When it comes to beauty supplements, it is a good idea to heed the advice of dermatologists rather than be seduced by advertising. Recently, nutricosmetics have become increasingly popular, shifting attention away from multivitamins to specific skincare supplements.
Cadogan Clinic consultant dermatologist Dr. Catherine Borysiewicz and aesthetic doctor and Integrative Beauty founder Dr. David Jack recently spoke to Vogue about selecting the right beauty supplement. Firstly, the two experts say that just because an ingredient works wonders topically doesn't mean it will yield the same results orally.
"Collagen supplements are a fairly good example of this," Dr. Borysiewicz said. "Collagen is essentially a protein complex. When that reaches your GI tract, your body will break it down into amino acids, just like any other protein. It's very hard to establish whether the collagen you ingest will actually reach the skin as collagen - it may be converted into something else."
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Collagen supplements are often formulated with other extracts and vitamins that offer benefits to the skin. They can prove helpful for people with inflammatory diseases like eczema or psoriasis, according to Dr. Borysiewicz. Since collagen is difficult to ingest simply through diet, supplements can be useful. Rejuvenated Veggiecol, available for $55 at barneys.com, includes a vegetarian collagen peptide, alongside hyaluronic acid, vitamin C & B, and zinc.
Dr. Jack recommends adding vitamin C and E as skin supplements because they guard against environmental damage, which can result in premature aging and acne. "They work in synergy really well together, and they're powerful antioxidants," he said. Vitamin D can also afford significant benefits given that in order to get enough vitamin D through sun exposure, you would have to lay out for extended periods of time, which can have disastrous effects on the skin.
There are now many powdered varieties that can add be added to water, making them easier on the stomach. BetterYou Vegan Health Spray with Vitamin D3 and B12, available for $19.99 at betteryou.com, and Sarah Chapman Skinesis Omega Booster, available for $84 at sarahchapman.com, are both great options.
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Retinol is also available as an oral supplement. "We actually have a lot of research about how retinol, or vitamin A, works when ingested," Dr. Jack said. "Prescription medications like isotretinoin are super high-dose concentrations of a Vitamin A and can have impressive results." Though drinkable retinol would not be as effective as isotretinoin, the rejuvenating and skin-replenishing benefits of a supplement would still be there. Beauty SkinFusion, with vitamin A, zinc, and iron, is available for $85 at spacenk.com.
Dr. Borysiewicz and Dr. Jackalso highlight the importance of taking zinc to boost the immune system, which has a positive effect on the skin. Also, iron is beneficial to those susceptible to eczema or psoriasis, while omega 3 helps restores the skin natural barrier and enhance texture. In addition, glutathione helps brighten the skin and features an array of antioxidant properties. WelleCo The Super Elixir, with omega 3, vitamin D3, and probiotics is available for $126 at cultbeauty.co.uk.