Everything You Need To Know About Flaxseeds And Skincare, According to Experts

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If you spend countless hours at night scrolling on TikTok, you’re not alone. We’re always learning a thing or two when it comes to makeup tips or ingredients that work for the skin. But even though some of the best beauty hacks come from the app– such as the latest one of people applying flaxseeds on their skin– it’s only wise to double check the facts with skin experts. 

That said, Dr. Diana Ponsky, MD, FACS, a double board-certified plastic surgeon and CEO of Ponsky Facial Plastic Surgery, and Valerie Aparovich, a biochemist and certified cosmetologist-aesthetician at OnSkin, tell ESSENCE everything we need to know about flaxseeds and their skin benefits. 

What are flaxseeds? 

“Flaxseeds are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids,” Ponsky tells ESSENCE. Ponsky also shares that you can find this ingredient in creams, lotions, and serums, which has “hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties.” Flaxseeds can also be used to make moisturizers and “DIY face masks.” Flaxseeds are also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium and vitamin B1.

The benefits

“Flaxseeds can improve skin hydration and smoothness, while skin sensitivity to irritation decreases and the risk of roughness reduces,” Aparovich shares. She also notes that flaxseeds can help improve your skin health thanks to omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

“Omega-3 fatty acids promote the skin’s moisture barrier potential and maintain its hydrolipid balance, preventing the cells from water loss, nourishing the skin, and replenishing its hydration levels,” she shares. Meanwhile, “antioxidants neutralize free radicals, promote skin health and contribute to a more youthful look with fewer wrinkles and age spots. Loading on fiber promotes healthier, clearer skin.”

Are flaxseeds a botox alternative?

“The use of flaxseed masks to give a glass like sheen to the face, thereby touting it as a cheaper DIY ‘botox alternative,’” Dr. Ponsky notes. But, even still, both Aparovich and Dr. Ponsky share that flaxseeds do not work as well as botox.

“Botox is a type of medication injected into the muscles to temporarily paralyze its motion for about 13 weeks,” Ponsky says, sharing that flaxseeds only work for a couple of hours to moisturize your skin and give it a glassy sheen. “It for sure does not penetrate your skin, and therefore cannot claim to do the same thing as botox.”

Aparovich also shares that when people make flaxseed masks, they do not “mimic the impact of Botox injections,” but offer skin-health benefits. “The masks work topically and do not reach deeper levels where muscles lie.” While flaxseeds can promote skin hydration and plumpness, they can boost moisture by smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, improving the skin texture.

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