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linolenic acid

Linolenic acid is a naturally-occurring, colorless, polyunsaturated fatty acid liquid glyceride found in most oils that functions as a skin-conditioning agent and cell-communicating ingredient. Insoluble in water, soluble in organic solvents. Derived from benzene or alcohol, it is a local anesthetic introduced in 1949. It relieves itching, pain, soreness, and discomfort due to rashes, including eczema, and minor burns. It is also used to make nail polishes dry faster. Slightly irritating to mucous membranes.

This ingredient is a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid that occurs in vegetable oil and flax seed oil as well as canola and soy oils. Walnuts are a top dietary source of this fatty acid. Its “cousin”, linoleic acid, is an omega-6 fatty acid, sources of which include corn, safflower, and sunflower oils.

Linolenic acid has research showing topical application helps improve many skin concerns, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, and non-melanoma skin cancers (Source: Clinics in Dermatology, July-August 2010, pages 440-451). Linolenic acid can help repair skin’s barrier function and reduce pro-inflammatory substances that would otherwise cause damage. It is believed to communicate with cells that comprise skin’s immune system, as evidenced by research showing that topical linolenic (and similar) fatty acids improve wound healing (Source: Wound Repair and Regeneration, March-April 2004, pages 235-243).

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