Anyone who has been involved in the art of supplements knows one unfortunate truth: Not all vitamins are created equal. There is a lot of beautifully packaged snake oil out there that can drown out even the best scalp and nail vitamins.
Fortunately, there are also thoughtful nutritionists in the world who can help us cut through the noise to find out what we really need. And although almost everyone could benefit from a daily multivitamin and probiotican extra boost of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D could be the thing that lifts your hair, your skin and your nails to their most glowing, shiny state.
Selected image of Belathee photography.
Prior, nutritionist Georgia Thompson and naturopath Dr. Trevor Cates, founder of The Spa Dr and author of Natural beauty resetDiscuss the best way to find out exactly what vitamins your body really needs, how to see if a supplement is really effective, and their most recommended products for hair, skin and nails.
Before we dig in, however, it is important to note that the key to healthy hair, skin and nails really should Start with your diet.
“I think so many people look at supplements as quick fixes to all their problems while neglecting the basic principles of health, including a diet with nutritious, full foods,” shares Thompson. “I would encourage you to start with these basic building blocks firstand you will probably see an incredible improvement, not only in the quality and strength of your hair, your skin and your nails, but also in your health and general well-being. ”
What makes a vitamin effective?
First of all, Thompson recommends working with a doctor to run tests and find out exactly what your body needs (ie what it lacks).
But when it comes to buying vitamins, both Cates and Thompson agree: not all supplements are created equal. “There’s a little regulation of supplements, so it’s up to the consumer to do a little homework to find the best ones.” adds Cates.
tips to find the best vitamins for hair and nails
Reputation. Look for brands that have undergone extensive third-party testing. (Reputable brands will often include clinical trials on their site.)
Efficiency. Choose brands that are rich in high quality ingredients (like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins A, B, C and E). This helps ensure that your supplement is more bioavailable – able to actually be absorbed and used by the body.
Prepare to invest. “Unfortunately, many of the dietary supplements you find on pharmacy shelves simply do not contain the correct amount of active ingredients or ingredients listed, and often the quality of the ingredients is poor,” says Thompson. “It’s worth investing more for a higher quality vitamin that actually works.”
One more thing to note: patience. “I find that a lot of people get discouraged when they don’t see immediate results, but it can often take months to experience a real difference, so be consistent,” Thompson adds.
What ingredients support healthier hair, stronger nails and clearer skin?
In addition to hair, skin and nails, heroes like zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, collagen peptides, vitamin D3, probiotics, curcumin, omega 3sand B vitamins (including B12, B6, folate and thiamine), Dr. Cates shares two natural ingredients she loves for both internal and local use: acerola cherries fruit extract and chlorella.
Acerola cherry fruit extract is a rich source of vitamin Cwhich puts foods commonly known to be high in vitamin C, such as oranges and strawberries, to shame, “said Dr. Cates shares.
“Meanwhile, chlorella extract is a freshwater algae known for its potential to cleanse and energize the skin. Chlorella plays a role in inhibiting the enzymes that break down collagen and elastin.”