With the vitamin supplements market gaining traction, it becomes important to take a deep dive into what works and what doesn’t. Thanks to celebrity endorsements and social media influencers, vitamin after vitamin is claiming to do wonders for your hair, skin and nails.
But, due to less standardization in the beauty supplements market, there have been concerns about gaps in knowledge and the long-term efficacy of such supplements. Nutrient overdosing has also been established as a thing, where if you take more of a vitamin than you need, you may be doing more harm than good.
Yet, on the other hand, certain studies have linked vitamins, like biotin, and minerals, like zinc, to promote hair growth, hair thickness and skin improvement. According to dermatologists, vitamin supplements can work really well for those with specific medical issues to solve related to their hair, nails and skin.
How do they work?
Dermatologists agree that while vitamins may not take center stage, the different tasks our bodies must do would be impossible without their assistance. Proteins, carbs, and lipids are chemically combined with other substances in the body to create energy and construct human tissue, and these chemical processes are initiated or accelerated by enzymes derived from certain vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins are absorbed by the intestine and transported to particular body tissues by our blood, but they are quickly lost through perspiration and urine, and, as a result, they must be replenished more often.
Vitamins that are fat-soluble, like vitamins A and D (found in the liver) and vitamin E (found in fat cells), might take a long time to break down and hence stay in the body longer.
All the vitamins work on individual cells, where some help in the formation and maintenance of hair, nail and skin.
Will vitamins for hair, skin and nails make a difference?
Antioxidants like vitamins E, A, and C, or Coenzyme Q10, as well as biotin, a B-complex vitamin, are essential for skin, hair, and nails. Selenium and manganese, as well as flaxseed oil and fatty acids like fish oil, are frequently recommended for hair.
Although rare, these vitamin deficiencies can result in a variety of hair, skin, and nail alterations. Inadequate consumption of vitamins A and E, for example, can result in rough, scaly skin areas over time, while a biotin shortage can lead to hair loss and dermatitis.
Biotin tablets may also help strengthen soft, easily broken nails, according to two studies published in the 1990s. If you're having trouble with your hair, nails, or skin for no apparent reason, talk to your doctor about which vitamins can help you.
What are some of the vitamins to consider?
Dermatologists consider the following vitamins beneficial for your hair, nails and skin up to a certain degree (especially if you have a deficiency):
- Biotin - Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, aids in the metabolization of proteins, which are required for the production of healthy hair, skin, and nail cells. When biotin is absorbed in the centre of the nail bed, where the cells are produced, it promotes the generation of protein for nail development. It also protects against scalp flaking and dryness and increases the suppleness of the hair's cortex to prevent breaking, stimulating new hair development and promoting a better texture. A wonderful place to start is the Carmesi 100% Plant-Based Biotin which can reduce hair fall and dandruff and promote hair growth and hair elasticity.
- Other B vitamins - B vitamins might help you get rid of acne, as some of them serve as skin antioxidants, assisting in the removal of microorganisms and regulating testosterone levels to prevent acne. Acne may be caused by a lack of certain B vitamins, so ensuring that your body gets enough will help prevent and treat the issue. And, as if that weren't enough, B Vitamins also help to reduce stress and treat the adrenal glands, making them useful for those who break out when they're anxious.
- Vitamin A - Vitamin A keeps skin smooth and revitalised, and it's especially beneficial for acne-prone skin. However, a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A, such as isotretinoin, is required to get remarkable skin results. Natural vitamin supplements won't harm you, but they won't make a huge difference either.
- Vitamin C - Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production, but it would need a very large amount to observe any benefits. Furthermore, because this vitamin is water-soluble, eating more of it orally would only cause it to be excreted through urine. As a result, make sure you get enough in your diet.
- Vitamin E - Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory, and it can help individuals with eczema and psoriasis. In certain circumstances, it can assist to reduce inflammation, but there isn't enough medical data to say that it always works.
Are there any other effective nutrients for your hair, nail and skin?
Apart from vitamins, several other nutrients (like minerals) work to keep your hair, skin and nails healthy.
- Marine fatty acids - Marine fatty acids, such as omega-3, help to prevent dry, damaged hair, and combat hair loss and flaky scalp when consumed. DHA and EPA in these acids provide lustre, flexibility, and gloss to dull strands, encouraging hair growth to resume. Furthermore, the dietary fat present in omega-3 fatty acids protects and repairs skin cells from the inside out, hydrating the skin and preventing it from burning upon overexposure to UV radiation.
- Collagen - Collagen, like keratin, is a naturally occurring structural protein that gives skin a plump, smooth look. Women who took ampules filled with collagen peptides for 12 weeks had enhanced skin hydration, smoothness, elasticity, and density, according to a modest industry-funded research article.
- Keratin - The outermost layer of nails, hair, and skin is made up of keratin, which is a structural protein. While some beauty influencers tout keratin supplements as the key to healthy, lustrous hair, physicians say there isn't enough research to back up those claims.
- Zinc - Zinc is a common element in acne-fighting facial cleansers and spot treatments, and some research suggests that taking it orally can assist with inflammatory skin diseases such as rosacea and acne. Zinc is required for cell division and protein synthesis, so if your nails are dry or weak, it might be an indication that you aren't receiving enough from your diet.
How can you manage your hair, nails and skin with lifestyle changes?
A variety of lifestyle choices can also aid in the maintenance of good skin, hair, and nails.
- Fix your diet - To battle hair, nail, and skin problems, incorporate a diet rich in protein, vitamins A, D, E, and C, biotin, zinc, and fatty acids. Having a balanced diet is key to keeping yourself healthy inside out.
- Use sun protection - UV radiation can cause premature sagging, wrinkling, dryness, and spots on the skin. Even if it's gloomy, limit your time in the sun and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day.
- Take care of your hair, nails and skin - Hair colours, straighteners, blow dryers, and styles like tight ponytails should all be avoided or limited if you want to keep your hair healthy. Keep your nails clipped or attempt to quit the habit of biting them. When cleaning dishes, wear cotton-lined gloves, moisturise your hands and nails regularly, and use a moisturising soap. Don't take scorching showers and keep your skin hydrated. Also, if you're a smoker, make an effort to stop.