About the Best Thing to Happen to My Skin, Ever

cod liver oil

First let’s talk about what this post is not about. It’s not about cleansers, creams, peels, serums, exfoliants, or masks. It’s not about the latest and greatest cleansing device or a spa treatment more costly than a car payment. It is about acne, clear skin, and a complexion that looks like a genetic jackpot. I’m talking about cod liver oil.

You may be nonplused. So was I when I first learned about cod liver oil. After all, I tried the diet change before with underwhelming success. I also remember when I swallowed fish oil everyday for two months, the “burb-less” variety. Each pill tasted like punishment and regret. I should tell you, cod liver oil is nothing like its fish oil relative.

I chose Carlson’s liquid cod liver oil, which is flavored with lemon. The oil doesn’t taste remotely like fish—more like canola oil with a splash of citrus—so not terrible, but certainly not good enough to serve with crostini and cheese. Anyway, we’re getting to the exciting part because I noticed results in a matter of days. DAYS. I was not expecting that at all. On the Internet I read that people noticed results in a few weeks, some in a month, but as God is my witness my face snapped together faster than the Sharks and Jets.

I had a few blemishes—those vanished the first week, and none arrived in their place. My skin became smooth, it glowed; it sprang to life. For the past month, cod liver oil has been my skin savior, but let’s dig into the why.

Cod liver oil is high in vitamin A and D. It’s the active form of vitamin A that’s important (not to be confused with beta carotene, which is a form of vitamin A found in plants). Topically, vitamin A is used to treat wrinkles and acne under brand names like Renova and Retin-A Micro. Accutane, an oral prescription with seriously scary side effects, is also a derivative of the vitamin. Using nearly the same mechanism as its prescription counterparts, cod liver oil clears skin almost as well.

I found effectiveness within Carlson’s version, but others swear by Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil. The story is that the fermented process delivers a better grade of vitamin A and a superior balance between vitamin A and D. Maybe that’s true, but it also costs much more than Carlson’s.

Cod liver oil does come with its share of warnings. For one, pregnant women should consult with their doctor before taking the supplement—high levels of vitamin A is very harmful to unborn children. Even in healthy individuals, vitamin A overdose is a present danger. Don’t take more than the daily recommended value (see here) so act accordingly (and don’t be stupid).

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12 comments on “About the Best Thing to Happen to My Skin, Ever

  1. Jen Stan says:

    Interesting, it’s always great to find out about new natural ways to clean the skin.

  2. bart says:

    You just made me order it from Amazon. Great post and I look forward to getting it! I’ve also tried pills with no results. Thanks!

  3. Angela c says:

    Hi, thanks for the tip! I was reading about cod liver oil recently and the benefits for skin. I will pass this on to my daughter who often has skin breakouts. She was actually considering accutane, but she aware of the side effects. cheers

  4. April Holman says:

    BIG fan of cod liver oil! Great post! I love how informative you are about great ingredients. A lot of people don’t realize just how many chemicals and nasty things they are putting on their skin. I used to use cod liver oil all the time and it fueled me to start making my own beauty products. I sell them at http://www.foragedfields.com if you get and chance to check em out. Also, seeing as how you are so knowledgeable and awesome, it you would like a free sample of some of the things I make, I would LOVE to get your honest opinion; it would really help me out! 🙂 Thanks! Hope you have a great day.

  5. Crystal says:

    I’m a big fan of home remedies, so I’m definitely tempted to try this.
    First time visitor. I’ll be back 🙂

    • admin says:

      Hi Crystal,
      I swear by cod liver oil. It’s the best!

  6. Tina J says:

    Results for me in under 30 days. I use this exact product and I’m using less concealer in my chin area where I would ocassionally break out left with black spots. This gives me an even “glow” I only throw on some MAC MSF in the am and I’m good 🙂

  7. Marina says:

    I have been taking cod liver oil for over 1 month now, thanks to you, and it is amazing! I noticed a difference in under a week mostly with the disappearance of any hormonal acne. My skin also looks radiant and even. I even stopped wearing foundation for the first time since I was 15. Thank you for this post!