Benefits of Flax Seeds (Flaxseed Oil) For Your Skin

Flaxseed Benefits for Skin

I’m always on the lookout for all-natural skincare ingredients.  So I was excited when I recently stumbled across a new one: flax seeds! They are affordable, easy to use, and have so many benefits for our skin. 

Flax seeds fight the signs of skin aging and keep skin hydrated and plump. Antioxidants offer protection from free radicals and UV rays.  Flax seeds also contain Omega 3 fatty acids that moisturize the skin, help balance oil production, and are anti-inflammatory.

What are Flax Seeds?

The flax plant (also called Linseed) has been used for thousands of years as a source of food, oil, and cloth (linen is made from flax). Whole flax seed can be cold-pressed to produce oil, called both flaxseed oil and linseed oil, that is packed with healthy Omega 3 fatty acids and powerful antioxidants. 

This makes flaxseed incredibly nutritious both as part of our daily diet and for applying to our skin. Read on to hear all about the benefits flax seeds have for our skin. 

Bowl of Flax Seeds on brown wooden table

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Reduces Appearance of Wrinkles and Sagging

Flaxseed oil fights signs of skin aging such as fine lines and loss of firmness due to its high content of essential fatty acids.  Essential fatty acids have tons of benefits, but one of the most important is to prevent water loss through our skin (called Trans-Epidermal Water Loss). This keeps your skin hydrated and plumper. Just having well-hydrated skin can noticeably approve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Reduces Puffiness and Redness

The essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil also give it anti-inflammatory properties. This helps reduce puffiness and redness in your skin, evening out your complexion.  The anti-inflammatory properties also may help speed up the healing of acne scars and minor skin irritation. If you have skin conditions, check with your dermatologist to confirm if flax seeds or flaxseed oil is a good choice for you.


Like most oils, flaxseed oil is very moisturizing. It contains high amounts of essential fatty acids, which are an important part of the stratum corneum, the outer layer of our skin.  They help form our natural skin barrier, which keeps in moisture and keeps out irritants, improvising our skin health.

Oil from flax seeds is great to soothe dry, cracked skin anywhere on your body. You can also use it as cuticle oil for a manicure.

Protects from the Sun and Pollution

Ground flax seeds contain high levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin E. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in our skin cells from sources such as UV rays from sun exposure, cigarette smoke, and pollution. Free radicals age our face by causing skin damage such as fine lines, dark spots, and collagen loss. 

Part of the protective skin benefits of flax seeds comes from a compound called lignans. I’ve researched lots of different skincare products over the years and never heard of lignans before. Turns out they are amazing compounds that exhibit antioxidant properties: and flaxseed is one of the richest sources of them!

If you‘re into data, check out this study showing the protective properties of lignans in flax. Lignans can also be found in pumpkins (check out my article on the benefits of pumpkin for your skin here).

Balances Oil Production

Applying oil to skin that is oily or acne-prone may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually very helpful. Using oil on your face isn’t just for those with dry skin. Even oily skin needs essential fatty acids to keep your natural skin barrier strong. 

Flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid, one of the best essential fatty acids for healthy skin. It helps regulate sebum production.  Extra sebum production is what causes a face to look shiny throughout the day.

How to Use Flax Seeds For Your Skin

You can use flax seeds in many different ways to benefit your skin. It’s hard to believe such tiny seeds can have a big impact on not only our skin but also our overall health. Read on to find out some easy ways to add flax seeds or flaxseed oil into your routine.

 Applying Flaxseed To Your Skin

At home, a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed can be mixed with cold water to create a flaxseed gel that is great for skin, scalp, and hair (it has been reported anecdotally that it helps hair growth). 

You can also apply flaxseed oil directly to your skin. It’s easy to find in your local grocery store in either capsules or a full bottle. 

Look for flaxseed oil that is cold-pressed and comes in a dark bottle. This protects the antioxidants from light, which can degrade them. Store it in a cool place, because heat is also damaging, which is why it’s important that the seeds are cold-pressed to produce oil. 

There are also commercially available skincare products that usually include a mix of flaxseed oil with other ingredients. One that I have used and recommend is the Omega + Complex Moisturizer from Paula’s Choice.

Paula’s Choice is a skincare brand that uses research-backed ingredients in products that are safe for even sensitive skin. I tried this moisturizer during the winter months when the air is cold and dry. I loved the fact that it kept my skin hydrated really well without being heavy. It absorbs quickly and provides moisture that lasts all day or night.  This moisturizer also includes ceramides and shea butter, both great for skin.  

If you aren’t interested in a moisturizer, Paula’s Choice also makes a serum and eye cream with many of the same ingredients.

Adding Flaxseed To Your Diet

Flax seeds are a great addition to your diet to nourish your skin from the inside out. Those essential fatty acids and antioxidants will benefit not only your skin but also your hair and heart health. They are a good source of protein and fiber as well as packed with nutrients such as magnesium and potassium. 

Try mixing flaxseed oil with your salad dressings, or mix it with olive oil to make your own dressing.  Of course, one option is to simply take a tablespoon of flaxseed oil by itself. You can also buy flaxseed oil supplements in capsule form if that’s easier to swallow.  Another easy idea is to snack on whole flaxseeds alone or mix them into yogurt or a protein shake. You can try adding chia seeds as well since they don’t have a distinct flavor.

Final thoughts on the Benefits of Flax Seeds for Your Skin

If you love all-natural skincare, without irritating side effects, then I highly recommend you give flax seeds a try. They have so many benefits and are really easy to fit into your diet and your budget! Even those with dry or sensitive skin can use flax seeds to help their skin feel and look its best.

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