Follow Me


Simone Rose offers botanical skin therapy and holistic skincare coaching from her tranquil salon in Birkdale, Auckland – Simone Rose Organic Face and Body. She delves deep into her clients’ diet and lifestyle to get to the root of their skin conditions, healing them from within. Bestow Beauty plays an important role in her holistic approach, giving Simone the tools to supplement topical products and lifestyle adjustments with powerful skin nutrition remedies. 

Here is an inspiring case-study of transformation that came about from Simone working closely and compassionately with a client who was struggling with acne.

Simone Rose Soothing Mist

Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster of Clearing Acne

When Louisa first came to see me she was very insecure about her skin and was at an emotionally low ebb.

Her skin was sensitive with extreme congestion and she wanted to heal her skin in a natural way. Louisa was very motivated to repair her skin, doing everything that I asked her to do, from topical skincare to lifestyle and diet changes.

It took six months for Louisa’s skin to clear and at the halfway mark her skin got worse before it got better. The comedones on her face had to turn into full blown pimples before they could heal, which was a learning experience for me as well as a challenging journey for Louisa. While we worked together, I had to not only rely on my knowledge as a holistic beauty therapist, but I had to be sensitive and compassionate, encouraging Louisa every step of the way to keep her moving forward.

A Holistic Skincare Strategy
Topical Approach

Louisa adopted a morning and evening routine using the Janesce botanical skincare range. Each morning she soaked her skin with warm water, sprayed the Soothing Mist, applied a cocktail of Janesce Soothing Mist and Janesce Lavender Oil, and then applied Janesce Suncare lotion to finish. She used the Janesce Rose Cleanser in the evening and then repeated the rest of her morning routine, minus the Suncare lotion.

A few months in, when her comedones turned into pimples, we added the Janesce Gentle Clearing Wash three times a week. The Gentle Clearing Was is great for treating pimples by reducing inflammation and speeding up the healing process. By now her skin was hydrated and stronger, better equipped to cope with this stronger product.

I also gave Louisa an extraction facial treatment every three weeks.

Internals – Diet Changes, Bestow Beauty and Supplements

Louisa kept a food journal which she emailed to me weekly so we could improve her diet and eliminate congesting foods. She swapped peanut and almond butter for tahini, to be used sparingly. She switched from ghee to coconut oil. We cut down her fruit intake, avoiding it completely it the mornings.

Louisa was drinking too much water, so I cut this down and recommended that she remove drinks completely at meal time. Louisa took two tablespoons of Bestow Beauty Plus Oil each day either in porridge, smoothie or salad dressing. She took one tablespoon of Bestow Be Cleansed Powder each day in either her porridge or smoothie. Louisa found the Bestow Savour recipe book a helpful guide on her journey to making nourishing, skin-friendly meals at home.

In terms of supplements, Louisa took Janesce Zinc Repair, B complex vitamin and took one teaspoon of the Janesce Aperitif before each meal.

Lifestyle Changes

Because Louisa was so stressed about her skin, I sent her to a Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) Doctor which is a very gentle but powerful method of chiropractic care that helps your body learn how to better regulate spine and life tensions, creating sustainable improvements in your spinal flexibility, body awareness and overall wellbeing.

Joyous Milestones Along the Way

The first sign we were on the right track was when I extracted a comedone and it came out clean with no extra angry, sticky fluid. The Bestow Oil and B complex were working well to create a healthier sebum. Each facial after that there were fewer and fewer comedones to extract, plus the internals were strengthening Louisa’s skin from within.

Challenges and Setbacks Are Part of the Process

Three months into the journey Louisa’s skin looked worse than at the beginning! I realised every single comedone had to form into a pimple before it went away.

Aware that this setback could be discouraging, I asked Janine Tait to write Louisa a note assuring her she was in good hands. I also spoke to Jenny Barrow about her journey to get rid of congestion and she was kind enough to forward me her before and after photos. It took Jenny eight months to clear her skin and she had to be completely free of all congesting foods to get there.

