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When people say that ‘beauty comes from within’, I like to think they’re talking about beauty powders and supplements.
While, yes, all beauty is not skin deep, the skin and hair part mostly is, and that beauty is the kind we spend thousands of pounds on, hoping miracle lotions and potions keep us looking our best.
Some do a wonderful job, as we know, I’ve always found the ‘problems’ we try to correct with topical products are just as easy to combat from the inside – if not more so.
As those who have suffered a breakout after a weekend of indulgence know all too well, our hair, skin and nail health is largely dependent on what’s going on inside our bodies. Our vitamins are their vitamins, and our nutrients are their nutrients.
I first came to the realisation when I went through an ‘omelette phase’ as a teenager. A few weeks in, my hair changed so dramatically that friends begged for my ‘secret’. I racked my brain but couldn’t think of anything; I was using the same products, in the same shower, living the same life. It wasn’t until I got sick of omelettes- and my glossy (protein- and biotin-nourished) curls transformed back into frizz – that I figured it out. The secret was eggs.
But no-one wants to force themselves to eat foods based on beauty benefits, do they?
Beauty supplements are clearly the best option and, thankfully, they’ve had a massive overhaul in the last couple of years.
Rise of the beauty supplement market
Though the market used to consist of little more than ‘multivitamins plus beauty complexes!’ (read: multivitamins marketed at women), there are now hundreds of superpowered beauty powders, capsules and gummies available offering a wide range of beauty benefits.
And many people, like myself, are getting involved. According to Kantar, beauty supplements gained 14 per cent in value between 2018 and 2019 in the UK, outstripping growth in both the wider supplements market and beauty market.
Of course, it’s important to remember all supplements aren’t created equal. In fact, the ones you’re seeing mass-promoted on Instagram tend to be a little more fruitless than functional.
“Many companies add the tiniest amount of an ingredient simply because it allows them to get away with making label claims,” says skincare expert Andrew Petrou. “At a very basic level, aim to have 100% of NRV [Nutrient Reference Value.”
“Also, make sure the manufacturer’s details are on the pack. A good thing to look out for is an endorsement of outside parties like Soil Association or Marine Stewardship. Although this is no full guarantee of quality, it often points to an extra layer of caution and consideration in sourcing and manufacturing.”
Petrou also feels it’s important for individuals to look out for common allergens, as well as fillers and bulking agents. While some fillers are necessary to bind the active ingredients in a supplement, synthetic colours, flavours and preservatives should be avoided.
If you’re looking for supplements to excuse or fix problems created by a poor diet, you should also address your lifestyle changes first. “We all go through phases where our diets are less than ideal, and a high-quality supplement may help ‘fill the gaps’,” he says, “but this is not sustainable.
“Additionally, powders tend to be more ingredients focused, so while marine collagen helps support collagen, it does not offer comprehensive nutritional support on a systemic level.”
With a holistic diet, great topical products and powerful supplementation on the go, though? You’ll have yourself a holy beauty trinity.
Here are the best hair, skin and nail supplements to add to your beauty routine today: