Taking Flaxseed Oil Supplements for Better Skin: My Experiment

From flax to linseed oil.
As promised, my next beauty quest is to take flaxseed oil supplements to see how they improve my skin. The oil is high in essential fatty acids, and is a particularly good source of omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha linolenic acid. You've probably heard a lot about omega-3s being essential for well-being. They are really important for heart health, joint health, and brain health just to name a few, and not so easy to find in a typical diet unless you eat a lot of salmon and walnuts. Supplementing with flaxseed oil is an easy way to boost your omega-3 intake, and to support your skin!

I've just finished supplementing with collagen, which I was surprised to find that there was a noticeable improvement in my skin and hair, although slight. You can read about my experience with collagen here; Supplementing With Collagen, My Experience So Far.

So, why is flaxseed oil good for your skin? On a cellular level, the essential fatty acids, both omega-3 and omega-6s help to protect cell membranes. This means they help to allow the good stuff into your cells and keep the bad stuff out. This translates into holistic benefits for your entire body, skin included. Flaxseed oil supplements are a great idea for anyone, but they are especially useful for anyone with sensitive, dry skin or acne. The fatty acids in this oil have great anti-inflammatory benefits that skin responds well to. They are soothing and calming. The reason flaxseed is good for acne, is it helps to thin skin's natural oil, sebum, which is responsible for clogging pores and causing breakouts. I would imagine the anti-inflammatory benefits are good for fighting acne too.

I'm taking cold pressed flaxseed oil, the Whole Foods brand (no affiliation). It says to take 1 to 3 softgels a day, at 1000mg each. I will aim for three a day. I will let you know how the supplementing goes over the next few weeks.

Has anyone else noticed an improvement in their skin from taking flaxseed oil supplements?

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Face?


The fact that exfoliating your face is key for a healthy, radiant complexion is nothing new, but how often should you do it? Is there such a thing as too much of scrubbing and massaging in those alpha hydroxy acids for cell renewal? Believe me, you can overdo it, even if you have oily skin! You should exfoliate your face regularly, but how often really depends on your skin type.

Exfoliating is basically the use of some type of sloughing substance to stimulate and renew your cells. Dead skin cells and dirt are removed before they have the chance to clog pores making way for new, healthy cells. You can use a gritty (yet gentle when working on your face) substance such as jojoba beads or dried oats. Alpha hydroxy acids are also natural chemicals that are found in fruit, sugar cane, and milk which exfoliate the skin. They are found in both anti-aging and acne skin care products because they help to create a smoother complexion.

While regular scrubbing or using those AHAs is great for all skin types, you want to be careful how much you do it. For those with dry or sensitive skin, too much exfoliating can lead to irritation and more dryness. It will also strip away the skin's outer protective layer every time you do it, leaving you more vulnerable to the sun and photo aging.

With an oily complexion, the problem goes in the other direction. I am not sure if it is a reaction to the drying effect of exfoliating (the skin becomes drier so more oil is produced) or if it is the stimulation of your skin's oil glands, I have read both explanations, but either way, exfoliating your face every day is not a good thing for oily skin! I was using a daily facial scrub and started to notice my pores were getting larger and my skin always felt more oily than normal. I would desperately turn to my clay masks to suck out the extra oil, but this was probably making my skin worse because clay masks exfoliate.

So, how often should you exfoliate your face to have that beautiful, radiant, glowing look that this skin care step is supposed to create? For oily skin, once a week is enough. Skip the daily facial scrubs. For normal skin, you can use this technique every other day, just make sure you are protecting your skin from the sun. Try using a skin care product like a cleanser or moisturizer that has AHAs instead of scrubbing too often. Facial scrubs are great, but it seems they are too harsh to use all the time for delicate facial skin. For dry skin, once a week with a gentle product is plenty. 

What Is the Best Neck Firming Cream?

Don't forget to take care of your neck and decolletage! These easily overlooked areas of your skin are just as exposed as your face. Are you keeping your chest and neck area moisturized and protected? What is the best neck firming cream to use? Can you just use your facial cream to keep these areas smooth, firm, and glowing?

Using a neck cream that is full of anti-aging antioxidants, moisturizing fatty acids, and other replenishing nutrients may help you to keep your skin young looking. The earlier you start taking care of this area the better! It is difficult to reverse the signs of aging like sagging skin (turkey neck!) and age spots. So if a firming neck cream equals gorgeous skin, even into your 50s, then problem solved, right? Not really. You will have to invest a fortune into that pretty little neck of yours!

