components:

Cranberry Juice (Vaccinum macrocarpon (Cranberry Fruit Juice)

Contains a high amount of vitamin E, tocotrienols and is an excellent source of Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 essential fatty acids, has antibacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties, exerts protective effect on the skin from UV radiation and strengthens the collagen/elastin network.

Olive Oil (Olea europaea Oil)

Rich in Vitamins A and E, anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids, moisturizes dry skin, reduces under eye wrinkles, has exfoliative properties, helps treat eczema and psoriasis

Palm Oil (Elaeis Guineensis Oil)

Rich in Vitamins A and E and essential fatty acids, strong moisturizing and anti-oxidant effects, has cleansing action on the skin

Rosehip Seed Oil –wild Rose (Rosa rubiginosa Oil)

High in linoleic and linolenic acids, Vitamin A and C, regenerates and moisturizes skin, reduced scars and wrinkles, delays wrinkles and aging, helps skin regain its natural color and tone, effective against dermatitis, acne and eczema, diminishes photo-aging

Safflower Oil Extract (Carthamus tinctorius Oil Extract)

Contains linoleic acid and Vitamin E, offers powerful dirt and oil removing abilities, used in moisturizers, conditioners and facial cleansers, reduces clogged pores, blackheads and acne

Sunflower Oil Extract (Helianthus annuus Oil Extract)

Rich in linoleic acid and Vitamins A, D and E, protects skin from free radical and photo-damage, moisturizes skin, has emollient properties, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, helps treat acne, eczema and general skin irritation

Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii Butter)

Derived from nuts of the Shea tree (Butyrospermum parkii), rich in essential fatty acids, phytosterols, Vitamins A, D and E and allantoin, moisturizer, anti-inflammatory, protects from UV damage, stimulates collagen production and superficial microcirculation, reduces wrinkles and fine lines

Spirulina Extract (Spirulina Maxima Extract)

Extracted from blue-green algae, rich in Vitamins A, B complex, D, E and K, minerals such as manganese, zinc, copper, iron and selenium, and gamma linolenic acid, keeps skin hydrated and supple, good anti-aging ingredient, helps treat UV induced skin damage and dark circles

Wheat Germ Oil (Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil)

Rich in vitamin E, essential fatty acids, improves skin hydration and healing, soothes skin affected with eczema and psoriasis, promotes new skin cell growth, reduces stretch marks and scars, has anti-aging properties, helps repair UV induced skin damage