If you’ve ever struggled with weak and brittle nails or hair that is prone to breakage, you might have turned to hair, skin, and nail vitamins to correct the problem. These vitamins promise strong nails, shiny hair, and glowing skin. Whether or not they come in the form of expensive pills or fruit-flavored gummies on the grocery store shelves, you might be wondering what is actually in these vitamins, or more importantly – do they work?
Today we’re going to take a look at the common ingredients of hair, skin, and nail vitamins, and whether or not their effectiveness makes taking them a worthwhile venture.
Biotin receives top billing in a lot of these vitamins, and for good reason. It plays a very important role in helping the body metabolize proteins, which are used to build healthy nails and hair. If you’ve got a severe deficiency of biotin, you might find you have brittle, peeling nails or lots of hair breakage, but if you’re getting the recommended amount of 30mg per day, then you probably won’t see much difference.
Fortunately, a lot of staple foods contain biotin! You’ll find it in bananas, egg yolks, beans, and broccoli, just to name a few.
Keratin is the stuff that forms the outer layers of skin and hair – you know, the tough stuff! Beauty vitamins claim to supplement and can make hair strong and shiny, but that may not necessarily be true. Our bodies make keratin in spades, so we don’t need any extra.
It might be more harmful than not. Have you ever had a cat that coughs up hairballs? Their bodies can’t process the keratin in the hair, and so they reject it. Too much keratin may disrupt your digestive system.
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in our skin that helps it stay smooth. As we get older, we produce less of it, and that’s when wrinkles and other signs of aging start to appear.
So will you see fewer wrinkles if you supplement with collagen? The answer is… maybe. The problem is, collagen is used for lots of things in your body. It could support your liver, your brain, your blood vessels – and yes, your skin too. Once you take it, it’s up to your body what to do with it! Taking collagen is undoubtedly good for you, but what part of you isn’t necessarily certain.
So, do these supplements work? The answer is a clear “sort of!”. You do need certain amounts of some of these vitamins, so taking them usually won’t hurt you. If you’re having severe problems, though, rather than try to patch them up with over-the-counter vitamins, look into seeing your dermatologist, who can give you a personalized plan to address your issues. Get in touch with us today and we’ll be glad to set up an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist!