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Flaxseeds also contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that are especially useful in promoting healthy skin cells. (3) Ancient Ayurvedic texts claim that flaxseeds help reduce acne scars, lighten dark spots, improve skin texture, etc. (4)
Flaxseeds come from a blue flowering plant that is found in almost all continents. Flaxseed oil and flaxseed gel are commercially available in most cities for convenient use.
Flaxseed Benefits in Skin Care
The benefits of flaxseeds for your skin include:
1. Controls acne
Flaxseeds contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and fiber. All these compounds promote healthy skin and help treat acne.
Fiber helps increase collagen levels in the skin to promote the formation of new skin cells. Flaxseeds can also reduce hormonal acne due to their estrogen-regulating properties. (5)
2. Improves complexion
Flaxseeds help reduce hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and dark spots. Their omega-3 fatty acids give the skin a natural glow and keep it hydrated.
3. Rejuvenates the skin
Flaxseeds promote skin healing and rejuvenation of skin cells. They help cleanse the skin surface, get rid of blackheads, and exfoliate your skin.
4. Firm the skin
Flaxseeds help boost collagen levels in the skin due to their fatty acid and antioxidant content, making your skin firm and youthful.
5. Prevent fine lines and wrinkles
6. Minimize large pores
Flaxseeds contain nutrients that rejuvenate the skin, which helps minimize pores and tones the skin.
7. Soothe irritated skin
The anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseeds help soothe skin irritation and itchiness.
8. Helps in moisturization
Flaxseeds are excellent moisturizers due to their omega-3 fatty acid content. These fatty acids help seal in moisture in the skin’s upper layer, giving you soft and smooth skin.
9. Offers sun protection
Flaxseeds contain a large amount of antioxidants that help protect your skin from free radical damage caused by sun exposure. (7) They also contain omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent UV damage to the skin.
Flaxseed Benefits for Hair
Flaxseeds are also particularly useful for your hair. Their beneficial effects include:
1. Prevent split ends
Flaxseeds make your hair strong due to their high nutrient content. Thus, they play a direct role in preventing split ends and hair breakage. (8)
2. Stop premature graying
Since flaxseeds are loaded with antioxidants, they can help prevent premature graying of hair and keep them shiny and healthy for longer.
3. Treat dandruff
Flaxseeds help balance the pH levels of your hair and control excess oil production, thus reducing dirt and dandruff on the scalp.
4. Reduce hair thinning
Flaxseeds help reduce hair loss and thinning by nourishing the hair follicles. (8)
5. Strengthen hair from the roots
Flaxseeds are rich in vitamin B complex, which help strengthen the hair and increase hair growth.
6. Reduce scalp inflammation
Flaxseeds contain some antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce scalp itching and irritation. (9)
7. Promote hair growth
Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids that soften and moisturize your hair. Omega-3 fatty acids also promote blood circulation in the scalp to nourish the hair follicles and increase hair growth.
8. Reduce brittleness
Flaxseed oil helps lock in moisture in your hair strands to give you soft and smooth hair. This property is especially beneficial for people suffering from dry or brittle hair.
9. Loaded with vital nutrients
Flaxseeds contain many essential nutrients needed for healthy hair growth, including vitamin B, magnesium, copper, and iron. (10) These nutrients help increase hair elasticity and length.
10. Enrich hair with vitamin E
Flaxseeds are rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce free radical damage to the scalp. Consuming and applying vitamin E to your hair can help strengthen it and give it a natural shine.
Ways to Use Flaxseeds
There are several ways to use flaxseeds for your skin and hair.
For the skin:
1. Consume flaxseeds
- Raw flaxseeds are rich in many nutrients, including fiber and protein. (11) You can sprinkle flaxseeds over your salads, stir-fries, soups, etc.
- Ground flaxseeds powder can also be added to your cereal and other meals.
- Crushed or powdered flaxseeds can be stored in an airtight container and added to any food of your choice. They can be used in baking, cooking, making smoothies, etc.
- Flaxseed oil (1 teaspoon) can be added to a bowl of yogurt.
2. Apply flaxseeds to your skin
a. Flaxseed oil massage
Flaxseed oil can be used to massage the skin to moisturize it. It can also be used as a natural makeup remover.
- Wash your face or the area you want to massage.
- Lightly massage 4–5 drops of flaxseed oil on the area with your fingertips using gentle, rubbing motions.
- Continue massaging for at least 5 minutes for best results.
b. Flaxseed cream
Flaxseed gel can be used along with shea butter to make a flaxseed cream. This cream can be used to soothe skin irritation, reduce redness, and moisturize your skin.
- Melt 1 tbsp of shea butter in a saucepan.
- Add 1 tbsp of flaxseed gel and vitamin E oil from 1 capsule to the saucepan. Mix until well combined.
- Apply this mixture as a moisturizer and let it rest until fully absorbed.
c. Flaxseed mask with honey and moringa leaf powder
A flaxseed and honey mask is a must-have for people suffering from acne. Honey is a natural antibiotic that helps kill acne-causing bacteria on the skin. Flaxseeds help reduce acne scars and brighten the skin tone.
This is a moisturizing mask that helps give your skin a healthy glow.
- Mix 1 tbsp of flaxseed gel, 3 tbsp of cucumber water, 1 tsp of honey, (12) and ½ tbsp of moringa leaf powder in a bowl.
- Apply this paste evenly to your face.
- Let it rest for 15–20 minutes until it dries up.
