Vitamins for hair skin and nails

4 things you probably didin't know about hair, skin and nail vitamins

In this week’s blog we thought it would be helpful to discuss four things you probably didn’t know about hair, skin and nail vitamins. We think you will find these especially helpful when it comes time to make an informed decision about which hair, skin and nail vitamin supplements are best for you.

So let’s first talk about vitamin E, which you will likely find in every supplement on store shelves. Vitamin E is an essential, fat-soluble vitamin meaning it can be dissolved in the liver and fatty tissues of your body as kind of a storage depot, available and ready to use when needed. There are several important facts about vitamin E that you may not have known, but simply said, all “Vitamin E” on the labels of supplements is not the same. Vitamin E actually has 8 natural forms, 4 from the tocopherol family and another 4 from the tocotrienol family. The most important for your health is known as d-alpha-tocopherol. There are also synthetic forms of Vitamin E. The body does not absorb these nearly as well as the natural versions, so you should avoid these. Unfortunately, you need to be a little vigilant when label reading as they are sometimes called dl-alpha tocopherol, a sneaky addition of one extra letter in the name. But it is not wasted time, as careful reading of the label has other benefits which we will get to further down. Our supplement uses d-alpha tocopherol succinate for precisely these reasons, it is the most biologically active and absorbed form of Vitamin E.

Now let’s move on to another thing that you probably didn't know about hair, skin and nails vitamin. Hyaluronic acid - it is not nearly as well known as Vitamin E but is a common ingredient found in hair, skin and nails supplements. The source of hyaluronic acid in our supplement is sodium hyaluronate which is just the salt of hyaluronic acid. The big difference between sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid is that the molecular weight in sodium hyaluronate is much lower. This basically translates into a smaller molecule size, enabling better penetration through the skin layers if applied topically, or as in our case, better penetration through the intestinal walls for increased transport and bioavailability to your skin. Another detail to be on the lookout for when comparing different products is the dosage of hyaluronic acid in the supplement. These will vary wildly from supplement to supplement but what is important to note is that most of the control trials that evaluated the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid on various skin properties that found a significant positive effect used doses of between 120-240 mg/day. Few studies have used less, or more for that matter. It would seem to make sense then that the supplement should provide at least 120 mg/day but perhaps no more than 240 mg/day as there really is no evidence that “more is better”. Our supplements contain a hyaluronic acid dose of 120 mg/day.

And speaking about reading labels, keep an eye out for ingredients that are not vitamins. This is one reason why regular vitamins are superior to gummy vitamins – the latter typically contain sugar, food colorings (some of which have actually been banned in Europe but are still being used in the USA) and other chemicals to make them “gummy” that will do nothing for your health or beauty. There is a bit of an art into reading a supplement label which we have blogged about previously, but keep in mind that the larger print will contain the active ingredients but what you should look out for are “Other ingredients” which typically have a smaller print size and where you may find some dubious additives listed.

And the last item we would like to discuss in this version of the blog is how long it will take for you to see results since your first day of adding a hair, skin and nails beauty supplement to your daily routine. Nothing happens overnight and the key here is to be patient. Just as we noted when we devoted an entire blog to this subject (October 2022), there is no straight answer to this question because other factors that are uniquely specific to each of us, such as age, genetics, lifestyles, nutritional levels and general state of health play a huge role. Some of the beneficial effects may be accrued within a week or two, such as additional protection against harmful UV rays from the sun. But for those benefits that are visible to you, for example more voluminous and stronger hair or increased moisture in the skin and perhaps wrinkle relief, it may take as much as 3 months or even longer. But to see these effects, it is especially important to maintain regular supplementation over that time.

 

Take away message

This week we discussed 4 things you probably didn’t know about hair, skin and nail vitamins. The first was about vitamin E and explained why you should always look for vitamin E in the form of d-alpha-tocopherol and not any synthetic version. Then we reviewed some issues with hyaluronic acid for which you should be on the lookout, especially those supplements that contain a dose of less than 120 mg/day where evidence for effectiveness is lacking. There is also a lack of evidence pointing to any benefits above a dose of 240 g/day, so paying a premium for especially high doses does not make a lot of sense. We then reviewed what more you can learn about the contents of the supplement by reading its “Supplement Facts” label, and in particular the “Other ingredients” where the names of nasty, unnecessary chemicals may be found and lead you to reconsider your purchase. And finally, once you have decided on a supplement, be patient with your expectations for results. Realistically, don’t expect miracles for at least 3 months, but do maintain regular use. The benefits to your hair, skin and nails that you are so anxiously awaiting will come.

 

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