This year I started with a simple goal: eat more fat, every single day. I’m talking about the kind of dietary fats your body needs to maintain good health and gorgeous skin, not those man-made trans and hydrogenated fats that are super toxic. There are certain fats our bodies must have that only come from our diet—namely, the essential fatty acids known as omega-3 and omega-6 (we talk about these a lot in skincare). These fats are critical for good health and properly functioning hormones—the stuff beautiful skin is made of. Omegas 3 and 6 fight inflammation and help keep your skin plump, smooth and calm, but it’s not all about looks—healthy fats affect your mood function and contribute to a healthy brain and body. Fat is more energy-dense than proteins or carbs, so it offers longer lasting energy and helps you feel satiated longer, too.
As a regular user of botanical face and body oils, I’ve been intentional and diligent about the topical application of essential fatty acids in my skincare routine. In the last few months I’ve been just as purposeful about eating healthy fats, and the results have been noticeable. Good skin starts from the inside, after all. Look for wholesome fats with a good balance of omegas, which include coconut products (oil, milk, butter), olive oil, organic butter and ghee, avocado, and nuts and seeds. Personally, I love to eat coconut oil, olive oil and ghee on a regular basis. I like to eat a small spoonful of coconut oil each day like a supplement, or I blend it into my morning cup of coffee to add flavor. The extra fat helps keep me from getting the jitters from the caffeine. Half an avocado makes a great snack, and is an incredible source of healthy fat and more. I also love to cook with ghee, which is a safe choice for high heat cooking because of its stability and high smoke point. It’s also tastes delicious on toast with some sea salt.
While eating nutrient-dense fats is an important part of a healthy diet, note that you must consume omegas in the right ratio or it may do more harm than good, resulting in skin issues like an overproduction of sebum and increased inflammation. That’s because some omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation, and it’s easy to get out of whack. Eating the proper balance of omegas overall keeps inflammation in check, but the typical American diet tends to contain 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, so pay attention to your sources of fat and their omega profile. The fats I mentioned above are all great choices. Eating a variety from sources like these will ensure a good ratio of omegas. Just remember, you need healthy fats for healthy skin!