What are beauty supplements?
Loaded with everything from biotin for hair growth, probiotics to support skin health, oil-balancing zinc and more, beauty supplements (whether pill, powder or liquid) are ingestible solutions to replace, boost or rebalance what you might be lacking.
That goes for hair health too. “Hair growth supplements can be particularly beneficial for those with known nutrient deficiencies or who struggle to eat a well-balanced, varied diet,” says hair stylist Kieran Tudor. “Supplements can improve hair health by providing the body with key nutrients that are essential for healthy hair cell turnover,” he confirms.
What supplements are good for skin?
Sometimes it’s simple: low nutrient level causes skin issue - increase nutrients and hope the skin problem improves. But often it’s more complicated. Take collagen for instance (the protein that prevents skin sagging and supposedly one of the best supplements for skin). “Collagen absorbed via the digestive system cannot fill in wrinkles or even boost our own collagen production,” Ulé beauty nutritionist, Béatrice de Raynal tells us. If you’re looking to improve collagen levels, she suggests vitamin C instead. “Certain essential amino acids are an important part of collagen, and vitamin C is essential for its production,” Béatrice explains.
Stella by Stella McCartney Alter-Care Supplement, £60 takes a slightly different approach with ceramides that help to prevent the breakdown of collagen. The edible is also packed with omegas 3, 6 and 9 to help boost your skin’s health overall.
Of course, it isn't just collagen levels we’re trying to solve with supplements. Acne improvements pictured on social media are causing many to see supplements for clear skin as a miracle cure. If only it were that easy. “Acne is an inflammatory skin condition with many contributing factors, including hormones, stress, medications, diet,” and often requires a dermatologist consultation, says Dr Miriam Adebibe, surgical doctor and aesthetician. With milder cases of acne however, “oral supplements can be helpful to improving acne alongside topical skincare and lifestyle changes,” Dr Miriam tells us.
Which supplements does she suggest for those looking to get on top of breakouts? “Vitamin B helps to balance oil production and has powerful anti-inflammatory effects on angry skin, omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oils help to control acne breakouts through their anti-inflammatory properties, probiotics will support gut health, which will promote skin health, and zinc helps to regulate oil production and supports skin healing, which reduces acne scarring,” she lists.
Should I be taking beauty supplements?
Whether it’s collagen we’re trying to boost, oil levels we’re trying to balance or general skin health we’re trying to improve, supplements aren’t a case of one-pill-fits-all. That’s why GP and Aesthetician, Dr Ahmed El Muntasar recommends we “consult a doctor, nutritionist or dermatologist before you jump in with taking supplements.” Dr Miriam agrees. “If you can, get guidance on supplements that may work best for your skin concerns. Choose a reputable product, be consistent, and give your supplements time to work,” she advises.
What are the best beauty supplements?
The verdict: do skin supplements work?
There’s no doubt that, used in the right way, for the right reasons, and with the right expectations, beauty supplements can get skin back in whack. But - here’s the question - could we get the same results through diet? “Of course, you could,” says Béatrice, “but you will probably need a good nutritionist to help you.” And that’s a much bigger commitment.
What about skincare - is it still important when taking a supplement? Think of supplements as a support rather than a solution, says Dr Miriam. “Oral supplements ensure your entire body is served with nutrients that will reach the deepest layers of skin, but combining excellent nutrition and premium skincare will give you the best results,” she tells us.
Decided to give one of the best supplements for skin a try? Just remember, “most of the time, to see improvement of the skin, you need 21 days minimum in order to see the new cells coming up,” says Béatrice.
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