The Ultimate Guide To Natural Supplements For Skin, Hair & Nails
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Did you know that you can supercharge your beauty routine by throwing some skin supplements into the mix?
It's true, the right balance between a good skincare routine and skin nutrition can do wonders to prevent oxidative stress while speeding up cellular repair and renewal.
Translation –better, healthier, younger-looking skin!
If, like me you find yourself reaching for a green smoothie over a McFlurry these days then pour yourself a cuppa 'coz today we’re diving into skin nutrition.
Just to be clear, my diet was appalling in my twenties. And I hate to admit, that it wasn't great in my thirties either... I just knew better!
But thankfully, with age comes wisdom, and since hitting forty I've learned a lot about the link between nutrition and aging.
In this post, I’m breaking down the top beauty nutrients that support the skin, hair, and nails, what to avoid when buying skin supplements, and 10 recommended natural brands.
Table of Contents
WHAT ARE ANTI-AGING SUPPLEMENTS?
Skin nutrition covers a wide group of macro and micronutrients such as phytonutrients (plant chemicals), healthy fats (omegas), protein (amino acids/collagen), minerals, and vitamins. All backed by science to have nutritional value, including powerful antioxidant benefits for your body.
This basically means they have an anti-aging effect because they slow down the aging process by nourishing and protecting your skin from the inside out.
Some encourage and speed up skin cell renewal and repair, some protect the skin from outside elements, while others help to moisturize and strengthen the structure of your skin, hair, and nails.
Fruit, leafy greens, root veggies, nuts, seeds, protein-rich meat, and oily fish are just some of the foods you need to consume in order to get your daily dose of beauty nutrients. But, who eats like this every day?
Luckily for us, there are a ton of brands that formulate nutrient-rich skin supplements in one handy little capsule, powdered spoonful, or drink.
I've spoken about my love for beauty supplements before in this post about nail growth. Because to be honest, there's no way my skin and nails would be in such great condition without supplements.
When taken daily an anti-aging supplement can truly supercharge your skincare result, helping you to achieve your skin goals faster.
Supplements may contain just one micronutrient, like my Aava Labs Omega-3, or a broad spectrum of components that work synergistically to boost the skin, hair, and nails.
The only negative I find with taking these supplements is that you get hooked... They make me look and feel so much better that I can't stop taking them!
When buying supplements for your skin it’s important to avoid G.M.O.s, bulkers, fillers, and anti-caking agents. More natural bands use much more natural fillers!
For even more expert advice on vitamins, I highly recommend heading over to WeAreFeel and reading their post "The Best Vitamins For Acne - 31 Beauty Experts Reveal What Vitamins You Need For A Healthy Skin", which also includes some tops tips from yours truly!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING SKIN SUPPLEMENTS
If you want to know which supplements are best for glowing skin, glossy hair, and strong nails here's a list of common beauty nutrient groups and what they'll do for you.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from free radicals. A healthy balance between free radicals and antioxidants is necessary to prevent disease and damage. When free radicals outnumber antioxidants in the body it causes an imbalance called oxidative stress. This is a major player in skin aging!
Vitamin A also contains powerful antioxidant properties that protect your skin from environmental damage. It also increases both collagen production and cell renewal. There are two types of vitamin A that are found in the diet —preformed vitamin A found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, and dairy, and provitamin A which is found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables —beta-carotene.
THE B VITAMINS
The B (is for Beautiful) Vitamins are known as the skin vitamins. They offer a myriad of skin health benefits starting with:
The first B vitamin ever discovered is known as the 'anti-stress vitamin' because it supports the immune and nervous system. It's also believed to prevent stress-related breakouts, aid in wound healing, and is essential for proper nerve functions.
Riboflavin plays an important role in the structure of your skin. It aids in wound healing, cell renewal, collagen maintenance, and reduces inflammation. It also helps to prevent dehydration in oily skin that leads to excess oil production and improves zinc absorption.
Possibly the most popular B vitamin, Niacin is a skin-conditioning powerhouse. It treats a variety of skin conditions including acne, eczema, and rosacea. It’s also a useful anti-aging ingredient that targets sun-damage and wrinkles. You may have heard of niacinamide in skincare products, which is a different form of B3.
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
B5 is a humectant that helps to retain moisture within your skin, improving hydration and elasticity. This has a plumping and smoothing effect on the skin. B5 also helps to reduce the signs of aging.
B6 is known as the stress buster because of its ability to regulate certain hormones in the body like serotonin —the happy hormone, norepinephrine —a stress hormone, and melatonin —the sleep hormones. Lack of sleep can reduce the skin's ability to renew itself and contribute to dull, tired-looking skin.
Perhaps the most famous B vitamin, Biotin —also known as vitamin H, is a very popular ingredient in beauty supplements. It keeps your skin moist and plump because it's a major factor in the metabolism of fatty acids (omegas) that protect cells from damage and water loss.
It also supports healthy cell growth —the common denominator with all B vitamins, which strengthens the skin, hair, and nails. A deficiency in B7 can result in slow-growing, dry, brittle hair and nails, and dry, flaky skin.
