Do you like the idea of deeply nourishing your skin with clinically proven Botanical Skin Actives? If so, you’re going to love Gamma Linolenic Acid! Found in the organic plant seed oils of Blackcurrants, Borage and Evening Primrose, Gamma Linolenic Acid (or GLA) is a healthy natural botanical fatty acid that delivers outstanding skin benefits, not the least of which is reversing the signs of aging!
What is Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)?
Similar in composition to fish-liver oils, which have broad spectrum health benefits, Gamma GLA is a vegan source packed with high levels of omega 6 fatty acids. Our skin’s composition has a high level of of lipids such as essential fatty acids (EFA), cholesterol, and ceramides, all of which play a crucial role in the protective barrier functioning of our skin. Skin Biochemistry converts GLA into components that help reduce inflammation and promote healthy cellular growth and functioning.
Conversely, low levels of intra-dermal GLA leads to excessive dryness, allergies, skin redness, acne, wounds, weeping/crusting associated with eczema and psoriasis.. as well as acceleration of the skin’s aging process (thinning collagen leading to sagging, wrinkles etc). As well, the skin will try to compensate for a lack of GLA with overproduction of sebum and oleic acid, which can lead to acne and other skin conditions.
How is GLA obtained?
The three most prominent and wild-crafted resources for GLA are Borage Seed Oil (~22 to 25% GLA), Evening Primrose Oil (~8 to 10% GLA) and Blackcurrant Seed Oil (~ 15% GLA). Virgin (or, first pressing) natural oil extraction of these seeds is absolutely critical in order to obtain the said benefits of GLA. Addition of solvents and chemicals in cheap commercial products hamper the efficacy of these oils!
Understanding the Skin Science behind the mechanisms of GLA:
According to the latest research, GLA works primarily in two ways:
- GLA acts as a supplemental and vital biochemical precursor for conversion into prostaglandins (PGE1s) which replenish our bodies with the right amount of omega 6 fatty acids. This helps our skin’s metabolism, encouraging healthy cell growth. Thus, GLA plays an important role in rejuvenating thinning, dry, brittle Skin & Hair.
- GLA aids in restricting destructive enzymes that form toxic compounds such as ‘Arachidonic Acid’ (the latter forms by-products such as cyclooxygenase 2 or COX-2 and lipoxygenase or LOX). By creating this antioxidant effect, GLA removes toxins from our body, and calms hyperactive inflammatory response.
Did you know? By the age of 80, our skin will lose up to 50% of its thickness (especially if you’ve a Vata or Dry Skin) which rapidly speeds the aging process, and encourages an environment promoting adverse reactions like rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.
Summary of the Benefits of GLA in the Skin:
The topical application of properly sourced and extracted GLA enriched skin serums, actively works to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation and restore water loss to our depleted dermal cells.
Delays Aging – The skin’s firmness and texture are maintained with an adequate level of proper fatty acids in the dermis. As we age, this fatty acid content of our skin naturally reduces, making it critical to replenish them in order to restore healthy, younger looking skin. GLA supports hydration and restores elasticity thus delaying signs of aging.
Controls Oiliness and Acne – Topical GLA replacement balances sebum production and oiliness in an adaptive manner, so that a person with kapha dosha (oily) stop overproducing sebum, which clears acne more rapidly. This study shows that topical application of GLA can reduce the size of microcomedones by up to 25% within a month.
Alleviates Skin Disorders – The antioxidant activity of GLA helps remove toxins from dermal tissues, (including Demodex mites causing Rosacea), which in turn slows down hyperactive-inflammatory response systems, and has a calming effect on skin redness.
The Best Organic Skin Care Products that contain GLA
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