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Skin, Hair, And Nail Vitamins: Do They Really Work?

Who doesn't want glossy hair, clear skin, and nails that can withstand coats of gel polish and more? A healthy diet paired with regular exercise does the trick for some women, but for others hoping for their hair, skin, and nails to look their best, they turn to vitamins and health supplements for that extra boost. 

While many of these products are safe, it's always best to know which combinations of vitamins are best for your specific health and beauty needs, and if they can live up to their amazing claims — and which to avoid altogether. 

But first, the lowdown

Know that these supplements are not magic solve-all products. According to Dr. Marina Peredo, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, and clinical nutritionist Josephine Tutrani, the most that these products do is assist your body in producing necessary nutrients for beautiful hair, skin, and nails. They can also reinforce your body's natural processes of renewing cells, speeding up the shedding of dead cells and their replacement with new cells, and ultimately making your hair, skin, and nails appear healthier. For those with certain vitamin deficiencies that affect hair and nail growth, these supplements can help, too. 

Expecting dramatic results (and looking like a walking Instagram filter) is rather unrealistic. When taking beauty supplements, the keywords to keep in mind are "improvement and enhancement," rather than "complete overhaul."  

In addition to this, Dr. Holly Philips, MD, also advices against taking excessive amounts of these supplements. Drinking more of them won't necessarily mean quicker and more noticeable results; your body will pretty much just expel the excess amounts in your next bathroom break. There's a reason why these products have a recommended dosages; your body can only take so much vitamins at a time and can only process up to a certain amount. Having too much of them can even result in complications. 

Thirdly, sorry, ladies, but when it comes to aging, these supplements offer little, if anything, in battling the effects of time on your bodies. Don't be carried away by products that claim to be able to change your appearance, i.e.: erasing wrinkles and aiding robust hair growth. 

And lastly, always, always consult your doctor before taking any of these products. This is especially true if you are on other medications that may interact with them. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of how these products can fit into your beauty regimen, let's move on to which vitamins and supplements can best address your beauty concerns. 

 

Take: Biotin 

Biotin is essentially a water-soluble version of Vitamin B. It's what stimulates healthy nail growth and shields against nail brittleness and dryness. When it comes to hair, it protects your scalp from dryness and flakiness, while improving hair elasticity. Consider a biotin supplement if you get regular mani-pedis, and often have your hair in an updo for long periods of time. 

Take: Vitamin B

Do you often have to deal with breakouts? Then vitamin B is a bearer of good news. It can act as a skin antioxidant that can help stomp bacteria that cause and feed acne, while also controlling testosterone levels that cause the same. Vitamin B is also highly recommended for ladies that are prone to stress-related breakouts as it keeps adrenal glands (glands that produce hormones to respond to stress) in control. 

Take: Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 is a great way to add much needed moisture to your scalp. "The DHA and EPA found in omega-3 adds luster, elasticity and shine to dull strands, promoting the restart of hair growth,” says Dr. Peredo. For those with skin concerns, Omega 3 can help your everyday sunscreen do its job by providing protection against harmful UV rays and sunburn. 

 

Consider: Vitamin E

 Not enough evidence can prove that Vitamin E can help in improving, hair, skin, and nails, but it does have some anti-inflammatory properties that can help those dealing with eczema and psoriasis. 

Consider: Vitamin C

The citrusy vitamin aids in the formation of collagen — something our skin needs to stay supple and smooth. Vitamin C can help, but according to experts, you'll have to take lots and lots of it to see noticeable results. 

Consider: Vitamin A

Vitamin A is good acne prevention. It doesn't work for all women, so don't expect it to be a game-changer. 

Skip: Growth hormone therapy

Say what? According to Dr. Peredo, there's a new beauty-meets-science trend that claims human hormone growth therapy that can turn back the effects of time on hair, skin, and nails. No evidence supports this, and it is usually only recommended for those with pituitary concerns. The effects on those that take it without the condition have not been documented or tested.