Does Fish Oil Cause Oily Skin?


Fish oil is popular as a source for Omega-3 supplement. Some people have noticed taking fish oil makes their skin oily, which can happen especially if they start taking a high dose too quickly.


Fish oil from some species of fish could be high in mercury, and excess amounts of fish oil could cause bleeding and other harmful side effects.

Tuna, swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel are typically the highest in mercury, and the FDA discourages women and children to be exposed to these fish, including their fish oils.

Fish oil supplements should be stopped two weeks before and after surgery, because they thin the blood.


Fish oil can reduce a person's risk of a heart attack, stroke, deadly arrhythmias and high cholesterol.

Two grams of fish oil every day can prolong a person's health by reducing risk of heart disease, but to avoid oily skin issues, the dose can be started at one g then increase to two g after a few days.


As an alternative, people can eat cold water fatty fish such as salmon or halibut a few times a week to obtain benefits from omega 3 fats. People with oily skin problems can use this approach to get the same benefits, as long as they do not have heart disease or high triglyceride levels.

Expert Insight

The American Heart Association strongly recommends people who do not have heart disease to increase omega 3 fat intake, EPA and DHA, by eating fatty fish like salmon twice a week, plus tofu, walnuts and flax seed oil to reap the benefits of plant-based omega 3 fats, ALA. However, people who already have heart disease, arrhythmias or high cholesterol can take two g of fish oil daily after consulting their physician—increasing the dosage gradually to avoid oily skin.

Famous Ties

Family Matters' Suzanne Somers did extensive research on the benefits of fish oil and fish consumption with nutritonists, and concluded about their benefits in health. Her research findings on fish oil and fish consumption can be seen in her book "Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness" and this book mentions fish oil can resolve oily skin issues in some cases.

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