Flaxseed Oil for Acne and Dry Skin: Benefits, Amount and a Topical Treatment

Improve Skin with Flax OilFlaxseed oil is the richest natural source of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), comprising over 50% of this essential omega-3 fat for healthy skin.

Unfortunately, ALA consumption has dropped significantly in recent decades. By comparison, most people’s intake of omega-6 fats, like linoleic acid found in vegetable oil, has increased dramatically.

If you want to address skin problems like acne, or a dry and flaky complexion, then flaxseed oil can help remedy this imbalance.

How Omega-6 Fatty Acids Cause Skin Inflammation

Most of us eating a modern Western diet are consuming far more omega-6 fats, like linoleic acid and arachidonic acid, compared to omega-3s, such as alpha linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The problem with this is that these omega-6 fats can create an overabundance of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins when consumed in excess.

These prostaglandins are implicated in a wide variety of inflammatory conditions, including skin problems like acne.

With processed supermarket foods some of the highest sources of linoleic and arachidonic acid, it’s difficult to avoid getting high levels of inflammatory fatty acids in your diet.

Better Skin with Flax Oil

Omega-3 fats, on the other hand, are used to create a different set of prostaglandins, which have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body, including your skin.

Many people report significant improvements in a variety of skin problems when they increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids with flaxseed oil.

You can even apply it topically on your face as a natural remedy for a dry and flaky complexion.

Correct Amount for Acne and Skin Problems

The starting flax oil dose for acne, facial redness and flaky skin is 2 grams a day, split between breakfast and dinner.

This is based on research studies that showed improvements in skin tone and reduced inflammation at this dosage over several weeks.

Higher amounts, such as a tablespoon of the oil, are often more beneficial, though it’s best to start slowly.

Begin with 1 gram in the morning and 1 gram in the evening for a week. In the following weeks you could double this amount and see how it’s tolerated.Flax oil benefits for skin

Continue doing this until you start to see improvement by the end of the week for that particular dose. Consult your GP first before taking high levels of flaxseed oil and particularly if you are taking prescriptions.

Occasionally, initial negative side effects are experienced, where symptoms are temporarily worsened. In cases like this cut the dosage back to a half, or even a quarter. Then gradually increase the amount taken over coming weeks as your body’s tolerance level increases.

Even the best quality flaxseed oil is much cheaper and better tasting than fish oil and has many other beneficial properties. You can also get convenient capsules of flax oil which make it easier to work out your daily dosage.

There’ s more on flaxseed oil dosage and when to take it for best results here.

How to Use Flaxseed Oil for Dry Skin

You can use flax oil for dry skin in two different ways to improve your complexion. The first is by applying the oil directly to your face as an natural moisturizer.

Not only does its high omega-3 content have an anti-inflammatory effect, it also helps normalize skin lipids and seal in moisture to improve your complexion.

Flax oil to moisturize skin

The second is by taking a teaspoon of flax oil with breakfast and again with dinner each day.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseeds are an essential component of epidermal and dermal cells and are necessary to maintain their structural integrity.

Dry and flaky or dull and blemished skin can often be the result of the deficiency of omega-3 in your diet.

Many women in online beauty forums comment on how much their skin improves once they start taking a high quality flax oil.

Flax Oil On Your Face as an Evening Moisturizer

Used externally, flaxseed oil is best applied as a topical treatment, directly to your face or other parts of your body as an evening moisturizer.

To do this simply massage a small amount of the oil into still damp skin after washing your face before going to bed. You may want to blot off any excess oil if you’re going straight to sleep as it can show on pillowcases.

If you leave it on your face for at least 15 minutes before going to bed it should be well enough absorbed for this to not be a problem.

I hope these different ways of using flaxseed oil for acne and dry skin works well for you. Let me know if you have any questions about this or any of these other superfood skin treatments in the comments below.

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Is flaxseed helpful in Pregnancy?

Jim Dillan

Hi Jasleen,

Flaxseed oil, especially in large doses, generally isn’t recommended during pregnancy. Normal amounts of ground flaxseed are probably ok but consult your pediatrician if you have an concerns. This page has more information – https://superfoodprofiles.com/flaxseed-oil-side-effects-dosage

Kathy Coffey

Can this help with joint pain from meds one is taking?

Jim Dillan

Hi Kathy,

Flaxseed oil may help with joint pain as described here https://superfoodprofiles.com/health-benefits-flaxseed-oil but should be taken away from prescriptions.
All the best,



Where & how flaxseed oil can be made available in Kolkata, India.Will someone advise. Regards


Can we take flax seed oil capsules and collagen tablets together? Or flax seeds oil capsules are enough for younger looking and healthy skin?

Jim Dillan

Hi Rajendra,

Iherb is best for $4 international deliveries and have good flaxseed oil. There’s $10 off your first order with this link at the checkout https://superfoodprofiles.com/go/iherb-special

All the best,


Jim Dillan

Hi there,

Both would be beneficial and complementary.

All the best,



Can flaxseed oil applied on skin affected with psoriasis to reduce the redness

Jim Dillan

Hi Gurneet,

I’ve written specifically about psoriasis and flaxseed oil here https://superfoodprofiles.com/psoriasis-avocado-oil-fish-oil-topical-treatment

All the best,



Pregnacy ladies should not use flax seeds..


hi there, I have heard many horror stories about Flaxseed oil capsules and acne. People breaking out with cystic spots. I am currently on Dianette for Acne and worried they may make it worse or interfere with this pill. Any help would be greatly appreciated .
Many thanks

Jim Dillan

Hi Sarah,

Many people report flaxseed oil to be very good for their skin, including acne, though others do say they have problems with it. It’s difficult to know if this is a temporary effect of shifting the dietary fatty acid profile or too high an initial dose. Everyone responds differently but in theory eating more omega-3 from flax should create more series 3 prostaglandins, which can have an anti-inflammatory effect against acne. If you do decide to try it you could start off at a small dose as suggested in the article and slowly build up your tolerance to see if it helps your skin.

All the best,



Which oil supplement (fish oil, epo, flaxseed) would u suggest for problems with hairfall, slightly oily scalp, itchy & dandruff, eczema & sensitive scalp..?

Jim Dillan

Hi Nurul,

Black currant oil is particularly good for these hair conditions https://superfoodprofiles.com/black-currant-oil-hair-loss-better-health but there are other useful superfoods and treatments for better hair here https://superfoodprofiles.com/tag/skin-hair-treatments/

All the best,


Maripat McGlynn

I started having perioral dermatitis. I was told to take 6 flaxseed pills a day for three weeks and then down to theee. I started taking 6 1000 mg a day and noticed it getting worse. I feel it will help but should I back off a little or just ride it out with the 6 a day until I get used to it?

Jim Dillan

Hi Maripat,

In cases like this it would be best to cut the dosage back to a half, or even a quarter, and gradually increase the amount taken over coming weeks as your body’s tolerance level increases and it doesn’t provoke negative symptoms.

All the best,


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