B9 (Folic Acid)
B9 has anti-aging powers in the form of antioxidants that repair and enhance your skin. Studies show that when combined with creatine and applied topically it promotes cell renewal and fights free radical damage that leads to aging. It's also recommended as a prenatal vitamin as it helps prevent birth defects.
Like all the other B vitamins, B12 promotes healthy cell renewal. But this one is also especially beneficial for sensitive skin types that suffer from conditions like psoriasis and eczema due to its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Zinc is an all-around beauty mineral that supports the function of over 300 enzymes in the human body. Along with protecting the skin against environmental damage that leads to aging, it also contributes to rapid cell growth and division necessary to maintain healthy hair, and nails.
Iron is an important component of red blood cells which carry fresh oxygen and nutrients to the cells and tissues throughout the body. An adequate supply of oxygen is vital for healthy skin cell renewal and for the maintenance and growth of strong, healthy nails and hair.
Copper is required by your body to form red blood cells, connective tissue, and bone. Together with zinc, copper forms a powerful enzyme that acts as an antioxidant breaking down free radicals thus slowing down the aging process.
A true beauty nutrient potassium protects your skin from UV rays, improves hydration, and also supports new skin cell growth. Potassium is helpful for acne sufferers because it speeds the healing of blemishes and acne scars.
Sulfur is an essential part of collagen production and encourages healthy cell growth. It is extremely beneficial for acne because helps to dry out the surface of the skin by absorbing excess oil. This helps to unclog pores preventing breakouts.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for healthy skin, hair, bones, teeth, and muscles. It improves levels of collagen and fatty acids on the surface of the skin keeping it plump and moisturized. It supports cell renewal and protects against free radical damage like UV rays. It also helps to reduce acne by stabilizing hormonal imbalances in the body.
Phytonutrients, or plant chemicals, are the most complex beauty nutrients on the list. Scientists estimate that there are over 5,000 of them found in plant foods. The common denominator with this group is that they all have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Research shows that phytonutrients play a vital role in skin health. They also improve the body's keratin infrastructure, translation —thicker, glossier hair, and stronger nails!
This is a type of polyphenol antioxidant found in peanuts, pistachios, grapes, red wine, blueberries, cranberries, and also cocoa, and dark chocolate. Studies revealed that resveratrol can help protect the skin from UVA rays that lead to oxidative stress and skin damage. Translation —red wine is good for you, in moderation!
Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol)
A 2012 study found that pine bark extract improved skin hydration and elasticity. It's a powerful antioxidant that holds anti-inflammatory and tissue-repairing properties. All of these wonderful benefits help to reduce the signs of aging. But, what I find so amazing about Pine Bark Extract is the effect it has on my nails.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is another type of polyphenol. I'm sure you've heard about the superpowers of green tea and matcha. If not I highly recommend checking out Matcha Kari's article on this ancient Japanese ingredient. Thanks to two types of antioxidants —catechins, and tannins green tea extract is able to prevent cell damage by protecting your skin from daily environmental hazards. I know it's an acquired taste and it did take me a while to get used to it, but starting your day with a cup of green tea is a very cheap and effective way to improve your skin and health!
Pronounced ter - oh - stil-been —the “P” is silent like in Pterodactyl.
One of the many antioxidants found in blueberries and grapes this phytonutrient has been widely studied for its treatment and prevention of human disease. Unlike other polyphenol antioxidants, pterostilbene is believed to have the ability to protect the skin from UVB rays which play a major role in skin cancer.
Beta-carotene is a type of carotenoid (plant pigment) that we get directly from the plant foods we eat. It is a form of vitamin A that acts as an antioxidant to provide UV protection. Fun fact: there are over is 600 carotenoids found in the orange, yellow and red pigments in fruits and vegetables.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Your body naturally makes this antioxidant to maintain strong, healthy skin and to destroy free radicals in cells. As you age, you make less leaving cells vulnerable to damage. CoQ10 is neither a vitamin nor a mineral and has similar benefits to that of resveratrol and pycnogenol.
Collagen and elastin form a network of fibers beneath the surface of your skin to create a "scaffolding-like" structure. This holds your skin up giving it a supple, youthful appearance. It's also the primary structure of your hair and nails. Many factors like age, UVA rays, and sugar deplete and damage these protein fibers leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. Lucky for us, studies suggest that collagen supplements promote the body's formation of natural collagen and elastin.