Armed with these tools I was ready for the very emotional Louisa who turned up at my door and I was able to encourage her to continue her journey.

When Things Get Worse Before They Get Better

Janine Tait knows as well as anyone that when it comes to congestion, skin often has to hit rock bottom before it can improve. By understanding why this happens, therapists can maintain a good relationship with their clients in the face of break-outs.

“With acne and congested skin, there are many open and closed comedones present. Comedones form when sebum thickens and blocks the pore. Because they are not red or inflamed, these comedones fly under the radar of the immune-system’s awareness.

Once you start to repair the skin and it becomes soft and supple with sebum that flows, the body becomes aware of blockages and deals with them through the immune system. One by one each comedone turns into a pimple as the skin purges the congested serum. It’s understandable that your client might freak out as this break-out occurs, but it actually signifies progress!

Once that pimples clears and heals that pore is now ‘free’ for the first time in a long time. You just have to help your client to understand what is going on and support them emotionally as they deal with the challenges of facing the world each day through this break-out stage.”

~ Janine Tait

Louisa Today – A Radiant Woman with Radiant Skin

Today, Louisa’s skin is strong, clear and radiant. She is very happy and turns up to her facial appointments with a big smile. She chats cheerfully right up to the moment I start the massage. Without the worries about her skin, she is strong enough to welcome new and exciting challenges into her life.

From this personal journey, Louisa developed a passion for natural health. She quit her job and has started studying naturopathy – she is so excited about the future!

My Learnings as a Skincare Therapist

This is the first time I’ve experienced congestion that has to turn into a pustule before going away, so it was a real learning experience as a beauty therapist.

This case drove home the importance of a holistic approach: I could never have healed Louisa without looking internally.

I also learnt that skin disorders affect people emotionally, they can make a person feel so insecure that it’s all consuming. Because Louisa was so anxious about her skin, I needed to show deep compassion, while sharing my knowledge and lots of patience.

A Word From Louisa

“After struggling with skin problems for two years and having no success at healing, I am so thankful that I found Simone! I wanted to find a natural way of healing myself and Simone had the answers.

After my initial consultation with Simone I felt so much anxiety lift off my shoulders. She really listened to me and was very understanding about how my skin was affecting me mentally and emotionally. I knew I was in safe and healing hands.

Simone has taught me so much about my skin and how to care for it both internally and externally. She is extremely knowledgeable and her passion for helping and healing others shines through in everything that she does. Simone was there for me every step of the way with support, encouragement and patience.

I get so excited when my next appointment is coming up. Her studio is beautiful and her treatments leave me feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Simone has a professional, warm and friendly approach and always makes me feel comfortable.”

– Louisa Pridham

  • May 29, 2018

I love reading case studies from our amazing Janesce Skincare therapists. Hearing about client’s skincare journeys has reminded me of what an emotional rollercoaster it can be treating acne or congestion. Why? Because the skin often gets worse before it gets better! Eeek!

This can seriously challenge the confidence of even the most experienced skin health therapist. And, there is always the danger that it will undermine your client’s trust in you. As her skin gets worse under your care, the question inevitably rises, “does my therapist really know what she is doing?”

I’d like to support you in this process.

By providing education and advance-warning  you can reduce the volatility of the emotional rollercoaster and smooth the acne healing pathway for you and your client.

Firstly, let’s look at the skin science.

Why Does It Get Worse Before It Gets Better?

With acne and congested skin, there are many open and closed comedones present.  Comedones form when sebum thickens and blocks the pore. Because they are not red or inflamed, these comedones fly under the radar of the immune-system’s awareness. It’s as though the body doesn’t even know the comedones are there so it doesn’t expend any effort trying to purge them from the skin.

What Causes Comedones in the First Place?

