They may not deliver the immediate impact you see from swiping on a lipstick, applying a polish or spraying on a defrizzer. But vitamins can deliver a nutritional boost important for gorgeous skin, nails and hair. While vitamins appear in topical creams and serums, holistic nutritionist Sally Kravich says it's best if you combine both topical and ingested versions for optimal results. Here, we've sifted through some vitamins that are vetted by medical experts to give you glowing skin, luscious locks and rock-hard nails.
There is no universal mandate on vitamins that are essential to skin because "everyone's reaction to vitamins is different," says Kravich. These vitamins, however, are recommended by professionals time and again as being highly beneficial.
B-complex: Kravich says B-complex vitamins (there are eight in total) benefit skin because they help bolster cell turnover. Vitamin B3, also known as Niacin, has been proven to increase production of fatty acids and ceramides, and therefore improve the skin’s hydration levels. It has alternately been used to treat inflammatory acne. You can get B-complex vitamins from supplements or foods, such as kombucha, whole grains, tempeh and bananas. Niacin is also found in several skin care brands, such as Nia24.
Antioxidant superfood vitamins: Various factors including environmental pollution, stress and even the foods we consume can increase cell-damaging free radicals and age skin. Antioxidants help battle this damage.
Some red-hued superfoods, such as goji berries and cherries, are good sources of antioxidants. You can also get a mix of various red fruits in a powdered form. Other antioxidant superfoods include chia seeds, blueberries and acai, which come in both solid and liquid vitamin versions. According to Kravich, these will help your skin glow. For a topical antioxidant option that buffs skin to a healthy shine, try Yes to Blueberries Softening Facial Exfoliator.
Vitamin C: A gold-medal-worthy anti-ager, vitamin C supports skin collagen production and helps fade dark and brown spots. It can be found in many topical treatments, like the new La Roche-Posay Redermic [C] Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisturizing Filler, which contains five percent of pure vitamin C (and hits stores in September). An alternate way of getting your fix is to take chewable tablets or water-soluble powders, such as Emergen-C.
When it comes to long, strong and smooth nails, holistic doctor Isaac Eliaz recommends the following vitamins.
Biotin (also known as vitamin H): Some scientific studies prove this vitamin, which is necessary for cell growth, strengthens hair and nails. Consider taking a biotin supplement or find a multivitamin that contains it.
Silica: This form of silicon that's more easily processed by the body is a mineral that helps nails and hair grow quickly. It assists in depositing calcium and other minerals to the tips.
Shampoos and conditioners can clean and soften strands, but when it comes to overall hair health, Kravich suggests opting for these vitamins.
Kérastase Nutrients Densi-Recharge: This dietary supplement is ideal for thin hair or for those experiencing hair loss. It contains taurine, green tea, grape seed and zinc that are known to thicken locks and prevent breakage.
Vitamin E: Heralded for its ability to increase hair shine, vitamin E also has the power to prevent hair loss because it promotes capillary growth, which in turn helps with circulation and a healthy scalp. This overachieving vitamin has additionally been known to help heal dry and damaged hair, and is an ideal antidote for split ends. One good source of vitamin E is wheat germ oil, and it can also be found as a softgel supplement.
He Shou Wu: This Chinese herbal supplement is said to reverse the graying of the hair. Kravich admits she's seen some improvement in the color of hair when using this supplement, but not a full-fledged reversal.
There are also vitamins that are marketed specifically as over-the-counter beauty supplements. Perfectil is ideal for those who just want one supplement a day that contains the heavy-hitting vitamins beneficial for gorgeous skin, hair and nails.
Consumers additionally love Phyto PhytoPhanere, a supplement that combines nourishing vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. The caplets promote healthy hair, nails and skin, with noticeable results seen within two weeks. Blended vitamins include E (wheat germ oil) and omegas 3 and 6 (borage seed oil), which give hair a glossy finish. Vitamins B and C and cystine promote healthy hair and nail growth. Finally, provitamin A (also known as carrot oil) bolsters skin radiance.
Kravich suggests monitoring your progress when taking supplements. If you're taking the vitamins you're deficient in, you should see improvements in as little as nine to ten days. If not, increase your dosage levels until you begin to see results. (As always, consult your doctor for dosage advice.) One idea is to photograph your progress (in revealing sunlight, if possible) so you remain as objective as possible.
Would you consider making vitamins a part of your beauty routine?