We all want to look and feel our natural best. While there are plenty of products that can touch up the outer appearance of skin and hair, sometimes the best way to nourish your beauty is from the inside out.
Getting the right nutrients can nurture a healthy and youthful appearance that’s more than skin deep. Here are some of the best vitamins and other supplements for beautiful skin, hair, and nails.
Gentle cleansing, regular exfoliation, and a deep-cleaning mask should be a part of everyone’s skin care regimen. But your skin also needs nourishment from the inside out to truly look its best.
If fine lines and wrinkles are starting to become a concern, Vitamins A, C, and B5 may become your best friends. You may recognize Vitamin A in another form, retinol, in many anti-aging skin products, as it’s well-known to soften the lines we all get from smiling, frowning, squinting, laughing, and otherwise living life.
Vitamin C helps the body to create collagen, a protein that aids in skin cell turnover and gives skin a youthful firmness and elasticity. And Vitamin B5 has wonderful hydrating properties that can prevent skin water loss, allowing the moisture in your skin to stay there and plump out fine lines.
Maybe you’re dealing with some of the skin problems associated with youthfulness. As a matter of fact, acne isn’t just an adolescent problem: many adults suffer from it too, and Vitamins E and D can be a huge help in soothing this condition. Vitamin E fights free radicals as well as common skin problems, which means it can double up as a protection against harmful rays from the sun.
Vitamin D supports the immune system, minimizing minor infections, such as acne. The body can manufacture its own Vitamin D with about ten minutes of exposure to sunshine each day, but if you spend a lot of time indoors or don’t get much sun where you live, it’s a good idea to take a supplement.
Dark circles under your eyes may mean that you’re not getting enough sleep, but they can also indicate a Vitamin K deficiency. As a bonus, Vitamin K has an excellent reputation for reducing stretch marks, as well as brightening up those dark circles.
And while we’re on the subject of brightening, Vitamin B3 is known to stave off dullness and give your skin a healthy glow, while also reducing redness.
Brittleness, dullness, and split ends are all too common beauty problems linked to overuse of shampoo, heat damage, product buildup, or nutritional deficiencies. Omega-3s are one of the best nutrients for nourishing and calming hair, making it smoother, stronger, and less brittle. If you’re not sure you’re getting enough of these fatty acids through foods like fish, nuts, and seeds, your hair will thank you for taking a regular supplement.
Hair loss and “shedding” can be reduced by biotin and iron. Anemia is another common cause of hair loss, dullness, or brittleness, and if your ferritin levels are low, it may be contributing to those bad hair days.
But biotin and iron can do more than just reduce hair loss: biotin can actually help to repair damage from heat (something hair gets plenty of exposure to through hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons). You’ll probably see an increase in energy and stamina when you start getting enough iron into your system, too.
Zinc and folic acid are two others that can improve the health of your hair. Zinc increases the health of the hair follicle (the cluster of cells that surrounds the root of the hair and that regulates hair growth), and folic acid or folate aids in cell renewal.
If you still feel like your hair needs some extra care, try using a cleansing conditioner rather than a shampoo for most of your washes, and invest in a heat protecting hair product that you can apply to your locks before turning on the blow dryer or straightener.
Interestingly, your hair and nails are very similar in their cellular makeup, so what helps one often gives the other a boost as well. Two of the supplements discussed above, biotin and iron, can help strengthen brittle nails and prevent them from splitting, along with nourishing your hair.
Hair and nails are largely made up of a protein called keratin, so getting plenty of healthy proteins in your diet through lean meats and legumes can nurture your nails and make them less prone to unsightly peeling.
You can also keep your nails looking good by keeping them neatly filed, buffing them in one direction rather than back and forth, and reducing their exposure to water. Hand lotion or cream can be massaged into the nails after washing your hands or doing the dishes. You can also apply a clear coat of non-acetone nail polish to provide a barrier from damaging moisture.
If you like the look of painted nails, there are several nail polish brands out there specifically designed to nourish the nails as well as provide a splash of color. It’s worth spending an extra few dollars for a fashion statement that’s both healthy and beautiful.
If you don’t have a specific beauty problem that you’re looking to combat, or maybe you have a few that require different treatments, try a multivitamin specifically designed for skin, hair, and nails. It’s an easy way to make sure your body gets plenty of what it needs for a healthy and beautiful you!