Once upon a time, the main vitamins that were widely available to the masses were multi-vitamin tablets. Nowadays there are a whole bunch of different types of vitamins for specific purposes, that can be taken in an array of forms. The best vitamins to take for skin and hair may be of interest to you, especially considering the market for these kind of vitamins appears to have exploded recently.
Designer vitamin brands seem to be popping up all over the place, namely via our screens through social media. Sugar Bear Hair vitamins have been shown support by Kylie Jenner, among other trendsetters. At the time of writing, a search on Instagram for #sugarbearhair brings up almost 50K results. However, fellow Bustler Courtney Mina reported that hair growth vitamins didn't work for her.
The world of vitamins seems overwhelming if you have no idea where to start. If you walk into a supermarket, chemist, or beauty store the shelves are lined with rows upon rows of vitamins. But, I got to wondering if there's any point in taking a vitamin supplement if you're eating a varied diet. I also wanted to discover if beauty vitamins are as beneficial as they proclaim on the label and with such a vast choice, which ones are worth investing in?
I spoke with a supplement expert and a dermatologist to get a well-rounded explanation on the best vitamins for hair and skin, plus the ideal form we should be taking them in.
The Best Vitamins For Skin & Hair
"All vitamins are important for healthy skin," says Dr. Prystowsky, "if you are deficient in a vitamin, it’s likely that it will be reflected in your skin. People who are deficient in vitamin C, for example, may notice bruising. People who are deficient in Niacin, a B vitamin, will develop red, painful rashes. Other noteworthy vitamins that are essential for healthy skin are vitamins A, K, B2 (riboflavin), B6, B12, and Biotin."
"Vitamin D is special in that it is made in our skin. New research is unfolding how much a role vitamin D plays in skin function and wound repair," she elaborates, adding, "most of the vitamins listed above are also great for hair. Biotin, potentially even more so."
Foods That Contain These Beneficial Vitamins
Dr. Prystowsky goes on to explain which foods contain these important vitamins that will benefit our skin and hair:
- Vitamin A can be found in sweet potato, carrots, and dark leafy greens.
- Riboflavin can be found in lamb and milk.
- Vitamin B6 can be found in sunflower seeds, pistachios, and fish.
- Vitamin B12 can be found in fish and beef.
- Niacin can be found in turkey and chicken.
- Biotin can be found in nuts and sunflower seeds.
- Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits.
- Vitamin K can be found in green leafy vegetables and brussels sprouts.
Vitamin Supplements Versus Food
With all of these trendy supplements on the market, are folks relying too heavily on tablets and other forms of vitamins, rather than getting their vits directly from their food? Dr. Prystowsky informs me, "People can help their hair and skin by either taking a hair/skin vitamin supplement or by eating a varied diet that covers their daily requirements. I recommend eating a varied diet either way."
"A vitamin is a vitamin. If you are meeting your daily requirements of vitamins, it does not matter where the source is from. The nutritional information on the back will tell you more than the label on the front," she informs me. It seems as long as you're getting all your vitamins from one source or another, it doesn't necessarily matter whether it's from your food or a supplement.
Vitamin Tablets Versus Alternative Forms Of Vitamin Supplements
So consuming vitamins from food or vitamins from supplements is basically the same thing, but is one form of vitamin supplement — for instance tablets, powders, or capsules — more beneficial than the others? Dr. Prystowsky fills me in, "Tablets are the best form aside from food for supplementing vitamins. Topical application of vitamins is also a growing field of study in dermatology. There is evidence suggesting that topically applying certain vitamins will have more benefits than previously thought. Vitamins A, D, and E are the ones I am particularly interested in."
"In terms of skincare, it is debatable whether topical or oral vitamins work better for certain treatments. In the meantime, I will be working to advance vitamin skincare through moisturizers, currently focusing on bioidentical vitamins that are naturally found in our bodies. I think that these vitamins have great promise in cosmetics moving forward," she explains.
Considering tablets are the best form of vitamin supplements, I spoke with Parminder Sandhu, supplement expert and Vice Chair President of the Council of Responsible Nutrition, on a new product called Beauty Beneath.
"Beauty Beneath is skincare reimagined. It is a new daily oral supplement that tackles skin aging beneath the surface where lines and wrinkles actually begin. Beauty Beneath packs 19 skin-benefiting nutrients into two daily capsules including: Vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E, as well as Biotin, Zinc, Lutein, Lycopene, Marine Collagen, and Co-Enzyme Q10," Sandhu explains in an email to Bustle. Sandhu tells me that Beauty Beneath has been developed in 2 easy to swallow capsules, which enables them to pack in 19 essential nutrients, in addition to being a quick and easy addition to your daily regimen.
She elaborates, "Beauty Beneath’s unique blend of phytonutrients, fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals are essential for youthful, healthy skin. While topical creams help protect the skin, you can’t get all the nutrients you need from the surface of the skin. Beauty Beneath helps restore nutrients, like Collagen, that are lost with age."
However, she says, "We’re not suggesting you take Beauty Beneath as an alternative to a varied diet. All aspects of a healthy lifestyle are equally important to the overall vitality and youthfulness of your skin. From what you eat, to what you put on your skin, to what you ingest to complement your skincare routine."
If you'd like to give Beauty Beneath a whirl, it is available at Walgreens locations nationwide and Walgreens.com.
The Final Word From A Dermatologist
"I always recommend people ingest their daily recommended vitamins either from food or from supplements. Very busy people on the go do not always find the time to keep to the best varied dietary practices, so taking a supplement helps ensure optimal intake of vitamins," advises Dr. Prystowsky.
"The role of vitamins in our bodies is not completely understood," she says, "but they are vital to many different essential processes — skincare and haircare included."
If your life is pretty hectic, a vitamin supplement could be a good idea to keep your overall health — as well as the health of your hair and skin — in check. But, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how you get your vitamins, as long as you're getting them!