Beauty Supplements: Getting that Glow From the Inside Out
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A good skincare routine, religious use of sunscreen, eating well and staying hydrated. All this will go a long way if you’re after that glowing, healthy complexion.
Is it always enough?
Nope. Not always.
Sometimes, like when dealing with stubborn acne, you also have to add a prescription treatment or certain beauty supplements to the mix.
The truth is that most of us probably don’t actually have the need for supplements. If you’re already getting everything you need from your diet, then taking them might make no difference at all.
If, however, you are under a lot of stress, have a hectic schedule, your diet isn’t well-balanced or you take certain medications, it’s a different story. All these factors can also affect your skin.
That kind of happens to be my story at the moment. As I’m slowly getting back to my healthy lifestyle and a plant-based diet, I reach for a little help from beauty supplements. The easiest way to get in a daily dose of that good, healthy stuff, is in my smoothies. Most of the time I make them with bananas, leafy greens, a protein powder, flaxseed, avocado, berries, and coconut water.
Another issue is that some of my medications, unfortunately, can deplete and/or impair the ability to absorb certain micronutrients. My goal is to get back to the place I was before my accident– when my doctor was so impressed with my blood work, she actually wanted to frame my results. In the meantime, these are some of my most-loved beauty supplements that help keep my skin happy.
It doesn’t matter how busy or stressed I get, if I travel or if I’m in pain and staying in bed all day. I never go a day without taking my Omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids help keep the skin healthy by improving its barrier function and hydration. These supplements (along with cutting out dairy from my diet) cured my cystic acne. I also swear that they improve my mood, especially when PMS hits hard (there are some promising studies showing that Omega-3 fatty acids might improve mood disorders). With the difference they make, to me these are more than just beauty supplements.
I took these Omega-3 supplements from Perricone MD for many, many years. They are amazing, but there’s really no need to pay that much for such a simple supplement. Since going plant-based a few years ago, I tried a few vegan alternatives, but ultimately nothing worked as good as fish oil. I just couldn’t give it up. Right now I take these, which are made from sustainable salmon and work just as well as Dr. Perricone stuff. They also have no aftertaste or smell, that a lot of fish oil supplements have.
Zinc is an essential mineral that’s vital for the health of your skin. It helps fight inflammation and supports wound healing. Raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), spinach, beans, and cashews are just a few plant-based sources of zinc. I love having my spinach in pasta or smoothies. If you’re not a fan of leafy greens, but still want to get all the benefits, it’s the easiest way to have them. We usually get most of our zinc from animal protein. This means that zinc requirements for those who don’t include meat in their diet, are much higher due to the difference in absorption of animal-based vs. plant-based zinc. If you don’t consume animal protein, a zinc supplement might be worth looking into.
Acne has been proven to be one of the signs of zinc deficiency. That is not to say that everyone with deficiency will suffer from acne, or that everyone suffering from acne has a zinc deficiency. It’s just something to keep in mind. My most recent micronutrient panel came out very low in zinc, and even though I have very acne-prone skin, this is the first time that a deficiency has been detected.
SAMAYA SKINCARE: VATA BEAUTY SUPPLEMENTS
One of my favorite skincare brands I was introduced to this year was Samaya. I’m a big fan of their Vata products. I’ve used the entire range, with the exception of the Treatment Oil, and the products have been amazing on my dry skin. I also really like the Vata supplements*– they complement the rest of the products from the range and they all work together in a very nice, harmonious way.
The blend actually includes a few supplements I usually take, and it’s definitely easier to just get it all in one capsule. The Vata supplements* are formulated with an all-natural blend of Turmeric, Triphala, Gotu Kola, and Aloe Vera Concentrate combined with Hyaluronic Acid, CoQ10, Vitamin E and Vitamin C (exact ingredient breakdown right here). The ingredients of the proprietary blend have all been used in Ayurvedic medicine, so the brand truly lives up to their philosophy based on Ayurvedic principles.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has significant healing properties, improves collagen deposition and helps brighten the skin. It has therapeutic benefits for the skin both when ingested and applied topically. Studies suggest that it may help improve conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and photoaging (sun damage).
Gotu Kola, or tiger grass, is an ancient Ayurvedic herb. So, not exactly a new discovery, but it has become quite a popular skincare ingredient in recent years. You might be more familiar with its nickname “cica”- adapted from its Latin name Centella Asiatica. It has potent antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and it may help enhance the growth of connective tissue, skin, hair, and nails. There’s also some preliminary evidence that Gotu Kola can improve blood circulation- which can help treat varicose veins or broken capillaries.
Triphala is one of the most widely used Ayurvedic formulations, consisting of three fruits, Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki, native to the subcontinent of India. Studies show that Triphala acts as a skin-protectant and can help improve skin elasticity.
The benefits of Aloe Vera have been recognized by the ancient civilizations. Referred to as the “plant of immortality” by the Egyptians, it was considered a sacred plant holding the secrets to not just “immortality” but also health and beauty. While it is known mainly for its skin-soothing properties (I mean, who hasn’t used it to treat a sunburn?) it can also improve skin’s hydration and help heal blemishes.
HUM NUTRITION GLOW SWEET GLOW BEAUTY SUPPLEMENTS
Even though I do it every single day, it’s rare that I actually look forward to taking my supplements. This is mostly due to the fact that few things I take come in large pills. Everything is also mostly all-natural (which can cause a bit of that “herbal” aftertaste at times) and since I’m usually in my fasting window in the morning, it can cause a bit of a gag reflex. Anything that’s fat-soluble, I take with my first meal. From time to time, I’ll also empty the capsules and have it with my post-workout smoothie, but that can be a lot of work.
Well, the point that I am so painstakingly trying to make, is that HUM’s Glow Sweet Glow gummies are the only beauty supplements I actually look forward to taking. They’re orange-flavored vegan gummies with low molecular hyaluronic acid, and Vitamin C and E. It’s easy to remember to take these because they taste good.
I’ve been taking them since January and it probably took about a month and a half before I saw a difference in my skin. The main thing I noticed was my skin looking brighter and less dry- not just on my face, but all over. A pleasant and unexpected benefit was that my nails seemed to be stronger, too. In all honesty, I didn’t have huge expectations when first trying these. I did go a few weeks here and there without taking them when I ran out on occasion, and I could tell that my skin didn’t feel the same.
Ingesting hyaluronic acid beauty supplements has been shown to improve the appearance of the skin. As far as I know, after talking with my derm, the same can’t be said for Vitamin C. Unless you have a deficiency, ingesting Vitamin C probably will not make a big difference in your skin. When applied topically, with Vitamin C Serum, for example, it can make a significant improvement in an uneven skin tone and dullness. Unfortunately, my skin doesn’t agree with countless Vit C products I’ve tried over the years, so I can’t use them.
The most important thing I suggest when considering adding beauty supplements, or any vitamins, is having your doctor run a micronutrient blood panel. This is what I’ve done earlier this year, and I did end up having a few deficiencies. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your routine. You might find that it’s completely unnecessary and won’t make a difference, or that it might interact with your current medications, etc.
As always, please refer to my professional disclaimer and keep in mind that the above information is provided strictly for purposes of education or, more precisely, general information based on personal experience. :)
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