If you’ve never tried beauty supplements, think of it this way: topical beauty products can (by law) only work on the top 20% layers of skin, otherwise they’d be classified as a drug.
That’s why they only superficially plump out lines and wrinkles. The other 80% is only reached from the inside via your diet – and supplements.
Specialist beauty supplements have come a long way from the days when Imedeen, Nourella and Perfectil were pretty much alone on the pharmacy shelf. There are now loads of pills, powders and shots for beauty concerns, including skincare for different age groups, thinning hair, weak nails and let’s not even get started on slimming…
But don’t we get enough nutrients from our food? Not necessarily. Nutrients are allocated according to where they’re most needed, starting with the brain, heart and lungs. Skin, hair and nails are near the back of the queue, and we often put down minor deficiencies that show in our skin to, say, insufficient sleep, excess chocolate (or alcohol) or even family traits. Supplements can top up those shortfalls, so they have more chance of finally reaching your intended destination. Also, unlike ordinary multivitamins, targeted supplements often contain higher doses of key vitamins (especially the age-reversing antioxidant vitamins A, C and E) plus other helpful substances. In skincare formulations, these often include collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA). Collagen is the springy stretchy stuff that makes up 30% of our body’s structural protein, while HA, which occurs naturally in our skin, can hold 1,000 times its own weight in water, making it vital to moisture, softness and plumpness. Both decline with age so that, by our mid-40’s, about one-third of our collagen has been lost and up to half of our HA. Topping them up helps skin become softer, smoother, springier, more wrinkle-resistant and more uniform in colour.
But if supplements work so well, why haven’t we all switched to using them instead of creams? The main obstacle is that they need a long time to show benefits – usually about three months, although they take time to wear off, too. Also, with the average month’s supply costing around £40, they’re a hefty investment in money as well as time. But their results can be impressive. No wonder many manufacturers have trials published in peer-reviewed journals. So what’s around?
Pills worth popping
As easy to take as any multivitamin, they kicked off this growing market. Check out:
- Vitabiotics Perfectil Platinum, £42.99 for 60 tablets, contain marine collagen, the ACE vitamins, several B vitamins, blackcurrant seed oil, selenium and zinc to encourage clear, glowing, more wrinkle-resistant skin. Trials show improvements to natural collagen (and therefore to lines and wrinkles, too) after four weeks, with best results after twelve.
- Viviscal Maximum Strength Supplements, £37.50 for one month supply, contain marine proteins, zinc, vitamin C and iron. Developed after scientists created a special marine complex to replicate benefits of the protein-rich diet that creates lush hair and skin among the Inuits, trials show that it reduces shedding and thickens the strands after three months.
- BeautyWorksWest’s Youth, £64 for one month, now includes biotin, ceramosides, amino acids, minerals and plant extracts as well as vitamins. The combination improves skin elasticity, wrinkles, hair growth, nails, and may even help sleep quality and hormone balance into the bargain.
These liquid versions are currently the biggest trend among supplements. Check out:
- Gold Collagen Forte, £35.99 for 10 x 50ml bottles, is aimed at the over 40s. Providing liquid collagen, hyaluronic acid and vitamins, this nifty multi-tasker benefits skin, hair and nails. Studies showed improved elasticity and firmness as well as reduced age spots, greater collagen density, and more brightness after 90 days.
- Imedeen, best known for their collagen-based Time Perfection, £43.99 for 60, and backed by numerous studies, recently launched new Advanced Beauty Shots, £34.99 for 10. It features concentrated collagen plus vitamin C for when your skin needs an extra boost.
- LQ Liquid Health Skin, Hair and Nails, £29.99 for 10 days, is a multi-tasking mix of marine collagen, resveratrol, hyaluronic acid, vitamins and minerals that works on skin elasticity, as well as hair and nail growth.
- Fountain – The Phyto Collagen Molecule, £39.99 for one month supply, is packed with hydrolysed collagen, nutrient-packed phytoplankton and powerful antioxidants to help skin fight signs of ageing. Take two teaspoons per day.
Have you tried beauty supplements? Tell us about it below…
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