Did you know that hemp seed oil – not to be confused with CBD oil – is rich in Omega-3, -6 and -9 Essential Fatty Acids, as well as being a great source of Vitamins A and E? Well, it is! Now you’re probably thinking, “Well that sounds great and all, but what does this really mean for my skin?” We’re glad you asked!
Vitamin A is actually a group of compounds including active forms (retinal, retinol and retinoic acid) and pro-vitamin A carotenoids, like beta-carotene. Beta-carotene (and the other carotenoids) is the form of vitamin A that we consume directly from the plant foods we eat, and tends to be our primary source of vitamin A. Beta-carotene and pro-vitamin A carotenoids are potent antioxidants. They squelch free radicals that break down collagen (your skin’s support structure) and contribute to fine lines and saggy skin. They also lessen your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, offering some natural protection against sun-induced redness and pigmentation issues.
Vitamin A also stimulates the cells responsible for developing the tissue that keeps our skin firm and healthy – called fibroblasts – in the deep layers of the skin. Because vitamin A and carotenoids play such a vital role in cell and tissue growth, vitamin A deficiency can lead to weakened skin, causing problems from dryness to slower healing of wounds. Your skin is also your first line of defense against bacteria, pollution and infectants – making it a vital part of your immune system! By promoting healthy cell production, vitamin A also serves to strengthen this barrier, protecting your skin from harmful irritation.
Applied topically, vitamin A is proven to help smooth wrinkles, fight acne and even out skin tones!
Vitamin E keeps the lipids in your skin fresh, which helps to keep your skin’s protective barrier healthy. This in turn can help to seal up little cracks in your skin’s barrier that cause moisture to escape, leaving your skin feeling tight and dry. As an antioxidant, vitamin E also offers many overlapping benefits with vitamin A mentioned above – including the prevention of blackheads, which happen when the tip of oils hardened and blocking your pores begin to turn dark from oxidation.
Omega-3, -6 and -9 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that have their first double bond located at the third and sixth carbon from the omega end, respectively. They are considered Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) because they body cannot produce them on its own. Omega-9’s are monounsaturated fatty acids that have their first double bond located at the ninth carbon from the omega end. They an be produced by our bodies, but are also beneficial when found in vegetable, nut and seed oils.
Omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids play critical roles in our skin’s function and appearance. The metabolism of these acids is limited in the skin and they are considered essential nutrients. They play an important role on the structural integrity and barrier function of our skin, influence the skin’s inflammatory response, lessen UV-induced photo damage, signs of skin aging and inflammation. A significant portion of ingested essential fatty acids may be oxidized by the liver before reaching peripheral tissues. This means topical application can be a more efficient route of delivery for skin effects.
These are just some of the innumerable health benefits that hemp seed oil brings to every single bar of handmade and all-natural Aerogance™ soap products!