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Linolenic Acid

Linolenic Acid

Also-called-like-this: alpha-Linolenic acid, ALA, omega-3 fatty acid, Form of Vitamin F


The famous omega-3 fatty acid, the mother of all ω-3 fatty acids in our body. Next to linoleic acid, it is the other essential fatty acid that our body cannot synthesize and we have to ingest it from our food. It is also a PUFA, aka polyunsaturated fatty acid with three double bonds, a kinky chemical structure and thus a liquid consistency.

While linoleic acid is abundant in the skin, this is not the case with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It is not entirely clear if it is meant to be like that or if this is a consequence of not eating enough Omega-3 with the typical Western diet.

Leafy green vegetables, walnuts, flax seeds and fish oils are rich sources of ALA and if you are not eating a lot from these, supplementing with fish oil is a pretty good idea backed by research. It is a good idea both in terms of general health benefits as well as potentially improving inflammation-related skin issues such as atopic dermatitis or acne.

As for using ALA topically, we have to say that its role and effects seem to be less direct than with LA. ALA's main role in the skin appears to be modulating the immune response of the epidermis. This is probably helpful for inflammatory skin diseases but most studies examine ALA as an oral supplement and not when applied topically. One exception, we could find, is a study that found that topically applied ALA has nice spot-fading abilities.

To be honest, it seems to us that oral supplementation of ALA is more important than smearing it all over your face. However, that is not to say that topical ALA is a bad thing, it is a good thing. It is a skin-identical ingredient, it is probably moisturizing and anti-inflammatory but its topical effects are less established than that of fellow omega fatty acid, linoleic acid

Show me some proof

  • McCusker, Meagen M., and Jane M. Grant-Kels. "Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the ω-6 and ω-3 fatty acids." Clinics in Dermatology 28.4 (2010): 440-451.
  • Ando, Hideya, et al. "Linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid lightens ultraviolet-induced hyperpigmentation of the skin." Archives of dermatological research 290.7 (1998): 375-381.

Products with Linolenic Acid

Nanowhite Intensive Brightening Serum Nuface Collagen Booster Chemist Confessions The Better Oil Paula's Choice Resist Omega+ Complex Serum dr. denese Hydroshield Ultra Moisturizing Face Serum Proactive+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator Paula's Choice Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner in her element Rose Gel Serum Moisturizer Nanowhite Skin Renewing Aqua Gel Drunk Elephant Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads Atopalm Real Barrier Control T Cleansing Foam Clinique All About Eyes™ Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage LABORATORIOS BIARRITZ Fluido Hidratante De Día Meteologic BIOSSANCE Squalane + Omega Repair Cream Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops Hema Hello Mirror Guess My Age Facial Oil Pixi Milky Tonic Paula's Choice Calm Soothing Toner For Normal To Dry Skin Revolution Skincare Night Restore Oil Skintegra Tria Light Blackmores Natural Vitamin E Cream + Lanolin Sunday Riley ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream Dermosil Anti-Stress Serum First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Barriair Cream Ole Henriksen Counter Balance™ Oil Control Hydrator Ultraceuticals Ultra Replenishing Mask Zelens Power C High Potency Vitamin C Treatment Drops Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum Nanowhite Omega Day Shield Spf50 ++ Pixi Nourishing Lip Polish Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum Paula's Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturizer Kate Somerville Mega-C Dual Radiance Serum Nutox Moisture Emulsion Spf 25 Pa++ OLEHENRIKSEN Balancing Force Oil Control Toner Sante Naturkosmetik Soothing Night Cream Sesderma Acglicolic 20 Nourishing Cream SPF 15 Skin better Even Tone Correcting Serum™ Aesop Shine HydroPeptide Redefining Serum Ole Henriksen Pore-Balance Facial Sauna Scrub Zelens Provitamin D Treatment Drops EO LABORATORIE` Био Масло Для Ресниц И Бровей `Eo Laboratorie` `Lovecoil` HydroPeptide Redefining Serum OLEHENRIKSEN C-Rush™ Brightening Gel Crème Sesderma Acglicolic Classic Nourishing Cream Tosowoong Vita Clinic Vitamin Eye Cream Zelens Vitamin A Treatment Drops Nécessaire The Body Lotion