Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hair, Nails, and Skin Supplements: Do They Actually Work?

I was at a beauty event for Fashion Week recently. On the way out, I was given a goody bag that included a bottle of Nature’s Made Hair, Skin, and Nails Gummies. It’s a pretty pink bottle that claims to provide “the vital nutrients your body needs to support your natural beauty from within"...

It’s no secret that everyone wants beautiful hair, nails, and skin. The idea of getting this by chewing a gummy sounds like a dream come true. But does it actually work….

OK, so let’s assume that you have brittle nails and thinning hair. Your skin looks tired and dry.  Let’s also assume that there are not underlying medical conditions contributing to any of these things. And let’s consider the following:

Brittle Nails: Cause by exposure to harsh solvents (nail polish remover, cleaners) and/or constant wetting and drying of the nails/hands and lifestyle choices such as smoking and poor diet.

Thinning, Dry Hair: Caused by excessive heat or harsh styling products, tight updo’s, coloring and perms, emotional or physical stress and poor diet.

Dry, Blemished Skin: Poor hygiene, tanning, smoking and poor diet.

Notice a trend here? Let’s say you don’t use harsh cleaners, you don’t wear heavy make-up, and you don’t color your hair. Then what we’re left with is nutrition. And guess what? A SUPPLEMENT WILL NOT MAKE UP FOR A POOR DIET. 

In case you still want to consider this supplement because you think your nutrition is on point, let’s take a closer look at Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, and Nails gummies. Here is the ingredient list:

Other Ingredients: Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dicalcium Phosphate, Grape Juice Color Concentrate, Gelatin, Modified Food Starch, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Natural Strawberry Flavor, Black Carrot Juice Color Concentrate, Maltodextrin, Fractionated Coconut Oil (Contains one or more of the following: Carnauba Wax, Beeswax), Silica. 

So the gummy is mostly made of corn syrup and sugar. Awesome. 

Two gummies provide the following:

Currently, there are VERY WEAK, and VERY FEW quality studies on biotin and its ability to improve the health of our hair, nails and skin. And unless you are taking certain medications or have a medical condition that makes it hard to absorb nutrients, it is VERY RARE to be deficient in biotin. 

Instead of wasting your money on supplements, buy some high quality food. Not getting enough iron-rich protein could be a huge reason why your nails and hair are not as healthy as they could be. Some examples of iron-rich protein would be:

Chicken, turkey, lean red meat, tofu, eggs

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’ll want to assess your intake of zinc and iron since they are both essential to keratin formation. They are both naturally found in meats and some seafood, but as a vegetarian or vegan you can find sources of these nutrients in beans. 

Other things to consider: Decrease the amount of added sugar in your diet, mind your alcohol, drink plenty of water, and EAT ENOUGH. Malnutrition is the sure way to make everything look and feel like crap.