Favourite Skin, Nails and Hair Supplements
Today I wanted to share a few supplements I take religiously for my skin, hair and nails. My interest in natural health actually started back in the day when I had really bad hair mostly due to malnutrition. That is when I started looking into natural health, supplements and beauty treatments which ultimately led me to working in the natural health field for the past ten years. I want to preface this post by pointing out the obvious: supplements, just like medication and nutrition should be customized according to each individual’s needs. I would recommend you consult with a health care professional and educate yourself on each supplement you take and if it might be right for you.
With that out of the way, I do think most people can benefit from a wholesome diet and depending on the quality of the foods we have access to and lifestyles we lead, supplements can help fill nutritional gaps. I was a vegetarian for ten years so I relied on protein and iron supplements to help me out and I take vitamin D religiously during the cold months. Again, it’s always a good idea to consult a holistic nutritionist or naturopathic doctor to help you identify what your needs might be.
Here are a few supplements I have been taking, how I take them and why.
Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is found in small amounts in nuts, seeds, organ meats, eggs and some vegetables. There is some evidence that biotin can help improve hair, nail and skin health. I did rely mostly on anecdotal evidence and advice I’ve read in most of my natural health books when I decided to start taking biotin. For me, it works. Biotin is a water soluble vitamin so I am not terribly concerned with the dosage but I try to keep it at around 1000 mcg. I don’t think there’s a need to take more than; if anything I have seen reports of people experiencing breakouts at higher dosages. My approach is to take a smaller dosage and take it daily.
I was a vegetarian for the past ten years and have had low iron levels despite my best efforts to have a balanced diet and my hair suffered. Blood Builder is my favourite iron supplement ever. I take it during that time of the month, either an entire tablet every two days or I break them in half if I do take them daily. Blood Builder has a gentle, available form of iron along with vitamin C, folic acid, B12 and beet root which make it a truly complete supplement for me. It is very effective, very gentle and my iron levels have been optimal ever since I started taking it. If you are at risk or have anemia, check with your health care practitioner and look into this supplement. It’s the best iron supplement I’ve seen so far.
I broke my vegetarian streak with collagen. It took me a long time to do it but I’ll do anything to keep my hair, skin and nails healthy. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and our natural production declines with age which can result in wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, joint problems etc. Collagen has been proven to help improve skin(*1) as well as joint health (*2) and I like the fact that it is a great source of protein and rich in glycine and proline which have tons of benefits on their own. I have been taking collagen for about a year now and I like it. I really feel it’s made a difference. My hair feels thicker, my nails are stronger and I haven’t had joint pains.
I’ve talked about Biosil before. I have used Biosil for ages and always go back to it because I know it works. Biosil is a “patented choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid” and bascially helps the body produce collagen which makes it a great option for vegans and vegetarians. Biosil is quite backed up by a few studies (3)(4) and I have personally experienced its efficacy. I originally took Biosil religiously for a about 1.5-2 years a while back and saw a dramatic change in my hair quality. It took my hair from a brittle, fine mess to a thick and strong and my nails are, well, hards as nails . You can find Biosil in most health food stores.
Fish Oil is one of those supplements that I think everyone should take. I mean, there are just so many benefits to taking it, from joint health, to brain health, mood disorders and of course skin and hair health. I will either take my fish oils in capsule of liquid form depending on the day and I like to alternate between a vegetarian source (like algae!) or regular fish oil. It’s always a good idea to make sure your fish oil is a good quality one so always look for third party testing verification such as IFOS or Pure Check. My favourite brand for years has been NutraSea.
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