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There’s good reason why they say, “beauty comes from the inside out.” Along with using the right topical products, getting the right nutrients internally can go a long way in your quest for glowing skin, long hair, and strong nails. While in an ideal world, these would come solely from a squeaky clean diet full of fruits and veggies, getting an adequate amount of the vitamins and minerals you need from diet alone simply isn’t realistic for most people. (Because, you know, real life.)
Enter the benefit of a beauty supplement, which works to, well, supplement your diet and can have positive effects on your hair, skin, and nails. The right one can help protect skin from signs of aging, make your nails less likely to chip and break, and leave your hair stronger and less prone to breakage, explains dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry. So, how exactly do you choose the right one?
Keep reading to learn more about the best hair, skin, and nail vitamins out there.
According to Dr. Henry, biotin is one of the best ingredients to seek out in a beauty supplement: “It’s fundamental for the health of hair, skin, and nails,” she says. There’s no shortage of biotin options out there, but she’s partial to this pick; the biotin is delivered via cold-pressed organic coconut oil to help improve absorption.
It’s also non-GMO, another attribute Dr. Henry says is important to look for in any supplement. This is an Amazon fan-favorite too, consistently pulling in rave reviews and even impressive before and after photos where users share hair and nail growth.
These (very yummy) grapefruit-flavored gummies also contain a good amount of biotin, as well as super important vitamins C and E, powerful antioxidants that do great things for your skin. There’s keratin in the mix too, a protein that makes up much of our hair and nails, and Dr. Henry says is a good option to take orally. Plus, can we talk about the crazy affordable price?
Byrdie Commerce Editorial Director Jessica Mahgerefteh raves about this multivitamin (as well as the prenatal version, which she’s currently taking). The formula was specially created and clinically-studied and includes nine nutrients essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Among them: Folate, vitamins B12, D3, E, and K2, and omega-3 fatty acids, just to name a few.
Along with their beauty benefits—Byrdie Senior Editor Hallie Gould also vouches for their effectiveness and says they improved nail growth— this is also a choice supplement for overall health, helping to boost immunity, bone strength, and more. Bonus points for the convenient subscription model, which ensures you never run out.
Both Dr. Henry and Byrdie Email Editor Karli Bendlin recommend this option if you’re dealing with thinning, weak, or otherwise ‘meh’ hair. There are over 21 ingredients in the formula, including adaptogens to help reduce stress-induced inflammation and saw palmetto which helps block DHT (a hormone thought to contribute to hair loss), says Dr. Henry.
It is a bit pricey, and you do have to take four pills daily for up to six months to see results, but those results are legit; in a brand-backed clinical study, 86% of women reported improved hair growth after six months.
Another one of Dr. Henry’s picks, she says this is choice for healthy hair growth. Along with the powerful dose of biotin, she also likes that it’s vegetarian and free of fillers. Amazon reviewers like it too, noting that it restores shine, speed up growth, and leaves hair fuller.
According to Suzie Welsh, RN, MSN, and founder of Binto, zinc is a top nutrient to seek out for skin purposes. (It’s been well-studied as both a topical and systemic treatment in dermatology, and can be a particularly good option for those with acne-prone skin.)
Credit its ability to moderate the body’s inflammatory response, as well as its antioxidant properties that help combat oxidative stress that damages cells throughout the body, not just in the skin. This supplement in particular is a good pick since it uses a highly-absorbable (read: effective) form of the nutrient.
If your tips are in need of a little TLC, consider adding this supplement to your daily routine. The vegan capsule is biotin-based, and in a clinical study was shown to help boost nail thickness, reduce splitting, and make the surface of the nail smoother (none of those annoying ridges). Sephora shoppers back up these claims, happily sharing how well the supplement works.
“These contain biotin, along with vitamins C and E, and are vegan and super easy to take. Who doesn’t want a gummy?” says Dr. Henry. They’re also non-GMO, free of allergens such as wheat, soy, and gluten, and are super affordable.
Vital Proteins is always one of our favorite brands for anything and everything collagen-related, but we’re especially partial to their latest launch. Each of the (very convenient, travel-friendly powder packs) contains five grams of collagen, a protein that Dr. Henry says may help to improve the elasticity of the skin.
But it doesn’t stop there. This newbie also has zinc, vitamin C, and antioxidant glutamine, all essential for keeping your immune system strong. (And let’s face it, who doesn’t want a little extra immunity boost these days?) There are also electrolytes in the mix to ensure you stay hydrated, always important for both your looks and your immune system.
The herbs in this supplement are all loaded with skin-, hair-, and nail-loving minerals, giving you a serious bang for your buck. The totally vegan formula boasts things such as anti-inflammatory horsetail extract, nettle leaf extract which balances oil production, alfalfa extract rich in anti-aging vitamins, and astaxanthin, one of the most potent antioxidants out there.
You probably already know that taking a probiotic is a great way to promote gut health, but did you know that there’s growing evidence that gut health and skin health are also very connected? It’s why Welsh says taking a probiotic can be a great way to improve the overall quality of your skin, and can be particularly beneficial if you’re dealing with acne.
This particular probiotic our personal fave. It contains 16 different probiotic strains and 40 billion CFUs (basically a measure of its potency). Along with doing great things for your skin and gut, it also helps boost immunity and vaginal health, and, unlike many other probiotic formulas of equal strength, doesn’t have to be refrigerated. It also contains not only probiotics but also a prebiotic fiber (essentially food for the prebiotic bacteria) to make it all the more effective, says Welsh.
“Omega-3 fatty acids are amazing for everything, hair, skin and nails,” says Welsh. The only issue? In the supplement space, these most often come from fish oil, which can be an issue for vegans. Enter this vegan alternative; it sources those nutrients from marine algae rather than fish. Along with the beauty benefits, it’s also good for systemic health, with benefits for everything from your brain to your heart.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. While she does pat herself on the back for eating a clean and nutrient-rich diet, she does take beauty supplements daily as an extra back-up.
Meet the Expert
- Michelle Henry, M.D., Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Weill Medical College and dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon in New York City. She specializes in cosmetic procedures, as well as medical dermatology and MOHS Micrographic Surgery.
- Suzie Welsh, RN, MSN is the founder of Binto, a digital women’s health company that connects women with healthcare professionals to create customized supplement plans using the brand’s own line of supplements.