Comedones will be present due to one or a combination of the following factors:

  1. A genetic sensitivity to congesting foods (like chocolate, cheese, cashews etc.)
  2. An EFA deficiency (EFA’s help produce a free-flowing sebum)
  3. A deficiency in certain B vitamins (B-vitamins must be present for EFA’s to work)
  4. Perspiration drying on the skin (The salts the perspiration contains blocks the pores).
  5. A stripped, dehydrated stratum corneum (The skin lacks flexibility which inhibits the free flow of sebum to the surface of the skin)
  6. The use of comedogenic products (Some make-up products physically block the pores)

Once you address all of the above factors, the skin will stop producing new comedones.

What Happens to the Comedones That Are Already Present?

Well, for some lucky people, they simply disappear!  One minute they are there and the next time you look, they’re gone.  If only that was the case for all of our clients! Unfortunately it is more likely to be one of the following two scenarios that plays out.

  1. Comedones Turn Into Papules and Pustules

Once the skin becomes soft and supple (through topical hydration) and the sebum starts flowing (with the elimination of congesting foods and addition of EFA’s and B Complex), the body becomes aware of blockages and deals with them through the immune system.

One by one each comedone turns into a pimple as the skin purges the congested sebum. It’s common for your client to freak out as this break-out occurs, but it actually signifies progress! Once that pimples clears and heals that pore is now ‘free’ for the first time in a long time. You just have to help your client to understand what is going on and support them emotionally as they deal with the challenges of facing the world each day through this break-out stage.

  1. Comedones Remain as Historical Congestion

Some client’s skins are genetically predisposed to more stubbornly hold onto blockages and the existing comedones continue to sit there as ‘historical congestion’. This can take many months to clear.  In Jenny Barrow’s case, her skin which had been deeply congested for 15 years took eight months to clear – and she did everything we told her perfectly!  In these cases continued commitment, encouragement and patience is required.


Jenny Barrow: 8 month transformation



Extraction Facials Speed The Process

In both of these situations I cannot over-emphasize the power of extraction facials to speed up the skin-clearing process. This is a far quicker and less distressing way to manage the skin-clearing process than letting nature run its course and produce break-outs.

How to Perform A Skin Healing Extraction Facial

Once your client’s skin is supple with hydration and the sebum has started to soften with dietary intervention, your client will be ready for an extraction facial treatment. This will take a minimum of two weeks of skincare/dietary care and possibly longer.

  • Begin with Janesce Rose Cleanser
  • Soak the skin really well with a warm lavender compress.
  • Massage Janesce Gentle Enzyme Peel into face for five minutes and remove with warm cloth.
  • Apply Janesce Gentle Clearing Wash, gently press it in to the skin with damp hands for leave 5 minutes and remove with warm cloth.
  • If you have a vapozone or steamer, use this to soften the skin further.
  • Prevent the skin from dehydrating with the application of the Rose Petal Mist.
  • Extract comedones using a comedone extractor or two cotton buds. If a comedone proves to be difficult to remove, don’t force it out, as this will damage the skin. Leave it for next time – it’s just not ready yet.
  • Finish your session with a lymphatic-type massage using a cocktail of Soothing Mist and Calendula Concentrate. These two products will leave a fine, healing, protective film on the skin and you won’t need to apply an oil or moisturizer.

Warn Your Client In Advance

It is a really good idea is to warn your client about the possibility that their skin may get worse before it gets better when they first begin their programme with you. With understanding comes acceptances and patience.

Knowing what to expect will help your client to mentally prepare for whatever happens and will make her more emotionally resilient in the face of the inevitable ups and downs that will occur.  If the worst happens, rather than thinking, “does my therapist know what she is doing?,” she will instead think, “ah, my therapist said this might happen, and she was right.”

This will continue to build the confidence and trust that is at the heart of every successful change partnership.

I look forward to hearing about your success stories!

