Hair, Skin, and Nails - Nutrition for the Beauty in You!
In this blog we are going to examine some key nutrients and vitamins that may play a significant role in supporting healthy hair, skin and nails.‡
Dare to Dream
Let’s face it, I think most of us at one time or another have dreamed of having the perfect head of hair. You know perfect---thick, strong, shiny hair like those models we see in the ads. Some of those advertisements make you want to run right out and purchase the hair product that the model is using.
Of course, the same goes for the desire to have healthy youthful skin. We cannot wait to put on a serum or moisturizer to make the lines of age fade and give us that youthful glow. The price doesn’t matter to most; it’s the results that we long for, and the hope that the change will be instantaneous!
However, after trying several dozens of products over a lifetime, you start to realize that it’s not what you put on your hair or skin, but rather what you ‘take in’ that matters. Vitamins and nutrients from your foods may have the greatest impact on the quality of your hair, skin and nails.
Brush Up on Your Nutrition
Not sure that brushing your hair 100 times a day or more will stimulate your scalp and promote hair growth but eating healthy should definitely be part of your daily beauty to-dos. Eating balanced meals is essential for helping you to achieve and maintain optimal health. However, when it comes to comprehensive nutrition, you should take a closer look at specific nutrients for your hair, skin and nails.
One of the most common nutrients that may come to your mind, when you think about beauty is Biotin. This B vitamin rocks the vitamin world and gets a lot of well-deserved credit. Some might say it adds the “B” to beauty. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that is a cofactor involved in the metabolism of macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein and fat.1,2‡
- It also plays a role in promoting nail strength and resistance to brittleness.‡
- In fact, clinical studies indicate that biotin may adjust the cellular arrangement of the nail bed, helping to reinforce the keratin structure, promote strength and thickness and reduce splitting.3‡
- This B vitamin can also help strengthen hair and skin as well as maintain a healthy nervous system.‡
As you can see, the science behind biotin is pretty impressive and a win-win!
Other Key Nutrients from C to Z
The collagen craze has really increased our awareness of the impact nutrients may have on our health, and of course -- beauty! It may not be the fountain of youth, but collagen is blazing some trails in the health arena! Rather than just looking at the outside, women and men are seeing that there is a strong connection between certain nutrients and hair, skin and nail health. So, let’s take a look at understanding what collagen is and what it can do for us.
The basic breakdown is that collagen is a protein found in our bodies, specifically in our connective tissues. Connective tissue includes our skin, bones, tendons and joints. Interestingly, there are about 28 different types of collagen and about 90% of collagen in our bodies is type I collagen.4 The unique collagen, BioCell Collagen®, found in our Collagen JS is hydrolyzed, or broken down, for easier digestion and use by the body.‡
- It provides connective tissue support, and helps to maintain the composition, integrity and mobility of joints.‡
- It supports the elasticity and firmness of skin and may help modulate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and provides the combined benefits of Hyaluronic Acid which promotes hydration and moisture retention within the dermal matrix.‡
Key nutrients such as vitamin C, copper, manganese, silica and zinc, as well as folate found in our Hair/Skin/Nails Ultra, are associated with healthy hair, skin and nails and assist with the production of both collagen and keratin, thereby promoting skin elasticity.‡
- Skin elasticity and hydration, healthy hair and nail strength and thickness are supported by the Metafolin® L-5-MTHF, the predominant form of folate that is contained in this hair, skin and nails vitamin.‡
Shhhh!---Another best kept secret is cold-pressed evening primrose seed oil (E.P.O.), which has many benefits. Used for centuries as nutritional support for a wide range of physiological functions, several studies have shown that E.P.O. may help support the look and feel of healthy skin.5‡
- Our E.P.O. is a great source of the essential fatty acids including gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and is processed without solvents.
- Also, a clinical trial reported that E.P.O. supported healthy skin through a modulation of IFN-gamma (a helpful cytokine in our bodies).6 ‡
Promote Healthy-From the Inside Out
Whether you’re at a local farmer’s or fish market, or even your own garden, keep in mind that fresh is best! Select a variety of foods from each of the food groups.
Get some protein on your plate. Dietary protein is essential in your diet to promote collagen synthesis, along with a nutrient rich diet of fruits and veggies, whole grains and essential fatty acids. In fact, essential fatty acids are SO beneficial I wrote another blog post featuring them called “Eating for the Health of It” ! Check it out when you have a minute to learn more. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick and simple summary to consider for some healthy changes that will encourage feeling good from the inside out.‡
- Your protein can be from eggs, lean poultry, dairy, nuts and seeds, or fish and seafood. In addition to protein, foods like seafood contain a fat-soluble carotenoid or antioxidant called astaxanthin.‡
- Astaxanthin helps support the skin’s natural antioxidant defenses against free radicals from sun exposure.‡
So, the next time you enjoy a bite of some fruits, vegetables or whole grains, let’s not forget that these natural storehouses are abundant in nutrients like B-vitamins, vitamin E, fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, phospholipids and tannins to name a few. And they are not only important for good health, but may contribute to the gorgeous hair, skin and nails you’ve always wanted!
Shield from the Environment
Be proactive. Protection from the sun is important. Though the sun’s warmth lifts our spirits and warms our hearts, it is essential to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging rays.
- Use a sunscreen that is right for you. Talk to your healthcare provider about the SPF that he or she would recommend.
- Understand the ingredients in the product before you purchase.
- Read the label for how often to reapply, especially if you will be participating in water activities or perspiring a lot while outside!
So, the next time you reach for your phone to click and order the next greatest beauty product, remember that the best way to nourish your hair, skin and nails, may just be sitting right in your refrigerator!
Just remember, real beauty begins with a radiant smile that reflects your own unique inner spirit.
1. Wolf B, et al. Pediatric Research. 1979. 13; 1275–1279.
2. Revilla-Monsalve C, et al. Biome Pharmacother. 2006 May;60(4):182-5.
3. Hochman LG, et al. Cutis. 1993 Apr;51(4):303-5.
4. Naomi R, Ridzuan PM, Bahari H. Polymers (Basel). Aug 2021;13(16):26-42.
5. Muggli R. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2005 Aug;27(4):243- 9.
6. Yoon S, et al. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol. 2002 Jan-Feb;15(1):20-5.