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Why Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are so important for our skin?

Updated: Apr 22


The key to healthy, firm skin is to have healthy, functional cells with a daily supply of nutrients from the diet and easily absorbed topical lipid complexes in complete synergy with the skin's structure.


The concept of fatty acids was first introduced by the French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul under the name of acidic fat. (1)


In our subconscious, fat is still too often associated with something harmful, something bad for our health. We think that it makes us fat, that it gives us cholesterol, that it promotes cardiovascular disease, etc. This is sometimes true. But there is fat and fat, good fat and bad fat. Good and bad fats have often been reduced far too drastically in current diets, which has created diets that are very deficient in good fats.


The fatty acids that are said to be "essential" are omega 3 and 6. They are also called polyunsaturated fatty acids with a molecular structure as flexible as gymnasts. And this is exactly what the skin needs. They cannot be manufactured by the human body and are the "GOOD FAT" that our cells need. The ONLY way to get them is to get them from our food.

Omega 6 is involved in the structure of the skin's cement: ceramides. They guarantee a real elasticity and waterproofness to the epidermis. It can be found in raw butter, walnut oil, canola oil or in the form of borage and evening primrose oil in food supplements.


Omega 3 helps to maintain the integrity of the skin and has an anti-inflammatory, emollient and soothing effect. It is found in flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, chia oil, camelina oil, salmon, mackerel and sardines.


Omega 5, 7 and 9 are non-essential but equally important fatty acids, our body needs them but can manufacture them by itself.


The ability of a living cell to retain water depends mainly on the health of its cell membrane which has the power to retain moisture and take in nutrients.

As we age, cell membranes weaken and we need to be nourished with good essential fatty acids that are also part of the cell membrane structures to help the body replace old, damaged cells that no longer have the ability to retain water, with new cells that have thick, functional membranes. If the body has a good balance of fatty acids, the membranes of all its cells perform their protective function well; nutrition and elimination of waste from each cell are accomplished in the best conditions. The skin then has a beautiful appearance, it is soft and supple. (3)


Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are also the precursors of important compounds called eicosanoids. Eicosanoids are powerful hormones that control many other hormones and important body functions, such as the central nervous system and the immune system. (2)

CORPA FLORA's facial oils (or lipid complexes) contain essential and non-essential fatty acids, omega-3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 in one formula. These lipidic complexes are composed of different vegetable oils of different molecular weight, easily absorbed, which are nutritious for all skin types while helping to reinforce the protective hydrolipidic film of our skin.


(1) Open access peer-reviewed chapter, Importance of Fatty Acids in Physiopathology of Human Body by Katalin Nagy and Ioana-Daria Tiuca

Submitted: October 3rd 2016 Reviewed : January 9th 207 Published: June 21st 2017

(2) Human Nutrition in a Canadian Context by Karine Hamm, Chapter 6, Lipids

(3) Les bonnes matières grasses qui protègent chacune de nos cellules, Bernadette Ragot, Hegel 2017/3 (No 3), page 211 à 216