  • May 8, 2018

Wither(def): to fade away, decline or become weakened

Most Friday mornings I can be found at a local café in the company of a group of fellow business owners. We discuss our challenges, share solutions and celebrate the triumphs in our businesses.  I have learnt so much from them over the years, even from people with very different businesses to mine.

Last Friday, an owner of a chain of veterinary clinics, introduced us to a business communication issue he described as “offering withering advice”. We all looked a little perplexed (as I imagine you might be now!) until he explained further.  What he meant by that was he had realised it was vital that the advice his vets offered pet owners in a consultation was followed through with a concrete ‘call to action’.

For example, every vet knows that a regular vaccination plan is essential to the health of the animal. This is communicated to the pet owner verbally when they bring their pet in for an appointment. However, if this recommendation isn’t followed up by an offer to book the vaccinations at the reception desk, or with follow-up emails or postal reminders when vaccinations are due, this once vital piece of advice withers – it shrivels and fades away because the pet owner was not given a concrete opportunity to act on it.

This business owner in my Friday morning group felt that if the vets really did believe that a vaccination plan is vitally important for the pet’s health, then they needed to follow it through with a strong reminder plan, giving the pet owner every opportunity to put the advice into action.

I was stuck by how similar this problem is in our industry. I think many of us offer withering advice if we take a good honest look at ourselves.

How often do we mention a product that would really benefit a client during a facial and then fail to ask the client if she would like to buy it once you get to the counter?  For that matter, how often do you not even mention the product or treatment that you know would best serve your client because you are worried it is too expensive for them?

It’s important to remember that what you can afford to pay for products and treatments is not a good gauge of what your client is willing to pay. Make the recommendations that would best serve them, and then let them take care of their budget decisions.

What would our clinics be like if we changed our attitude and did everything we could to ensure that our clients had every opportunity to follow our best recommendations? 

Would you ever be brave enough to send out reminders to let clients know they are due for a facial treatment?  I wonder what would happen if you did?

If that feels like a step too far, here are a few other ideas to put into practice to ensure your advice is acted on by clients instead of withering away.

  • Always offer to re-book an appointment for your client when you reach the reception desk.
  • If a client does not re-book, send out a follow-up reminder 6-8 weeks after their last appointment.
  • In a facial or consultation, share your best professional advice about how your client’s skin is and what products/treatments you would recommend for them. Don’t make their budget decisions for them. Recommend what they need and let them decide.
  • Provide a written Recommended Product Wish-List for your client.You could say, “These are the products I would love you to be using at home.” If they have any objections around price you could say, “I can work with you to prioritise what is most important from this list.”
  • Provide a personalised written Facial Treatment Plan for your client. Say, “This is what I would recommend to heal and strengthen your skin, or to keep it in optimal health.”
  • Provide clients with a document outlining ‘How often should you have treatments?’ broken down by your various treatments.e. Less than six weeks for all waxing in order to get ahead of the hair re-growth cycle; 6-weekly facial treatments ideally, but seasonally at least. Make it easy for them by promoting a seasonal facial special.
  • Ring clients you haven’t heard from in a while. This is a biggie! I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have done this only to find out that a client has been very sick or has had a stressful or difficult time. They are touched that we cared enough to check in on them. As added bonus, they generally book an appointment as they have often been thinking of picking up the phone anyway.



Remember, that you are the skincare professional and your client relies on you to offer your best advice and follow up on it. Make sure you back your best recommendations and transform potentially withering advice into concrete calls-to-action that enables your client’s skin to be the best it can be!

  • May 8, 2018

Julia O’Gorman is highly respected beauty therapist in New Zealand with over 30 years experience. Janesce botanical skincare and Bestow skin nutrition products are an essential part of her holistic approach to transforming skin. She says that complementing topical skincare with internal support makes a significant difference to the results she can get for clients.

Julia shares her holistic skincare wisdom with us in this inspiring story.

