This is a longer story, and I hope you’ll bear with me because I want to be thorough in telling it. I began taking cod liver oil about 8-10 weeks ago. I wish I would have kept better track of when I started, however that’s my best guestimate. I added it to my supplement regimen after reading about how it can really help people with multiple skin issues, while also offering a rather unexpected side benefit.
Some of Us are Just More Prone to Skin Conditions
I’m generally a healthy person who rarely gets sick. However, stress and periods of suppressed immunity definitely impact my skin. My skin is the conduit through which everything from stress to lack of sleep, and immune impairment expresses itself. For example, I’ve had recurring rashes on my back and abdominal area for a while now.
I’m particularly prone to poison ivy and poison oak rashes too. My husband can practically roll around in a field of it and not break out badly. All it takes is for me to have a brief brush with the plant and I will break out in blisters for days. I also had issues with fever blisters/ cold sores a while back which was the inspiration behind one of my newer products (read more about our Herbal Relief Lip Balm for persistent cold sore relief).
Even when I was in my teens, I suffered pretty serious bouts of inflammatory, painful acne. My skin has just always embodied all of my troubles throughout my life, from hormonal fluctuations in my youth to the stressors that occur with age and responsibility. So, if cod liver oil could help me to just make my skin calm down in general, I was willing and ready to try it out.
These persistent outbreaks seem to mostly coincide with two things. Excessive heat exposure and sweating – I happen to love hot yoga – is one of them. Another is stress. As I would sit at my home office desk and nervously sweat as I problem-solved throughout the day in my 9 to 5, I noticed that my highest stress periods would trigger these rashes. Related: How Managing Stress Helps Slow the Aging Process
Cod Liver Oil – Promotes Overall Good Skin Health
While cod liver oil is mostly promoted as a brain, nervous system and heart health booster, as with a lot of other nutritional supplements, it has other “side benefits”. Why is it superior to regular every day fish oil supplements? Well, it is oil extracted from the liver organ of the codfish. It is supposedly more of a pure and potent form that is not likely to be as tainted or spoil as quickly as your run of the mill fish oil supplement.
Of course this superior quality also results in a higher price tag. However, if you compare the general honest reviews of people who are taking cod liver oil to those that are taking regular fish oil, it’s clear who the winner is. Now let’s get to why it can really be beneficial for a multitude of skin issues.
First off, it provides a very pure and potent form of skin softening, brightening omega 3 fatty acids. Many of us do not realize how deficient we are in these crucial acids. They really help to maintain radiant skin health by keeping everything naturally “lubricated” and flexible. So in this regard, it is much like the MSM that we use as one of our main ingredients in the best selling Nourish & Hydrate Face Cream. This includes not only your skin which happens to be your largest organ, but also your joints, cartilage and muscles. The brand I landed on using for its good reviews and high quality is Jigsaw Alaskan Cod Liver Oil as pictured above. I'm very happy with that decision so far.
The fact that cod liver oil also has naturally occurring vitamins A and D just boosts the overall efficacy of the product to address this multitude of issues. The vitamin A presence probably helps to explain it’s superior skin health boosting abilities too. Vitamin A is incredibly important to your skin health, and it’s best to get this vitamin via natural sources as opposed to synthetic as the synthetic version can build to toxic levels in the body.
Remember, vitamin A is actually the basis of retinol products, so it has some serious skin health implications, and it really is beneficial when you take it internally, but in the most wholesome and natural way. I believe getting it through cod liver oil supplementation is the healthiest way.
My Experience with Cod Liver Oil for My Own Skin Issues
As I previously stated, I’ve been on the cod liver oil for about 8 weeks at the time of this writing. I didn’t notice much at first other than the occasionally fleeting and only slightly unpleasant “fish burp”. However, I really started to notice a difference about two weeks ago. I didn’t even connect it to the fact that I’d been on the supplement for several weeks (at first), however I noticed my skin seemed to be much more radiant. Related: Red Light LED Therapy: My Review and Experience Part I.
It also seemed like my skin was burning much less when I was exposed to the sunlight for a period of time. I am mostly of European/Irish descent, so I have fair skin that has always been prone to sunburn. So this was a really pleasant side effect. I also seemed to actually tan better believer it or not! Normally my skin would get pink or red, and any color I enjoyed from the sun would fade within a day or two.
Now I seem to get a deeper color, and only really red if I’ve been exposed for hours – example I was recently on vacation and was on a lake in a raft under full sun for 5 hours. I did get red in some small areas but this was pretty extreme sun exposure. Even then, the redness faded extremely quickly and it transfers into a nice tan without peeling. Many people have reported that cod liver oil has helped immensely (over time of course) with skin pigmentation issues like sunspots, uneven pigmentation and overall skin tone.
Overall, I cannot attribute this seemingly “built in sunscreen” to anything other than the corresponding factor of taking the cod liver oil regularly. I had read about this side benefit before, however I put little stock in it until I started to notice the difference it made in my skin’s ability to defend against sunburn.
The Persistent Skin Bumps and Rashes - GONE
And last but not least. The biggest reason I started taking it in the first place. The bumps and rashes that plagued me have pretty much just vanished. This is definitely due to the code liver oil. I noticed it about 6 weeks in too. This must have given my body time to build the levels of the omega 3’s and vitamins A and D so they could work their proverbial magic.
The bumps that would crop up on my back and stay there are completely gone. After months of trying to figure out what it was, trying various supplements and even switching out my detergents, this supplement has really provided me relief when it comes to my persistent rashes. I also notice my skin just looks smoother on my face, and more evenly toned. As I stated previously, it really has given my 47 year-old skin a nice radiance boost from within.
If you are interested in trying this supplement, just one last piece of my own personal experience. To save money since cod liver oil can be pricey, I started off the first week taking the recommended 3 soft gel dosage. This was to build my blood levels up more quickly.
Then I tapered off to two soft gels per day. I take them with lunch usually, or if I forget I will take them with dinner. I don’t take them on an empty stomach. I still noticed the benefits after 8-10 weeks of this consistent supplementation, even without taking the recommended full dosage.
As if the skin health benefits weren’t enough, here are some other anecdotal benefits that people have reported from using code liver oil supplements:
- Mood booster and depression remedy
- Liver function
- Skin, hair and nail health
- Joint health
- Brain function/helps with focus/concentration and may help w/ brain fogs (read also Rosemary oil for Anxiety Relief and Focus)
- Nervous system function
- Immune function
- Boosts blood levels of crucial vitamin D and vitamin A
- Excellent for your dog’s overall health and promoting a beautiful coat
- Some report it’s a great sleep aid (that one’s new to me!)
- Calms inflammation – inflammation is a cause of a multitude of health issues, including a ton of skin health issues
- May benefit muscle building
- Arthritis relief
- Dental and Gum Health