Glowing Skin Starts with GLA

November 8, 2013
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

GLA omega-6 for glowing skinThe right omega fats relieve dry, itchy skin.

Targeted ultra-hydrating skin care ingredients on the inside—and on the outside—can visibly combat the dehydrating, drying effects of the fall and winter seasons.

Biologically, the skin requires a steady supply of the omega-6 essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) to stay supple and smooth. GLA helps to trap moisture and prevents water from disappearing from the surface of the skin. It is an unsung beauty-fier and beautifies from the inside out—a perfect complement to the newest skin products which actually add topical oil to the complexion.

Without sufficient GLA, cellular membranes cannot retain moisture, leaving the skin with a dry, rough appearance. A GLA deficit can cause weakened capillaries and increased water loss, resulting in itching, scaliness and dry, wrinkle-prone skin. When I test my clients with a blood test that measures overall omega status, I find a startling 9 out of 10 are very GLA deficient.

Relief for Eczema or Psoriasis

And for those suffering from a more severe condition like eczema or psoriasis, research suggests GLA deficiency may be to blame. There have been a number of clinical studies which support the use of GLA for psoriasis and eczema—two conditions which impact nearly 20% of all Americans—to one degree or another. The good news is that this omega-6 can offer speedy, safe relief—without the use of dangerous steroid drugs.

Essential fatty acid researcher Artur Klimaszewski, MD, has found that, in eczema, the conversion of dietary linoleic acid- found in common vegetable oils- to GLA is impaired. This results in a lower level of healing omega-6 oil to the skin, which causes itching and inflammation. Fortunately, “a patient with eczema can supplement the diet with GLA to restore the levels of its beneficial metabolites,” he says.

Twelve-week placebo-controlled human trials at the University of Italy demonstrate dramatic reduction of eczema symptoms with GLA. At the end of supplement therapy, itching decreased 90% and vesicles (watery bubbles) were reduced by 40% while oozing also improved greatly.

My Go-To for Beauty Inside and Out

I’ve been recommending GLA since the early 1980s when I began witnessing firsthand the remarkable healing and beautifying effects it produces. My patients have happily reported clear improvement in a wide variety of common skin conditions ranging from garden variety dry skin patches to eczema to psoriasis. GLA is a natural of acne, too—it inhibits the androgens (or male steroid hormones) thought to cause skin disorders, like acne, common baldness, and seborrhea.  As a natural anti-inflammatory, it has also been shown to restore energy, and improve allergies and other inflammatory conditions.

Inside Out
Internally, I have found that black currant seed oil offers the most balanced form of GLA for long-term use. That’s because black currant also contains a hefty dose of the Omega-3s, preventing inflammatory prostaglandin production that can occur with an abundance of omega-6s in the diet.

I strongly recommend preformed biologically active sources like GLA-90, which contains 90 mg of GLA from black currant seed oil. Not only will it moisturize skin, helping to relieve eczema and psoriasis, GLA-90 also reduces morning stiffness. For red itchy skin and other inflammatory problems, adults can take two capsules twice daily, preferably with meals or as directed by a health care professional.

Outside In
Terrific for people of all ages, including infants, the topical application of omega-6 essential fatty acids like those in GLA result in more luminous, smoother and firmer skin day in and day out. In two weeks, study participants even noticed how omega-6s can help strengthen the intracellular moisture barrier preventing water loss from the skin and also reduced redness and inflammation.

Camelina sativa seed oil and sea buckthorn oil are two of the hottest omega oils on the market today. They are included in the BeauCle Purifying Cleanser, Ultra Hydrating Moisture and Corrective Crème. A source of both omega-6 and omega-3, camelina sativa seed oil has long been used as a treatment for serious skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Sea buckthorn (with more than 130 studies in its own right) raises the beauty bar by providing additional therapeutic properties. Its beauty-rich supply of omega-3, -6,-7 and -9 not only promotes flawless skin, but also assists in collagen development of the skin with its rarified omega-7 content.

BeauCle also features an array of healing and beautifying ingredients meticulously selected from around the world to rebuild, heal, and soothe the skin like hydrating aloe,  firming jojoba, soothing calendula, arnica, cucumber and white tea; silky amino acids and high performance marine proteins to fortify and visibly reduce wrinkles, cosmeceuticals like Centipeda cunninghammi to promote cellular renewal and healing with oil-soluble vitamin C to brighten and lighten those brown spots.