0b4a0708 copy

Meeting Karina 

Karina came to see me to remedy severe acne which flared up after coming off the contraceptive pill. Karina was under extreme stress and her emotional state was fragile: she didn’t go out on weekends and was embarrassed to be seen by her patients in her work as a community nurse. Karina also has PCOS and a pituitary tumour which can wreak havoc on her hormones.

Karina was an enthusiastic client. She lapped up everything I told her and let me coach her around food and lifestyle changes. Her skin got worse before it got better, which was a challenge for both of us! We both dug deep and persevered and within six months we saw massive improvements. Karina got married eight months after we began working together and was a totally different woman – a confident bride with clear, glowing skin.

Here’s a summary of the challenging but transformative journey Karina and I went on to get her to that point!

The Initial Consultation

When I first saw Karina, her skin was dehydrated, highly sensitised, red and inflamed with pustules, blackheads and milia. Karina’s skin was affecting her emotional wellbeing and her confidence and because of this she was ready to make lifestyle and diet changes. She was so excited to start this journey, giving me a big hug before leaving our first consultation. I also felt excited about treating her skin holistically with my beauty tool-kit full of Janesce botanical skincare and Bestow skin nutrition products.

Before 1st Appointment

Our Botanical Topical Approach

I started Karina off with the Janesce Hypersensitive Range to get her skin hydrated and desensitised. I didn’t want to overload her skin, so we started simply with Lavender Soaking Drops, Soothing Mist, the SK1 herbal concentrate and Lavender Aromatic Facial Oil. She was training for a triathlon, so I had her apply Janesce Avocado and Sesame Oil before swimming to protect her face from the harsh chlorine.

Her skin gradually became hydrated and less sensitive. I added a diluted version of the Janesce Gentle Clearing Wash after one month, and after three months I replaced the healing SK1 with the SK6 herbal concentrate to help with oily secretions. As we approached summer, I included the Janesce Suncare lotion.

A Skin Nutrition Strategy

Karina started on the Janesce 7 Days of Me Cleanse. This kickstarted major changes to her diet which had previously been rich in protein powders, mayonnaise, alcohol and orange juice – a combination of heating and congesting foods which were fuelling her acne.

The 7 Days of Me cleanse not only helped her to clean up her diet, but also educated her on the reasons behind those changes and the benefits of a healthy digestive system. The Janesce Seven Days of Me and the Bestow Within I Recipe books provided Karina with plenty of wholesome recipes that suited her new diet. Karina loved her new eating regime and lost 11 kgs in the first six months that we worked together.

Skin Nutrition Supplements + Bestow Beauty Boosters

I prescribed a once-a-day B vitamin supplement and a twice-daily zinc supplement as well as vitamin C to strengthen her capillaries. Following the 7 Days of Me Cleanse, Karina continued to use the Janesce Aperitif and Bestow Beauty Oil. When stubborn constipation wouldn’t go away, we added the Bestow Be Cleansed Powder to support her gut and bowel health, which helped regulate her bowels after a month.


Things Got Worse Before They Got Better! 

Karina’s skin got worse before it got better, which is always challenging for a client desperate for results. Early on, Karina would send me photos of her skin, panicking that it was worse. One day I saw Karina at the local supermarket and my stomach dropped when I saw her skin looking so bad. There were times when I worried that this skin condition would be the one that beat me but neither of us gave up. I reminded myself of all the other people I have journeyed with and that this process always works if you stick with it.

Encouragement, empathy and communication along the way was crucial. When Karina was struggling to face the world, I told her that she had a beautiful soul that shone through and that was what everyone saw, not her skin.

Clinic + Topical Challenges

Karina had monthly facials but I wasn’t able to extract much as she bruised really easily. It added a frustrating challenge as I wanted to help rid her of congestion, but I had to persevere through gentler methods. The relaxing massage element of the facials was the most beneficial for Karina, giving her time to rest, relax and unwind. I also gave Karina acupressure facial massage, which was very effective.

