When thinking about what to eat or which supplements to take, you likely focus on what helps you get lean and strong. But some micronutrients hold the real secret to beauty, too. In fact, your hair, skin, and nails are often the first to suffer if there’s a nutrient imbalance. Skin can become dry and flaky; hair and nails get brittle. Luckily, certain supps help counter dietary shortfalls, so you feel and look your best.
For Healthy Hair
B vitamins such as B6, biotin, inositol, and folic acid are crucial for keeping your hair shiny and smooth and for encouraging healthy growth. The following vitamins are water soluble, which means your body cannot store them, so getting these regularly through food and supps is a must.
- Pyridoxine, or B6. There’s a good deal of evidence supporting B6’s benefits for hair regrowth, perhaps due to its effects on hormone regulation.
- Biotin, aka vitamin B7, helps process fatty acids. It also supports healthy hair, skin, and nails.
- Inositol, or B8, supports healthy hair and speeds its growth.
- Folic acid, or B9, is particularly important for women of childbearing age.
In addition to helping prevent birth defects, B9 supports shinier hair, stronger nails, and healthier skin.
For Softer Skin
Skin care is a multibillion-dollar industry primarily made up of topical treatments that help fight wrinkles, dryness, and aging. But oils from the inside may have an even more profound effect on your skin’s glow. These fat-soluble nutrients can make a dramatic difference. Because they stay in your system longer, you don’t need to take them as frequently as water-soluble nutrients
- Beta-carotene is the nontoxic form of vitamin A—and a potent antioxidant. It helps destroy free radicals that can ravage your skin and cause disease.
- Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that helps skin cells replenish as older cells die.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, found in supps like fish oil, are known to benefit the heart and brain, but they also play a key role in skin health, helping to keep it hydrated and preventing dryness.
- Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant that supports skin hydration. Research shows lutein also helps fight damage caused by the sun’s UV rays
For Stronger Nails
- Gelatin is a protein derived from collagen that helps strengthen brittle, cracked nails (it also improves hair health and skin appearance).
- Silica is a mineral found in many vegetable products (especially grasses). It’s one of the biggest components of collagen, which provides structural strength and supports elasticity, helping hair, skin, and nails.
BY STEVEN STIEFEL