Known as natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) amino acids are responsible for the synthesis of collagen. Therefore, taking a supplement, or eating foods rich in amino acids will be highly beneficial for the hair and nails as well as the skin.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is not a protein, it is a carbohydrate and a humectant. This gel-like molecule is found naturally in the human body but is particularly concentrated in your skin. It has a strong water-binding capacity that boosts the volume of your skin by improving hydration and elasticity. It also plays a major role in collagen synthesis. Studies indicate that ingestion of HA promotes the moisture content of the skin.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (Omegas)
Omegas are a type of Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) that our bodies are unable to produce naturally, hence the "essential" bit. The most beneficial omegas for the skin are Omega-3 (Alpha-linoleic Acid), Omega-6 (Linoleic Fatty Acid), and Omega-9 (Oleic Acid). They act as building blocks for the skin that help to:
Hydrate and nourish by retaining moisture levels
Eliminate dry, dehydrated skin
Maintain the skin's elasticity
Improve and smooth the skin’s surface
Repair and strengthen the skin barrier
Reduce sun-damaged skin and other signs of aging
Protect against environmental damage
BEST "NATURAL" SUPPLEMENTS FOR GLOWING SKIN
As always, I decipher ingredient labels so you don't have to! Here's a list of 8 recommended natural skin supplements. Some I've tried, some I use regularly, some waiting to be used, some in my shopping cart —but, all free from G.M.O.s, bulkers, fillers, anti-caking agents, or any other synthetic toxic ingredients that are counterproductive to your skin glow goals!
GLOW SWEET GLOW™
HUM gummies are the best. If you’re anything like me you have a lot of vitamins to take in one day. So I really appreciate taking my supplements in gummy form! And these guys are addictive! Sweetened with cane juice and tapioca syrup they tick the main anti-aging beauty nutrient boxes like Hyaluronic Acid for skin hydration, plumping, and smoothing, a big dose of antioxidants rich Vitamin C and Vitamin E in the form of Amla the Super Fruit.
This skin supplement contains a whopping 10 of the listed beauty nutrients above. If you are looking for a supplement to support your skin, hair, and nails, then Skin Glow GOLD is worth a try. Biogena formulates their supplements without artificial colorings and flavorings, anti-caking agents, GMOs, and coating agents.
If you read this blog regularly you’ll know the importance of collagen to an anti-aging skincare regime. Along with improving your skin, collagen also supports bone and joint health, strengthens hair and nails, improves gut and immune function, and benefits the body's overall cellular structure. LiveWell's all-natural hydrolyzed collagen contains 20 amino acids and is sourced from certified hormone-free, grass-fed grade A bovine. It's also 100% GMO-free and does not contain any nasty fillers commonly found in collagen powders.
Treat your skin from the inside out with this revolutionary two-part nutritional supplement system. Sarah Chapman's Skinesis contains 26 micro-nutrients to help support and hydrate the skin whilst also promoting relaxation and better sleep. Win, win! A unique blend of herbs, active vitamins, minerals, natural antioxidants, coenzymes, and omega oils mean this skin supplement has a multitude of benefits, from boosted collagen levels and skin repair to a beautifying and blissful night’s sleep.
Bioactive Multi has been on my radar for a while now 'coz of the whole next generation, high-tech delivery system bit. This skin supplement contains a complete spectrum of ultra absorbable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Healthycell's delivery technology -MICROGEL™ is formulated by world-leading nutritional scientists for maximum absorption by releasing extremely small, soluble, ultra-bioavailable nutrient particles in the digestive tract. You just add these little berry-flavored gel packs directly into water or a smoothie. Free of synthetic binders, fillers, coatings, and anti-caking agents.
If your nails bend or break easily, you could be deficient in Omega-3 fatty acid. Essential fatty acids nurture the cells in the nail bed, prevent inflammation and encourage the absorption of nutrients to promote healthy growth. I notice a big difference in my skin, hair, and nails when I take essential fatty acids, either plant-based or fish. Aava Labs Omega-3 Fish Oil has the correct ratio of omegas. Plus it's non-GMO and wild-caught through sustainable fishing.
These chewable tablets from Kauna are formulated with a blend of Collagen Peptides and Vitamin C. They work to defend against free radical damage while promoting healthy collagen formation to boost the overall health of your skin, hair, and nails. Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Dye-Free, Preservatives-Free
If you have very oily skin and suffer from acne, MSM Bio-Plus could be very helpful for you. Designed to improve the overall health of skin, hair, and nails this is a unique supplement that combines naturally occurring sulfur with Black Pepper Extract. MSM (Sulfur) is an essential mineral that supports the natural production of collagen and elastin, key elements for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Black pepper helps the body to absorb higher levels of MSM for increased efficacy. MSM has also been discovered to help with inflammation and immune function, meaning that skin appears calmer and more balanced.
We all want better skin and fewer wrinkles. And I've found that with a combination of the right skincare products, a killer weekly treatment, and natural skin supplements my skin stays hydrated and glowing.
I hope this post has helped you understand what skin supplements are all about and gave you some in-depth info on how to choose the right ones for your skin.
Whether you choose my recommendations or not, just make sure you avoid the dreaded 'fillers' that so many companies use to pad out their products.
If you want to go all out to supercharge your beauty routine download my free guide to microneedling. Learn how to create an affordable at-home anti-aging treatment that gives you near-professional results!
Regular use of a derma roller can increase skin hydration and reduce stubborn dark marks like acne scars. This guide covers exactly what you need to get started microneedling at-home, step-by-step directions, and vital post-care tips.
Ready to supercharge your beauty routine? Click the button below to start today!
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*The Rich Skin Club website is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before taking any over-the-counter drugs, supplements or herbs consult a physician for a thorough evaluation. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. For more information please read our disclaimer.