I also realised that Karina was reacting to the Soothing Mist, so I took her off of this and suggested she increase her soaking ritual to three times a day and reapply her oil each time. Her skin healing progress got back on track again after this.

Diet Detective

Partway through the process, we reached a road block with Karina’s skin improvements. Though she thought she was eating well, I dug deeper and found that Karina was eating chicken nibbles. Chicken nibbles are high in saturated fat, which fuelled her acne, so I suggest she switch to leaner chicken breast instead. The skin will always tell you when something is not right – roadblocks force you to put on your detective hat and figure out what is going on.

Karina's Skin Got Worse!

Calming the Mind | Calming the Skin

After few appointments, Karina confided in me how stressful her year had been: her grandfather died, she changed jobs, bought a house with her fiancé and was planning her wedding. This discussion helped me see that Karina was constantly in fight-or-flight mode and her nervous system needed nourishing.

I encouraged Karina to change her exercise regime to more calming options. I suggested she take a break from jogging and swim in the sea instead of the pool. I sent her home with resources for mindfulness and meditation. She took up yoga and added in the Bestow ‘Time for Tea, Time for Me’ ritual which created moments of pause in her day. All of this helped her switch into the parasympathetic nervous system, the body’s rest and repair mode.

After 6 Months

Karina’s Skin Transformation

Today, Karina’s skin is hydrated and smooth and breakouts are rare. She still has some scarring, which we are working on, but she is happy, confident and beautiful – inside and out. 

A huge thank you to Julia who has not only helped me with my skin issues but my overall wellbeing. I was at a very low point in my life when I started seeing Julia, with low self-esteem. With Julia’s guidance, using a combination of regular facial treatments and nutritional support, my skin has never looked better. From a complete diet change to the emotional roller-coaster acne put me through, Julia supported me at each and every step. I have learnt that acne is more than skin deep! I am forever grateful.” – Karina

Lasting Lessons from a Challenging Case

This was a very difficult case but neither of us gave up. I had to keep telling myself to be patient, it can be a slow process but it works. This case also highlighted the enormous impact that a client’s emotional state can have on the skin healing journey. I am currently training in hypnotherapy so that I can better support the emotional aspects of each client’s journey.

This story also reinforced for me the therapist’s role in boosting morale. I listened to Karina and kept encouraging her that it would get better – if she saw my doubts, she would have lost faith. Sometimes this job is hard work emotionally: take care of yourself and be patient, positive and confident in the process. It’s all worth it in the end!  You only need to look at Karina on her wedding day to see the transformation.

  • May 7, 2018


I assume you’ve heard the claims that Omega-6 fuels inflammation?

To be honest, I’m feeling increasingly frustrated about the mis-conceptions surrounding Omega-6. So, I’ve decided to do something about it.  In this article I share my beliefs about Omega-6 and the research and first-hand experiences that have shaped them.

So, here goes.

It has long been accepted by many that Omega-3 and Omega-6 are both important Essential Fatty Acid’s (EFAs) for health and wellbeing. EFA’s are a vital nutritional component in the treatment of skin disorders, which has been at the heart of my work for the last 20 years as a holistic skincare therapist, educator and dermo-nutritionist.

But somewhere along the way, Omega-6 got a bad rep for being pro-inflammatory and is sometimes viewed now with side-ways looks of suspicion.


I am not sure where this message about Omega-6 originated from, but there is a strong body of research that contradicts the pro-inflammatory claim. Perhaps, more importantly, it contradicts what I have witnessed in-clinic in over two decades of working holisitically to heal skin disorders. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

But, let’s step back a few decades.

In the late 1990’s I discovered the missing link between skincare and nutrition and began to transform skin disorders using a holistic approach. In those early days, my Janesce colleagues and I only ever recommended an Omega-6 rich oil to our clients who were suffering from skin disorders like acne or eczema. We didn’t understand the importance of Omega 3 back then so we didn’t prescribe it, but interestingly enough, the skin would still heal.


