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Beyond topical treatments that you can apply to make your skin look youthful, you may be tempted by a growing array of beauty supplements on the market today. Popular in Asia and Europe, they're catching on in North America too. Are they worth your consideration?

The old adage, "You are what you eat" has a lot of truth to it. A good diet filled with lean meats, healthy fats and leafy green vegetables will do most bodies good – boosting your energy, promoting healthy bodily functions (including those of your heart, brain and digestive system), strengthening your immune system, AND making your skin glow. If you eat well, exercise regularly and get a good night's sleep, are you still a candidate for beauty supplements?

While many health care professionals agree that a daily multi-vitamin may help to fill in nutritional gaps, there isn't much consensus on the benefits of additional supplements. They may not make you look prettier, but beauty supplements can deliver a healthier appearance overall, reduce future signs of aging and strengthen hair and nails. There isn't a lack of choice, which includes everything from omega-3 fish oil supplements to a bevy of potions and pills developed by famous physicians and Hollywood stars.

If you decide that beauty supplements are right for you, choose wisely. There aren't many clinical studies to support claims made by some manufacturers. And, no matter how much of a supplement you might consume, only a small fraction will be delivered to your skin. However, there are some constituents that may make a difference:

•Multi-vitamins. Almost all vitamins and minerals are important for a healthy body (this includes skin) so a product that helps to fill in nutritional gaps is a good idea.
•Antioxidants. Whether it's green tea, acai berry, astaxanthin or vitamins a, c and e, we know that antioxidants protect skin from free radical damage when applied topically. If consumed orally many of them help boost collagen and elastin production, helping to keep skin firm. The science is strongest with Vitamin C.
•Essential fatty acids. Found in fish, walnuts and eggs, omega-3 oils help keep the top outer layer of the skin strong and intact. External toxins and pollutants are kept out and they can help deliver more radiant and elastic skin.
•Minerals such as zinc and selenium (which is also a potent antioxidant)

Still think you're a candidate? Keep in mind that there is very little research to support the inclusion of other ingredients despite what you may hear. The best way to deliver nutrients to the skin is topically. And that may be the best beauty supplement of all.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed]
For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Dec 15, 2012
    • I wondered about all the skin care makers and their vitamins. I have not tried any other than the ones from Nioxin.  The Nioxin did give me a boost of energy but I didn’t really notice a difference in my hair, skin or nails.
      Murad has one for acne, what ingredient  could be safe to take to help that????  Is it all hype???

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