- Wash it off with water.
d. Flaxseed scrub
Honey and flaxseeds can also be used as a scrub. It is a natural exfoliant that brightens the skin tone and helps get rid of acne scars.
- Mix 1 tbsp of flaxseed powder and 1 tbsp of honey to form a paste.
- Wash your face with a mild cleanser.
- Gently scrub your face with this paste for at least 4–5 minutes.
- Rinse your face with cool water.
e. Flaxseed exfoliating scrub
You can also use flaxseed oil mixed with a teaspoon of sea salt as an exfoliating scrub.
For the hair:
1. Flaxseed hair oil
- Heat 2 tbsp of flaxseed oil until warm.
- Massage the lightly warmed oil onto your scalp and hair using your fingers.
- Wrap a hot, damp towel around your hair. Leave it on for about half an hour.
- Wash it off with a mild shampoo.
2. Flaxseed and coconut oil hair mask
Flaxseeds and coconut oil are an excellent combination to use on your hair. It nourishes the scalp and gives your hair a silky, smooth touch.
- Boil ¼ cup of flaxseeds in 2 cups of water, stirring regularly, until you see white froth on the surface.
- Strain the water and leave it to cool.
- Heat 2 cups of coconut oil and add the flaxseed water to it. Boil it until the mixture thickens.
- After cooling, massage this mask evenly onto your hair and scalp.
- Let it rest for 2–3 hours before washing off.
- Rinse with a mild shampoo.
3. Egg and flaxseed oil hair mask
Eggs are a great source of protein for your hair. They help make your hair shiny and strong. Flaxseeds help add moisture to the hair.
Fenugreek seeds help cleanse your scalp and reduce dandruff.
- Soak 2 tsp of fenugreek seeds overnight and grind them to form a paste the next morning.
- Separate the egg yolk of one from the egg white (unless you have dry hair). Beat the egg white well.
- Add the fenugreek paste, 1 tsp of ground coffee, and 2 tbsp of flaxseed oil to it and mix them well.
- Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave it on for 15–20 minutes.
- Wash it off with a mild shampoo.
4. Hydrating flaxseed and banana hair mask
This hydrating hair mask contains yogurt, bananas, and flaxseeds to help lock in moisture in your hair strands and give you soft, shiny hair.
- Grind 2 tsp of flaxseeds to a powder.
- Mash 1 ripe banana in a bowl. Add the flaxseed powder, 1 tsp of yogurt, and 1 tsp of carrier oil (almond/olive/coconut oil) to it and mix well.
- Apply the hair mask evenly to your scalp and hair.
- Leave it to rest for a couple of hours before washing off with a mild shampoo.
- Repeat at least once or twice a week.
Flaxseeds are a naturally occurring plant product and hence cause minimal side effects. However, always perform a patch test before using flaxseeds in your skin or hair.
Discontinue use if you have an allergic reaction. Do not consume flaxseeds in excessive amounts as this may lead to an upset stomach.
Nutritional Value of Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds contain large amounts of iron, calcium, copper, soluble fiber, lignans, (8) magnesium, folate, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, trace quantities of boron, etc.
Unfortunately, a lot of these nutrients are lost while extracting the oil. Hence, it is better to consume ground flaxseeds than flaxseed oil.
Flaxseeds are especially beneficial for females as they are the largest natural source of lignans, which are compounds that help regulate estrogen levels in the body.
1 tablespoon of flaxseeds contains:
Most-Asked Questions About Flaxseeds
Do flaxseeds stop hair loss?
Yes, flaxseeds are known to strengthen your hair and reduce hair fall. They contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins C and B, all of which promote healthy hair.
Make sure to perform a patch test before applying anything onto your scalp. Wash off the flaxseed immediately if you have an allergic reaction.
What are the health benefits of flaxseeds?
Flaxseeds are rich in vitamins, beneficial fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants. All of these nutrients are useful in improving your general health.
- Packed with omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids can be helpful in controlling high blood pressure.
- Manage blood sugar: Flaxseeds contain lignans that may help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.
- Beneficial for female health issues: Flaxseeds are known to boost female fertility by promoting ovulation and regulating the hormone cycle. They also improve your chances of conception.
- Helps in digestion: Flaxseeds contain large amounts of fiber, which helps in the digestion process. They can be consumed daily (in limited amounts) to improve your digestion.
- Good for losing weight: Flaxseeds contain high amounts of antioxidants and very few carbohydrates. Hence, they are very beneficial for people who want to lose weight.
What happens if flaxseeds are consumed daily?
You can consume 1–2 tablespoons of flaxseeds daily. However, make sure to start with smaller amounts and do not exceed the limit as it may lead to stomach problems such as bloating, diarrhea, or stomach ache.
Can I use flaxseed gel on my face daily?
Yes, flaxseed gel can be used twice a day every day. Apply it after putting moisturizer on your face.
How long can I preserve DIY flaxseed gel?
Flaxseed gel can be stored in the refrigerator and used for up to 1 week.
Flaxseeds are a powerhouse of antioxidants and nutrients. Using flaxseed gel on your skin and hair can help rejuvenate your dermal cells, boost hair growth, and improve collagen levels.
Flaxseed oil is also a commonly used hair care item in many households. However, ground flaxseed powder remains the best way to incorporate flaxseeds into your skin care routine as it retains all the nutritional value of the seed.
Contact a doctor immediately if you develop any rash, severe itching, or inflammation after using flaxseed gel as these can be symptoms of an allergic reaction.