I remember when the message first filtered through that Omega-6’s were inflammatory. I freaked out and immediately rang my mentor, Janesce founder and naturopath, Janine Sarre-Smith. I asked, “Are we doing the wrong thing?” In her calm way, she said to me, “What do you see in clinic, Janine? What happens to your client’s skins when you give them Omega-6?”

I paused and thought about it. Most skin disorders share a common theme – inflammation.  Whether it is the redness of acne, the irritation of perioral or the red hot appearance of rosacea; the common denominator is very visible inflammation. What I saw with my clients was that when I prescribed omega-6, this inflammation would slowly regress as the skin healed.  That was my answer.

Now, you could argue that I was working from many angles to heal their skin, and you’d be right. I was using anti-inflammatory botanical actives topically, supplying the key nutrients required internally and removing the lifestyle factors that undermine skin health.  So perhaps the skin healed in spite of the omega-6?

I can see how you would think that. But what was really interesting was that my Janesce colleagues and I noticed that even if our client did absolutely everything we asked but didn’t take their Omega-6 oil, their progress would stop in its tracks. It seemed that the Omega-6 had to be present in order for the other factors to play their part. It was only after reintroducing the oil that their skin healing continued.


I want to encourage skincare therapists to trust their in-clinic experiences. Do not under-estimate the advantage and tacit knowledge you have as a skincare practioner who works closely with skin year in and year out. You can see what does and doesn’t work in practise, not what should and shouldn’t work in theory.

So, experience taught me that omega-6 had an anti-inflammatory affect on skin disorders and led me to ask my next question: “why was that?”


EFA deficiency is one of the most common causes of skin problems. When present, EFA’s moisturise the skin from the inside out by nourishing the skin cells at the deepest layer of the epidermis. As this cell progresses to the upper layers of the skin it releases its beautiful oils creating plump, supple, glowing skin.  An EFA deficiency can present as either very oily, very dry skin or a compromised barrier and will exacerbate any inflammatory skin disorder. This is true of Omega 3 and Omega 6.

The Particular Skin Benfits of Omega-6

However, Omega-6 has a very important skin-specific fatty acid that Omega-3 does not contain – linoleic acid.  Linoleic acid is the the primary omega 6 fatty acid (the first link in the chain) and is a key component of an essential ceramide that is required for healthy skin barrier function. Without linoleic acid this ceramide does not form and the skin cannot protect itself from environmental irritants, resulting in an increased risk of skin disorders developing.

Linoleic acid is also required for healthy sebaceous flow. A deficiency can result in open and closed comedones, which exacerbates acne.  Clearly, our skin disorder clients were deficient in this important fatty acid, otherwise we wouldn’t see such a strong correlation between omega-6 supplementation and improvement in skin health.

That’s not to say that omega-3 is not important, of course. It is a very anti-inflammatory oil and its value in working with skin disorders cannot be denied. It’s just that omega-6 has what omega-3 does not, namely Linoeleic Acid, the skin-hero of the EFA family.



Being like a dog with a bone at this point, I still wanted to answer the question:
“But where does the idea that omega 6’s are pro-inflammatory come from?”

I think this chart gives us a clue as to how this mis-conception has become so popular.

As you can see, Omega 3 looks at safe as houses because it only has one production pathway and this results in localised hormones with an anti-inflammatory effect.

Omega-6, on the other hand, has two potential production pathways. The first results in the production of Series 1 prostaglandins (PGE1) which are localised hormones with an anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effect.  So far, so good.

The second pathway results in the production of Series 2 prostaglandins, which are inflammatory and clotting. People see the pathway leading to pro-inflammatory PGE2 and LTBR and freak out.  However, what they don’t realise is that the body will only produce those anti-inflammatory acids, if it needs them.


