What the F is GLA?

Image of a manicured hand holding up a bottle of Blue Tansy & GLA Ultra-Clarifying Day Oil.

If you're a fan of our Blue Tansy & GLA Ultra-Clarifying Day Oil, you may be wondering ~

What the F is GLA, anyway? It's Gamma Linolenic Acid, and I'm going to tell you why GLA, along with its cousin Linoleic Acid, are your new BFFs if you have breakout prone skin!

GLA and LA are fatty acids that are naturally occurring in plant oils. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid, meaning that the human body requires it for good health but is unable to synthesize, or produce, it on its own. Gamma linolenic acid is a conditional fatty acid, meaning that if certain developmental or disease conditions are present in the human body, GLA becomes essential (unproducible). Fatty acids are known to improve the skin's natural barrier, to reduce overall inflammation in the body and skin, and are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes ~ fatty acids are required for healthy cellular function!

At the most basic level, acne forms when excess oil and dead skin cells become trapped inside the pore. Our skin has it's own cellular renewal process, wherein the cells of our skin move up through the dermal layers as the skin regenerates itself ~ these "dead" skin cells become keratinized and are shed from your skin regularly (this process is called desquamation).

In healthy skin function, this process runs smoothly, behind the scenes, without effort. However, if skin function is compromised, your cellular turnover can become disturbed, causing it to become irregular or insufficient, leaving excess dead skin cells trapped in the layers of your skin. Studies have hypothesized that a decrease in linoleic acid in the skin's sebum (the natural "oils" produced by the skin) could be partly responsible for the disturbance of this healthy skin function and that those with acne-prone skin tend to have lower levels of these fatty acids.

This information leads us to believe that fatty acid supplementation would increase skin function, leading to fewer breakouts over time. In fact, studies have shown that topically applied linoleic acid can decrease acne microcomedoes (in other words, pimples) by up to 25% with just one month of sustained use. GLA supplementation has also been shown to decrease both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions. 

We formulated our Clarifying Day Oil to be an effective delivery system for both linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid as these two fatty acids have been proven to boost skin health over time and reduce inflammation and breakouts. This emerald-hued oil has a grapeseed oil base, which has an impressive constitution of 73% linoleic acid. Borage, maracuja, and evening primrose oils are all also high in both linoleic and gamma linolenic fatty acids. When combined with the calming power of blue tansy, the anti-bacterial qualities of tea tree, and the oil-balancing prowess of petitgrain, these gorgeous plant oils combine to create a facial oil that boosts your skins cellular function and reduces acne breakouts.

Want to boost your skin health even further? Try eating foods that are rich in fatty acids, like salmon, flax, and walnuts. 


With Gratitude, Emma

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