We want natural glowing skin, good nails, and shiny, strong hair. If you live a healthy lifestyle, you can already notice that you look (and feel) at your best. For that, you should eat a rainbow of colors, stay hydrated, and sleep well. Supplements will also help you glow. Supplements nourish the body at the cellular level. Furthermore, it promotes the health of the skin, hair, and nails from the inside out.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. The primary function is:
- To serve as a shield.
- To protect us from environmental attacks such as pollution, UV radiation, viruses, etc.
- And assist with detoxification.
As with all body areas, the skin (including hair and nails) depends on optimal function nutrients.
If you have specific skin, hair, or nail disorders or just want an extra boost, here are some of the best supplements that can help.
Top Supplements for Healthier Skin, Hair, & Nails
1. Best multi-tasker: Biotin (Vitamin B7)
You’ll probably recognize this vitamin because it’s like the granddaddy of all beauty supplements. Biotin (a source of vitamin B) is essential for the energy production that many enzymes require.
It helps your body convert the food you eat into energy more effectively. This makes the hair, skin, and nails grow (a.k.a. less brittle nails and split ends). It is found in chicken, fish, egg yolks, and nuts or can be easily replaced by vitamins and supplements. Two small trials have shown that people with brittle nails who have taken a biotin supplement daily for several months have improved 25% in their nails’ thickness. Splitting the nails was also reduced. Make sure to tell the doctor why you are taking it. Biotin is known to screw up some laboratory test results.
How much: Minimum daily dosage: 30mcg a day.
Collagen is the primary protein in the skin that gives strength and structure, keeps it smooth, solid, and helps preserve moisture. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, but production slows as we age. Also, our diets contain far less of this vital building block than our ancestors’ diets. This means that supplementation is required for healthy skin, hair, nails, joints, and even bones, which also contain collagen.
One placebo-controlled research showed that women who regularly took collagen could see a visible reduction of wrinkles. A further study of 69 women aged 35 to 55 showed that taking a supplement of collagen (2.5g-5 g daily) improved skin elasticity in just four weeks. Some of the women also had a beneficial effect on skin moisture.
How Much: 2.5–5g daily.
3. Vitamin C
Healthy skin needs large amounts of vitamin C. It is essential for collagen production, the maintenance of good cell growth, and the antioxidant protection of skin cells. This antioxidant vitamin concentrates on the epidermis. And research has shown that people with aging and sun-damaged skin have diminished vitamin C levels in the skin. Many studies have shown that supplementation with vitamin C improves:
- UV resistance (especially when combined with vitamin E) )
- Decreases wrinkle depth
- Increases collagen production,
- Improves roughness and dryness
Vitamin-C rich diet has also been shown to reduce oxidative damage caused by UV exposure and smoking, including reduced wrinkles, sagginess, and hyperpigmentation.
How much: Minimum dose 75–120 mg per day, up to 1000 mg per day
4. Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
GLA is a form of omega-6 fatty acid. It plays a key role in promoting the growth and repair of nails, hair, and skin by keeping the oil levels in your body under control. The fatty acid can be present in most plant oils or the form of supplements.
How much: 500 mg to 1,000 mg a day
5. Vitamin E
Research shows that vitamin E can help prevent age-related wrinkles and fine lines by removing free-radical skin damage. It also encourages hair growth. It is most commonly present in green vegetables such as spinach and kale, almonds, raw seeds, and hazelnuts.
How much: Minimum intake 15–19 mg per day, maximum 1000 mg per day
Zinc deficiency is associated with hair loss. But mineral supplementation will help reduce the problem and help make the hair grow faster. Zinc can be found in almonds, spinach, and eggs. You can also find it in a multivitamin or ZMA supplement (a mixture of zinc and magnesium).
How much: Minimum intake 8–12 mg a day
7. Fish Oil
Omega-3 essential fatty acids control oil production. It also boosts hydration while playing a part in the skin’s structure and texture. There is evidence of Omega-3 benefiting individuals with sun-damaged skin or benefiting from reducing eczema by 20%. Omega-3 fatty acid EPA produces a group of hormones called prostaglandins. They stop the body from producing so much sebum in the hair follicles. You can reduce the inflammation of the skin from the inside by eating enough Omega-3.
How Much: Maximum of 3g a day
This mineral plays a vital role in the activation of B vitamins, which are used to repair and maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails. Iron is also important for helping to keep your hair full and smooth. The main sources include chickpeas, nuts, soya beans, grains, and spinach.
How much: 18–27 mg daily for women 19–50 years of age; 8 mg for women over 51 years of age.
Magnesium also plays a part in maintaining the cell structure. It makes the body use other vitamins and minerals more effectively. It can be found in spinach, nuts, fish, whole grains, and multivitamins.
How much: 300–350 mg a day
If you want to fight at the same time against weakened hair, skin, and nails, cystine is your MVP. This amino acid helps build a fibrous protein known as keratin. It is essential to all three structures, says Jaliman. It’s perfect for brittle, thin hair, skin, and nails.
It is also unique because it creates disulfide bonds that tend to preserve moisture and hold keratin together. This measns you can find less dryness.
The bottom line
Nowadays, the popularity of skin, hair, and nail supplements are rising. But many customers are unaware of the possible problems associated with their use. Manufacturers do not need to offer any proof of protection, effectiveness, or even quality before the sale. So, you must approach all supplements with caution.