Is Cod Liver Oil a Wonderful Cure for Acne?
Are you under siege from acne at the moment? Tired of it? Wish there was a simple, natural cure that actually works?
If you were to believe your grandma, you’d think that cod liver oil was the greatest miracle on earth that can cure everything.
While cod liver oil can’t indeed cure everything, is it at least true that it works as a wonderful cure for acne? Beauty and Tips finds out …
What is Cod Liver Oil?
We’ve all heard of cod liver oil at some point – but what is it exactly?
Cod liver oil is a nutrient-dense source of fatty acids and key vitamins. It originates from cod liver and is sold as either a supplement or a liquid.
The nutrients it contains include:
- Omega-3 fatty acid – omega-3 is its most beneficial ingredient. This is a polyunsaturated fat that’s classed as an essential fatty acid because your body doesn’t produce it. Therefore, to get it you need to turn to food.
- Vitamin D – the second key nutrient that cod liver contains is vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body to better absorb calcium, and to this end it improves the strength and resilience of your teeth and bones.
- Vitamin A – this third key nutrient works in harmony with vitamin D to improve your overall health.
Now, you might be wondering why you even need to consume cod liver oil. Can’t you just get your omega-3 fatty acids fix from fish?
Of course you can, but cod liver oil is more convenient and it contains a more concentrated dose of omega-3’s. Moreover, oily fish doesn’t contain vitamin A.
That said, there’s no reason why you can’t double down on your intake of omega-3’s. Indeed, there’s no daily recommend amount when it comes to omega-3s, which means you’re free to consume as much as you want. Why not add more oily fish to your diet too, such as mackerel, trout and salmon?
It’s also worth mentioning that vitamin A without the presence of enough vitamin D to complement it can cause problems, such as hair loss and liver issues. For this reason, some people prefer to stick to oily fish.
However, as we’ll find out in the next section, vitamin A plays a key role with helping acne. And if you want to take the fight to this skin condition, you need to consume the right amount of vitamin A.
How can Cod Liver Oil Help With Acne?
People have been using cod liver oil for centuries to improve their health … but what can it do for acne?
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients we outlined above:
Cod liver oil doesn’t just contain a pinch of vitamin A – it contains LOTS of it.
Because vitamin A contains a component known as retinoic acid, it is able to help with cell health.
In fact, vitamin A plays a key role in the renewal of your cells. When skin cells are damaged, it helps your body to replace them with brand new, totally fresh ones. Awesome.
And acne scars? Vitamin A can also help with those, clearing them right up so that you look – and feel – better.
It also targets your sebaceous glands, reducing their sizes after a prolonged battle with acne.
Moreover, vitamin A helps to reduce the amount of sebum that your skin produces, which can keep an acne outbreak under some degree of control. This is key because sebum is a bit of a pest that clogs your skin pores and mixes with germs. Not nice and not cool!
It’s also worth pointing out that while you can get vitamin A from other vitamin supplements, it works best in cod liver oil than any of the synthetic ones.
There’s quite a lot of vitamin D in cod liver oil, a nutrient that’s key for the health and vitality of your skin.
This is because vitamin D contains powerful antioxidants and anti-comedongenic properties that you NEED as you take the fight to acne. These super heroes battle the nasty free radicals that are intent one doing one thing only – as much damage to your skin as they can!
Like vitamin A, vitamin D can also thwart sebum production.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The star of the show for many people, omega-3 fatty acids are total babes when it comes to fighting pesky skin conditions like acne.
They’re especially good at managing skin inflammations and have been used in the battle against cystic acne.
The really good news? These guys are natural anti-inflammatory agents, which means zero side effects.
Can Cod Liver Oil Help With Scars?
One of the biggest grievances for anyone who is struggling with acne is the scars. Even after the breakout has gone, the scars remain as a reminder of what was once there.
Moreover, because the scars themselves are so visible on your face, they don’t exactly look good either. They’re ugly and often black, and they can take anywhere between 6 and 12 months to fade.
Fortunately, cod liver oil can also save the day when it comes to the scars on your face. This is down to their vitamin A content which boosts skin cell regeneration.
That said, you still need to be a realist about this. Cod liver oil can eliminate acne scars faster than 6 months, but you need some patience, too.
What Causes Acne?
The thing is that, as good as a cure and preventative measure that cod liver oil is, if you don’t know what’s causing your acne in the first place, you could end up making the same mistakes that counter the effects of the oil.
The Wrong Product
When we say the wrong product, what we really mean is a product that’s rich in pore-clogging ingredients.