Neck creams and serums are pricey, probably because of what they promise - the appearance of youth. Also, this area of skin is huge, so you will need more magic potion than you need for your face. You can use your facial moisturizer, but you will run out of it quickly to cover all that skin. Chances are if you are even thinking about the look of your neck and decolletage, you have been in the anti-aging skin care market for a couple of years at least. Your skin may already show some lines or loose skin, and you are desperate for an improvement!

My solution to this problem is to use nourishing oils. They are affordable, they are packed with antioxidants, and a little bit goes a long way. Grapeseed oil, apricot kernel, sesame seed, avocado oil, tamanu, argan, any of these will work wonders for your skin. Where to get the best skin oils? Aura cacia has a great selection of high quality oils (no affiliation). Mountain Rose Herbs has tons of carrier oils you can choose from. I am affiliated with Mountain Rose (see bottom of site), I use oils from both companies.

You can buy a firming neck cream. In fact, buying a nutrient-packed serum, cream, or other beauty product on occasion, even if it is a bit expensive, is not a bad idea. I think of it as giving my skin a little beauty boost, sort of like changing the oil in your car. It's only necessary every 3 months, and less depending on your driving habits. If you take great care of your skin - drink lots of water, keep it protected from the sun (scarfs are great for covering this precious area), eat a healthy diet, exercise, and all that jazz, you could get away with splurging on a firming cream once or twice a year.

Use nourishing oils to keep your skin firm and glowing if you want results and you don't want to give the beauty industry your life savings. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a really nice neck firming cream every few months, just like a trip to the spa for a professional facial can really help, but don't feel like you need to spend $100 for a creamy tub of youth. There is no such thing. 

Can an Avocado Face Mask Transform a Dull Complexion?

I always find my way back to creamy, vitamin-packed avocados for my homemade beauty care recipes. There is something about this soft green fruit that I absolutely adore. True, I get tired of how messy an avocado face mask can be, but, with fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin C, B vitamins, and a nice little array of skin healthy minerals, I always go back!

Yes making a DIY mask with ripe avocado can totally transform a dull, dry complexion. Save your money on expensive hydrating creams and try this cute little fruit (did you know they call it the alligator pear?) Always an advocate of nourishing your skin from the inside out, I recommend throwing two-thirds of your avocado on a salad, and mashing the rest to make a beauty treatment, perfect for dry skin, but also useful for any woman over the age of 25 who wants to keep that youthful complexion! You can also use some to make a moisturizing hair mask.

Here are three quick and easy avocado face masks that you can try out:

For a silky smooth complexion, mix together:

  • 1/3 ripe avocado
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil 
  • 2 teaspoons whole fat coconut milk

To balance combination skin enjoy the beauty benefits of:

  • 1/3 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons lemon verbena hydrosol (a gentle astringent, you can get from Mountain Rose Herbs, I have an affiliate link at the bottom of my site)
  • 2 drops geranium essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt

For an anti-aging avocado face mask use:

  • 1/3 ripe avocado
  • 4 drops carrot seed essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon rose hip oil

Don't forget to open your pores before masking with a homemade facial steam, a quick shower, or just a warm, wet cloth!

3 Yogurt Face Masks Your Skin Will Love

Walk to your kitchen, open your refrigerator door and look, there, behind the tofu and chocolate covered almonds, yep, there it is, that tub of edible beauty cream, the yogurt! Plain yogurt is a natural source of lactic acid, one of the alpha hydroxy acids that can be applied topically to improve the look of your skin. Wearing yogurt face masks is a great way to give your skin a healthy dose of these natural exfoliators. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs for short, are just what your skin needs to stay young-looking and smooth. When applied to the skin, they encourage the natural shedding of dead skin cells and may encourage new collagen and elastin formation - sounds great to me!

So what is the scoop on yogurt facial masks? How powerful are they? What skin types are they good for? While yogurt does contain AHAs, the concentration is pretty low, much lower than over the counter beauty creams and anti-aging lotions. This is a good thing in that a low concentration is not about to irritate your skin, but it also means that homemade yogurt face masks rank pretty low on the potency scale. Still, they certainly can help, not only because of the lactic acid content, but also to help cleanse and nourish your skin. And, of course, they are inexpensive. I buy plain yogurt in those big tubs. Don't forget to eat some of it with some fresh berries and honey for a tasty, skin healthy, body healthy snack!