Dry, itchy skin will be a thing of the past when amazing omega-6s become part of your daily regimen!


*For a limited time, get 30% OFF all BeauClé Skin Care products and Free Shipping with the purchase of the BeauClé Skin Care Trio!* 


Sources: Eat Fat, Lose Weight

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. mary

    Is there soy in GLA-90?

    • Ann Louise

      Hi Mary:

      No soy in the GLA-90 I am happy to report!

  2. Soul

    What a pleasant surprise. I’ve found the anti aging omega 6 GLA oils such as borage,EPO and blackcurrent helpful for my skin too. It’s been many years since I’ve actively taken good amounts of them, but with the articles mention will have to add this to my list of supplements. Nice to see that there is a GLA blood test also.

    Something else that has been a nice surprise when it comes to appearing younger has been earthing/grounding. I remember reading about that, that skin tone will often take a more youthful appearance after grounding for awhile. Didn’t expect much when I began barefoot walking in this area. It wasn’t a big concern but happy to report that I do see a difference. I probably look the proverbial 10 years younger – most the time. Much of my appearance also depends upon my special diet. It’s a work in progress, as it is tailored to an IBD condition.

    That is something that would be nice about grounding, if there was an easy medical test one can take to measure its helpfulness. I guess there is the blood thinning zeta potential test, but that seems to be an oddity.

  3. Ann Louise

    Hello Soul: Thank you for your comments. I have been writing about essential fatty acids for years and find that while many individuals take an Omega 3 supplement, the “good” Omega 6 GLA is often neglected. GLA was very popular in the 1980’s and early ’90s — its time for a comeback! Earlier studies also indicate how helpful GLA is for weight reduction.

    With regard to earthing/grounding, you will find a host of studies in Clint Ober’s earthing book. The earth is teeming with an unlimited supply of electrons that can neutralize free radicals in the body when one is grounded.

    I have personally seen visual before and after differences with live blood cell analysis that demonstrates how grounding is very oxygenating to the blood and prevents stickiness and stacking of red blood cells.

    Sleeping with special”earthing” bed sheets and using convenient grounding devices (mats and wristbands) when on the computer are additional ways to help ground/protect/rejuvenate the body. Please visit for more info on the latest technology of earthing products that anybody can use and will find especially helpful if they can’t always use the old fashioned barefoot method of connecting to the earth.

  4. Lisa

    How much GLA should one take as a daily supplement?

    • Ann Louise

      Hi Lisa: 360 mg of GLA is my recommended dosage but you can take up to 1 – 2 grams per day! The GLA content can be found on the back of any black currant seed oil, evening primrose oil, or borage seed oil bottle.

      • Tia

        just came back from my naturopath. For active skin issues, such as eczema, psoriasis, hives etc. A person may take 3-4 grams a day until the active skin issue resolves and then cut back on the dose.

  5. jessica

    i wil try to use, thanks for sharing this info, it is really hepful….

  6. Liam

    Hey, I was just wondering if there were any other specific EFAs that were commonly deficient(other than say just Omega 3 for instance)?

    • Team ALG

      Americans tend to get plenty of Omega 6, sometimes even too much as it is prevalent in vegetable cooking oils and butter replacement spreads. Omega 6 from healthy sources like black currant seed oil, borage oil, and evening primrose oil is much different as it offers many health benefits, yet it still needs to be balanced with Omega 3 fatty acids.

      • Team ALG

        What Fat Flush Phase are you in, Janine?

  7. Kajal

    Can we apply GLA 120 capsules oil on face directly?

    • Team ALG

      Yes you can apply GLA directly to your skin. It has many benefits.

  8. Sue

    I want to try black currant oil for my son because of his severe eczema, but he cannot take gelatin softgels because he has a tic disorder and gelatin is one of the things that bring on his tics. Is it okay to open the softgels and take the oil orally?

  9. Team ALG

    Yes Sue you can open the soft gels and take the GLA directly. I’ve done it and doesn’t taste too bad.

  10. Karena Gacek

    I am just tuning into this now. I’m pregnant for the 3rd time and have been experiencing psoriasis and ezcema for the first time in my life. Is this form of GLA safe for pregnancy? Also, I’ve seen other forms such as borage see oil. Is that form safe?

    Thank you!

    • Ann Louise Gittleman

      Team ALG here: This is made from Black Current Seed oil which is considered safe during pregnancy.


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