For example, take mineral oil. This is good for moisturising, and you’ll find in some lotions. The problem is that it also clogs your pores. And as we all know, clogged pores are a breeding ground for acne.
Too Many Spot Treatments
We get it – you’re so desperate to get rid of you acne that you use as many spot treatments as possible.
The problem is that, all these treatments will cause your skin to dry out. And when that happens, it will probably produce even more oil. Not cool.
From now on, suspend using all your myriad treatments and focus instead on cod liver oil.
Love spicy foods? We hate to have to be the ones that break this to you, but spicy foods could be the reason for your acne breakout.
It sucks, but it’s not often the actual spice itself that causes the breakout – it’s the ingredients like peppers and tomatoes.
Why are these such irritants? Because they contain something called acidic lycopene, which can irritate your skin, triggering an acne breakout.
There are other foods that can cause a breakout and these include bread and dairy. If you think there’s a link between certain foods and your acne, you might want to take a trip to your doctor to find out.
The Wrong Hair Products
If your shampoo contains silicones, heavy moisturising agents and cleansing agents, it could be these pests that are the reason for your acne.
Naturally, most shampoo products contain these ingredients, which means switching to a new hair product probably isn’t an option.
Instead, what you can do is tilt your head to one side as you wash your hair. Why? Because this will help to keep the shampoo’s residue from off your face.
Scrubbing your Skin Too Hard
There’s no need to scrub your skin so hard – take it easy!
Some of us get so annoyed with our acne and so desperate that we take to scrubbing our skin real hard. We think that it’s a good form of exfoliation and that pretty soon we’ll be left with much smoother skin.
Sadly, it just doesn’t work like that. The harder you scrub your skin, the more active the acne becomes.
Worse still, you end up spreading it over more parts of your body!
The best thing to do is just take it easy – gently wash your face and be gentle when you moisturise.
Quit being so mean to your skin!
A Bearded Partner
Can a beard really give you acne? Really?!
Bearded boyfriends might look pretty good, but when you rub your smooth face up with his, you’re causing friction. This, in turn, stimulates oil production on your own face. As well as beard burn, you could end up with a load of acne.
And that isn’t hot.
Smoking causes a lot of health problems, and even those who smoke and say they’ll never give it up know deep down that it’s actually really bad for them.
Smoking is not good for your skin, period. It ages you faster, making you look older than you are. And why would anyone want that?!
Worse, still each time you smoke, the amount of oxygen that can get to your face is decreased. This puts you at risk of cancer, and it also causes your production of collagen to breakdown.
Moreover, a lack of elastin means that pore sizes will increase and wrinkles will form.
Then there’s the fact that the carcinogens now present in your skin will irritate it and cause it to dry out. As a consequence, your skin produces more oil and you might notice more breakouts.
How to Choose a Good Quality Cod Liver Oil?
If you pop into your local drug store, or even your local supermarket, you’ll notice that you’ve got a number of options when it comes to cod liver oil. So how do you make your choice?
There are 2 types of cod liver oil:
The refined version comes from cooking fatty cod tissues. The problem is that this method means that the oil is stripped of lots of nutrients. As a result, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to make up for this loss by adding synthetic vitamins.
The fermented version, on the other hand, requires a slower process to make. There are no bleaching agents or chemicals involved, and the cod’s liver is fermented in barrels that contain lots of sea water. The liver is kept there over the course of a number of months, untouched. As a result, you’re left with a more natural version of cod liver oil, and this is the variant that’s the easiest to recommend.
On the other hand, however, the refined variant is cheaper to buy.
As mentioned, there’s no daily recommended amount of omega-3s. This means that choosing a cod liver oil will largely come down to why you want to/need to take it, and how much you can afford.
However, the first thing we suggest that you do is take yourself to your doctor and speak to them about this first. If they say that cod liver oil is safe for you to take, you can then look for a supplement.
A good idea is to look for one that contains as much as 450mg DHA and EPA per daily dose. This is basically the same as eating two oily fish portions per week.
That, said because cod liver oil also contains vitamins A and D, you need to make sure that you don’t consume too much of either over the course of a week. This can easily happen if you’re already taking another supplement that contains lots of vitamins.
It’s a good idea to check the labels so that you don’t exceed the recommended daily amount. For example, vitamin A toxicity can be a real possible. However, it’s theorised that the reason for this is when there isn’t enough vitamin D in an individual’s system to complement it. With cod liver oil, you’ll have no such concerns as it’s rich in both vitamin A and D.
Stay happy and healthy!