Pause for a moment to think about it.  When might a pro-inflammatory compound be helpful and even necessary?  If we are wounded, we need clotting and inflammation to heal the wound and prevent us from bleeding out. This pro-inflammatory pathway option is actually vital for our survival.  Once the crisis has passed, the body needs to return to an anti-inflammatory state for healing and repair.

Good quality omega-6 oils are capable of moving between these two states to our advantage.  i.e. They can produce anti-inflammatory acids when needed, and then go back to producing anti-inflammatory acids when the crisis has passed.  However trans-fats and saturated fat sources of omega-6 will always go down the pathway resulting in the production of Series 2 prostaglandins and will indeed be inflammatory.

What conclusion should we draw from this?

I propose that instead of asking: “Should I prescribe omega-6 to my clients?”, we should be asking “Am I prescribing a good quality omega-6 oil to my clients and ensuring it is accompanied by good quality source of omega-3 oil as well?


So what does the research say about the link between inflammation and omega-6?  A well known study by Walter C. Willett, an American physician and nutrition researcher,examining the relationship between omega-6 consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease also investigated the potential link between omega-6 and inflammation (1).The results of the study found that consuming omega-6 decreased your risk of developing heart disease.  It also showed that omega 6 does notincrease the levels of inflammatory markers in the blood.

Other studies have found that diets high in omega-6 sources have a stronger anti-inflammatory affect on the body compared to diets high in saturated fat.This certainly backs up the results I see in clinic where we are dealing with visible, measurable inflammation that dramatically reduces with the introduction of omega-6.

In addition, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health investigated 126,233 participants from two prospective cohort studies, the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (2). The study had a large sample size and undertook repeated and validated measurements of diet and lifestyle over an extended period of follow-up (up to 32 years).

The study found that higher intakes of saturated and trans fats (the bad fats found in chips, fried foods, meat fats etc.) were associated with a greater risk of mortality. In contrast an increased intake of polyunsaturated fats (the healthy fats including omega 3 and 6 found in flaxseed and safflower oil, salmon, avocados etc.) were associated with a lower risk of premature death from any cause including cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease and respiratory disease.

What About Balancing Omega-3 and Omega-6?

Another common misconception is that we need to have an optimum ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. This speculation of an optimum ratio has not been supported by evidence in humans (3). In fact, The Harvard College of Public Health states that the healthiest populations have an abundance of both omega-6 and omega-3 in their diets.

When I first produced and formulated Bestow Beauty Oil as a skin-friendly EFA supplement, I incorporated both omega-3 and omega-6 oils sourced from organic flaxseed and safflower oil.  For a decade now, Bestow Beauty Oil has been supporting many women’s skin health and healing as part of a holistic skincare strategy.


The upshot of all this is that we need to prescribe both omega-3 and omega-6 to our clients for skin health.  The evidence – both in repuatable research and in our hands-on experience in clinic does notsupport the popular misconception that omega-6 is pro-inflammatory.

I feel we need to look to more common irritants like gluten, sugar, alcohol and processed foods as a source of inflammation in our clients’ skins.

But, that is a blog post for another day…

Janine Tait is New Zealand’s leading dermo-nutritionist, the New Zealand distributor/educator for Janesce Skincare and the founder of Bestow Beauty, a wellness company supporting skin transformation through skin nutrition boosters, recipes and rituals. 

1. Willett WC. The role of dietary n-6 fatty acids in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. J Cardiovasc Med. (Hagerstown). 2007; 8 Suppl 1:S42-5

2. Mozaffarian D, Ascherio A, Hu FB, et al. Interplay between different polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease in men. Circulation. 2005; 111:157-64

3. “Specific Dietary Fats in Relation to Total and Cause-Specific Mortality,” Dong D. Wang, Yanping Li, Stephanie E. Chiuve, Meir J. Stampfer, JoAnn E. Manson, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett, and Frank B. Hu, JAMA Internal Medicine, online July 5, 2016, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.2417

  • April 24, 2018