How To Treat Your Hair and Skin From the Inside

Experts agree that collagen, biotin, and probiotics can treat hair and skin from within. Get the lowdown on how you can safely enjoy the benefits of these powerful supplements.

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In the pursuit of maintaining both a healthy mind and body, we can all agree that getting a good dose of nutrients is key—but, when you're confronted with a slew of unpronounceable vitamin names and no shortage of false advertising, it's tough to know what's what in the supplement aisle.

"We have to be very careful when it comes to the ingestible space because it is not regulated by the FDA [Food Drug Administration], and therefore they are not held to their claims like prescription medication," says Dr. Dendy Engelman, a New York-based dermatologist. Yikes.

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Well, you'll be happy to know that there are a few names out there that you can trust to have you covered, both inside and out. Collagen, biotin, and probiotics are all things you can consume to give your skin, hair, and nails a nutritious boost. They come in different forms—pill, powder, and liquid—and varying levels of intensity, depending on your needs.

Before we get into the specifics of each supplement, there are a few things to consider before adding them to your daily regimen. "There's no supplement that substitutes a healthy diet and adequate hydration," says Brooke Alpert, a nutritionist and founder of New York's B Nutritious practice. "If you're eating bagels and cookies and drinking soda all day long, you can take the magical stuff that's out there, but none of it's going to help," she adds. The key takeaway here: maintain a balanced diet that's low in sugar, and involves lots and lots of H2O.

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And be sure to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to trusting claims made on labels. "A lot of it is marketing, and a lot of it is the wild, wild west when it comes to whether or not we're getting [what's promised] on the bottle," Dr. Engelman says. If you have questions about what a certain supplement will actually do for you, be sure to ask a pharmacist or doctor.

Now, on to the good stuff! Here, a quick guide to some of the key supplements you'll want to know more about.

The Skin Renewer: Collagen

Collagen holds skin together and keeps it taut and firm. Since it's so essential to the look and function of the skin, it's important to to make sure you have an ample supply of it.

Instead of relying only on external products like creams and moisturizers, add some collagen to your daily meal plan. "This is a way to build collagen all over, because we're not going to put serums everywhere," Dr. Engelman says. "Collagen disintegrates everywhere and as we get older, our skin thins."

You can also find other sources of collagen. Alpert suggests eating grass-fed beef, and believes in the powers of bone broth. "Nothing's sexy when you actually think about what's in your food, but there are a lot of skin and beauty benefits," she says.

Reservage


Plant-Based Support Collagen Builder with Pro-Collagen Nutrients and Vitamin C, $40, reservage.com.

Bulletproof

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Collagen Protein, $40, bulletproof.com.

The Beauty Chef

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Collagen Inner Beauty Boost, $40, thebeautychef.com.

The Nail & Hair Grower: Biotin

There's a huge misconception regarding biotin benefits. "Biotin is an effective form of vitamin B that will accelerate the growth of existing hair or nails, but it will not create new hair formation or wake up dormant hair," Dr. Engelman says. That means if you're trying to treat hair loss, biotin won't help you.

Nature's Bounty


Biotin 10,000 mcg Softgels, $15, target.com.

Natrol


Biotin Maximum Strength, $11, iherb.com.

Nature Made

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Biotin Maximum Strength, $9, drugstore.com.

The Full-body Caretaker: Probiotics

"Everyone, regardless of their age, should be taking a daily probiotic," Alpert recommends. Good to know! Another great thing to know: probiotics are great for the digestive system. "Over 70 percent of the immune system is located in your digestive system, and what keeps your gut healthy is healthy bacteria," she says.

Gut health can get you on the right track to better-looking skin. "You heal the health of the natural floor that's in your gut, which gives feedback to the brain for a great sense of well-being (like a decrease in anxiety)," Dr. Engelman says, "and then the natural floor of our skin is actually repaired as well." She explains that a probiotic can help alleviate rosacea and acne breakouts.

In terms of dosage, it's always better to aim higher. "We need to take really high organism count in order to really get the benefits, so I like 30 billion or 50 billion [CFUs]," Dr. Engelman suggests. "That's a lot, but if you're going to be taking [probiotics], you might as well take the ones that are going to be active to help everything, so don't just do a couple million."

Culturelle


Digestive Health Probiotic, $27, walmart.com.

Naturade

Probiotics 30 B CFU Digestive Health Support, $16, luckyvitamin.com.

Now Foods

Probiotic-10 50 Billion Veggie Caps, $29, drugstore.com.

From: AR Revista
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