Another big plus with using yogurt as a beauty product is that it is one of those universal ingredients. The exfoliation action of the AHAs is good for aging skin. It should help reduce blemishes because of the natural anti-bacterial properties. It's also full of nutrients that you skin can benefit from like zinc (which is antibacterial) and moisturizing lipids.

Yogurt and neroli face mask:

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 3 drops neroli essential oil

Yep, you guessed it. Drop in your neroli (regenerative and restorative to skin) drops into the yogurt, stir, and spread over freshly cleaned skin.

Yogurt clay mask:

  • 1 tablespoon clay powder
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • enough purified water to make your moist, smooth, spreadable beauty paste

Adding yogurt to your typical clay masks is a great way to really cleanse and rejuvenate your skin. Also, this helps to balance out the intensity of the clay if you have dry or sensitive skin.

Yogurt berry face mask:

  • 2 mashed strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar cane crystals
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt

This one takes a bit of prep work. First mash your strawberries with the sugar, heat gently and slightly, just until warm over the stove, and then mash again. The berries and sugar are sources of two different types of AHAs, so this homemade beauty treatment gives you lactic, citric, and glycolic acid. Heat just enough to melt the sugar and to make the berries easy to mash. Stir in your yogurt and give your skin its sweet skin renewing treatment.


DIY Treatment for Dry Skin on Legs

What do you do about dry, itchy legs? In the winter when the air is more arid, dry skin on legs can be a pesky beauty problem. Whether you need to treat your legs for spring break or get them ready to show off when the weather warms up, try this DIY skin care treatment to keep your legs smooth and gorgeous. I use a homemade body scrub with one of the most magnificent moisturizing ingredients for all your homemade beauty care - virgin olive oil! Try this recipe out. It works really well before shaving to prep your skin for perfection.

Homemade body scrub for dry skin on legs:


  • 1 cup sugar (use the nice,cane sugar crystals not refined white sugar!)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons apple juice
  • 4 drops grapefruit essential oil 


Mix everything together in a bowl. I love the grapefruit aroma, but you can use another essential oil, say lavender and vanilla or patchouli and sweet orange. You can also skip the aromatherapy if you want. I use grapefruit because it is supposed to be good for cellulite, although I can't say that it actually makes a difference.

Start your DIY exfoliation experience before getting in the shower. Use your loofah to gently loosen dry skin cells. Then turn on the water and use your loofah or other exfoliating tool (wash cloth works!) to scrub your legs with the body scrub. Start with your feet and work your way up. I actually sit down for this. Use a circular motion and take your time. Not only does this help to soften your legs and fight dry skin, but it also is a blood circulation booster.

After stepping out of the shower, lightly dry your skin and then slather on the body butter. The olive oil from the homemade scrub will moisturize, but you still want to use a good cream or butter after bathing. You can use this homemade scrub on your whole body, not just your legs. 

Supplementing With Collagen: My Experience So Far

I wrote earlier about my little adventure with taking collagen supplements to try and improve my skin. Does it help? Is supplementing with collagen a good idea?

After about a month of taking supplements, I don't notice a remarkable difference, but there is a difference, which is more than I expected. What I did notice:


  • My hair feels slightly thicker, which is a big plus because I have thin hair naturally.
  • My skin is softer, not just my face, but my whole body. This could be because the collagen supplements that I am taking contain hyaluronic acid, a natural skin moisturizer. 
  • The area around my eyes looks slightly smoother. And I mean slightly, but even a tiny improvement is something I embrace! 


I only have tiny fine lines around my eyes, and the skin under my eyes is getting thinner, so that is what I was starting with before my collagen supplement experiment. The difference is far from remarkable, also, it could easily be due to my drinking more water and exercising more. I cannot confidently say that supplementing with collagen makes my skin look younger. To be fair, I have only been taking two pills a day, not the recommended four.

It does seem to have a slight improvement, and I wonder if it is at least slowing the effects of the aging process (your body produces less collagen as you get older, combined with collagen breakdown from sun exposure, etc.). I will finish this bottle, and probably will supplement with collagen again, but not for a few months. I don't like to overlap supplements. My next healthy skin experiment will be supplementing with evening primrose oil. I will keep you posted when I start.

My first post on supplements is, Are Collagen Supplements Worth It for Improving Your Skin?

Disclaimer

While I love my skin, I am not actually a dermatologist or a medical professional. The information on this site is not meant to treat or diagnose any health issues.