Many people believe they are doomed by their genetics. Well, the good news is that a healthy diet and good skincare regimen can take you pretty far when it comes to keeping your skin beautiful. In fact,your lifestyle determines 80-90% of your health, including the health and vibrance of your skin!
Along with making good lifestyle choices, you can enjoy the benefits of natural supplements that help to support your body and nourish your skin. In addition to eating a rainbow of colors (vegetables…not Skittles) and doing a weekly at-home facial, here are 11 supplements for perfectly radiant skin.
Make sure to check with your physician before you start taking any new supplements—especially if you already take prescriptions, OTC drugs or vitamins (or if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant)—to make sure it’s OK to add into your daily routine. Because nature’s supplements have some pretty potent activity (assuming it is sourced properly), they can potentially affect medical conditions and interact with your prescribed medications.
11 Must-Have Beauty Supplements
1. Evening Primrose Oil or Black Currant Seed Oil
Both contain the essential fatty acid Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), which is anti-inflammatory and promotes healthy skin cell growth. As Dr. Weil cautions, these can take 6 to 8 weeks to start seeing results—so stick with it! Evening primrose oil is especially beneficial for PMS symptoms and around perimenopause to alleviate hormonal imbalances.
2. Fern Extract
Polypodium Leucotomos Extract (PLE) is derived from a tropical fern grown in Central and South America. It has antioxidant and photo protective properties that protect skin from UV rays, sun damage and discoloration.
3. Fish Oil
The idea of downing fish oil every day might seem weird (and what’s with those gigantic gel caps?), but it’s worth it: omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA—both of which are found in fish oil—support collagen production, which helps fill in any lines on your face. They also help reduce symptoms of rosacea, acne, and eczema, regulate your skin’s moisture balance and improve the overall appearance of your skin.
2,000 mg of fish oil a day has been shown to have many anti-aging, anti-inflammatory benefits. It is a blood thinner so avoid it before any surgery and let your physician know you are taking it. Also, make sure you are sourcing your fish oil from a reputable source to avoid any fish oil laden with mercury from toxic fish!
If you get those horrible fish oil burps, be aware that they usually improve over time, but one of the tricks I recommend is to store it in the freezer and take it frozen. It has already passed into your gut before it thaws outs and voila! No burps.
The root of this shrub, native to Southeastern Asia, has started to get attention recently for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which are proving particularly effective against acne (even severe cases). It’s been used in Ayurveda for ages to relieve stress and support all skin types—not just acne-prone.
In addition to skin benefits, ashwagandha reduces anxiety and normalizes blood sugar, and it’s being studied for possible cancer-fighting benefits. The cool thing about this unique herb is that it is an adaptogen, which means it balances everything out in the body.
Buy it: Organic India Ashwagandha
5. Vitamin A
Have you ever noticed that your skin looks so much better after you drink a carrot juice or do a pumpkin face mask, especially if you have oily skin? That’s because, similar to retinoids (which are applied topically—and can cause skin irritation or increased sensitivity to sun), which are derived from vitamin A, when taken internally vitamin A reduces sebum production and maintains protective tissue. It’s often used by people with acne, psoriasis or eczema.
Definitely don’t take a vitamin A supplement if you’re pregnant though, as it’s been linked to birth defects—and make sure to check in with a practitioner about your dosage because overdoing it can be dangerous. But if your diet is high in processed foods, chances are that you are likely deficient in vitamin A.
6. Vitamin D
Between the ages of 20 and 70, your body loses 75% of its ability to create vitamin D. And this vitamin is crucial to epidermis cell replenishment, repair and metabolism (which keeps your skin’s moisture locked in and supports its immunity), and can minimize acne and dark spots. We depend on sunlight for much of our vitamin D intake, so if you live in a climate where sunlight is inconsistent or minimal, it’s probably worth looking in to a vitamin D supplement.
Buy it: NatureWise Vitamin D 5,000 IU
Researchers have found that people with acne tend to have lower zinc levels than those without, and studies have shown that the mineral is almost as effective as antibiotics in killing acne bacteria. It reduces the inflammatory response in acne-prone skin, and it’s a powerful antioxidant. Look for zinc picolinate and zinc methionine, which are more easily absorbed by the body. High doses of zinc can cause stomach cramping and digestive upset, so check in with a practitioner about your dosage if you want to start taking zinc.
Buy it: Source Naturals OptiZinc
8. Vitamin C
We all know that vitamin C can help protect us from colds, but its antioxidant properties are great for skin, too. It offers protection from free radicals and creates collagen, supports cell strength, and combats wrinkles, spots and dullness.
9. Vitamin E
Another antioxidant, vitamin E is anti-inflammatory, and important to healthy cell turnover and UV protection. Studies have shown that vitamin E protects better when it’s combined with vitamin C, and subjects who took both had lower amounts of DNA damage after UV exposure. The tocotrienol form of vitamin E is more beneficial than the tocopherols.
Buy it: Twinlab Super-E Complex
This amino acid glucosamine (which is a natural component of cartilage) can help minimize fine lines, accelerate wound healing, improve skin hydration and decrease wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. You might even find your need for a moisturizer decreases as you take it!
Also known as coenzyme Q, CoQ10 is produced naturally in the body; it helps neutralize free radicals and keep cells in tip-top shape, while supporting collagen and elastin production. We produce less of it as we age or experience stress, so our cells are less able to withstand free radicals and we start to look older. If you have crow’s feet around your eyes, a CoQ10 supplement can help minimize those lines.
Because CoQ10 provides energy to the body, it is best taken in the morning so you don’t have issues sleeping. Also, if you take blood pressure or cholesterol medications, these deplete CoQ10 from the body.
Buy it: NOW Foods CoQ10
What beauty supplements do you swear by?588