Flaxseed oil contains omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids, both of which decrease skin roughness and scaling, says one new study. Researchers subjected healthy women to controlled skin irritation while administering 2.2 grams of flaxseed or borage oil, or a placebo pill. Participants who took either oil experienced a significant decrease in skin roughness and scaling, while the placebo group reported no difference.
“In addition to helping regulate inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids build the membranes that surround cells,” says Ferrigno. “By eating balanced amounts of essential fatty acids, you help your body produce flexible cells that keep skin moist, supple, and healthy in tone and texture.” Since the standard Western diet is already rich in omega-6s, choose flaxseed, which has 8 grams of omega-3s per tablespoon and a good amount of monounsaturated fat, which also reduces the appearance of fine lines.
How much to eat: Get 1 to 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil a day by drizzling small amounts over steamed vegetables, soups, or salads. “Be sure to add flaxseed oil after cooking so that you don’t zap its fragile fats,” warns Ferrigno.