December 9, 2014 5 minute read
I’ll admit I’ve gone through phases of being a bit of a pill head. But the good kind. There’s a good kind. Right? Right. Let’s just say the nutritional supplement section of any health food store gets me as excited as walking into a Sephora or Space NK. Through my adventures with GSE, colloidal silver, Sea Buckthorn, and L-Glutamine (to name a few), I’ve learned a very important thing about supplements: less is more. You don’t need to swallow a pharmacy to get clear skin, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that any product advertised to give you “clear skin, grow hair, and strengthen nails” is probably not going to work. It’s all about the nutrients, ladies. You need to know which nutrient causes which benefit, and whether or not you can find enough of it in your daily diet. If the answer is no, then wander the naturopathy aisle to your hearts content. Here are my favourite supplements for helping a body produce healthy skin, hair, and nails.
1. Megafood Women’s One Daily, Multivitamins should in no way be used as a substitution for a healthy and balanced diet, but a good quality vitamin can be exactly what your body needs to help you out in the skin, hair and nail department. If your daily diet lacks certain nutrients from time to time these are a surefire way to make sure you keep up a good store in your system. I chose Megafood because it’s gluten-free, vegetarian, pesticide free, soy free, dairy free, farm fresh and non-GMO. Nutrient-wise I wanted a vitamin that had adequate folate, zinc, iron, biotin and B vitamins, which this one has.
2. Flora Vegetal Silica, People either go with biotin (a coenzyme and a B vitamin) or silica (a natural chemical compound that is an oxide of silicon) for a little extra hair love. So why don’t I use biotin? The multivitamin I prefer already has biotin in it, and I actually found that silica caused the condition of my skin and nails to improve more than it did with biotin. Both improved the quality of my hair, but I did notice biotin made my hair grow slightly faster than the silica. So if you’re looking for speed of growth over quality of skin then you can certainly up your biotin with an additional supplement. How does silica work? It acts with sulfur to give your skin, hair and nails a healthy appearance. It’s also needed by the body to produce collagen, the protein responsible for keeping your skin baby-smooth. This particular supplement is a bit on the pricier side of silica options, but it’s the best.
3. Barlean’s Evening Primrose Oil, I actually take this right before I get my period because I’ve found it to help with terrible cramps and achy breasts. But it also has crazy anti-inflamitory properties that influence your skin, thanks to the omega-6 fatty acid Gammo Linolenic Acid. There are even studies that have shown this supplement to be an effective solution for those suffering from eczema! The only variation between products is the quality of the oil – I like Barlean’s because it’s 100% organic.
4. Nordic Naturals DHA, I actually only discovered the incredible benefits omega-3 DHA has for skin when I started taking it during my pregnancy. I take it depending on what I eat that day, but it’s an awesome supplement. DHA or EPA (omega-3) in combination with GLA (omega-6) is the perfect cocktail for clearer skin, but make sure whatever DHA product you choose doesn’t have GLA in it too if you’re taking evening primrose oil – you don’t want to overdo it!
5. Garden of Life RAW Probiotic for Women, When your intestinal lining is out of whack your skin will show it. Sometimes all you need is a good dose of beneficial bacteria to solve a whole lot of your problems. How? Your gut and your skin are your body’s major forms of detoxification, and we all need a healthy microbiome for that to happen normally. If our gut flora is unhealthy, you’ll often see it via acne and other skin problems due to chronic inflammation (Dr. Frank Lipman). I think that finding a probiotic that’s both raw and made with whole foods are the two most important things, and everyone I’ve talked to has seen extremely positive results with Garden of Life. The only downside is it has to be refrigerated, so if that’s an issue for you just find a probiotic that offers at least 30 billion live organisms per dose.
With the exception of the multivitamin and probiotic, I wouldn’t take each of these supplements every day. The key is variety. So try to incorporate these nutrients into your daily diet via food and drink as often as possible, and switch up the frequency of supplementation. You’ll be on your way to healthy skin, hair and nails in no time!
Disclaimer: I’m currently pregnant and am NOT taking all of these supplements. As always, check with your doctor or midwife before supplementing during pregnancy. This list has been compiled for all you non-preggo ladies out there.
*seen first on Models for Wellness