The list of tips for getting stunning hair, skin, and nails gets longer every season. For hair, we’re told to embrace oils, masks, protectants, and moisturizers—all while switching shampoos every five minutes. Oh, and be sure to use a different kind for your oily scalp and your dry tips!
Glowing skin and healthy nails can quickly add to the chore list, cluttering our counters with toners, serums, expensive eye creams, and jojoba-laden cuticle oils.
It can all be very overwhelming.
But beauty isn’t something you create—it’s something you need to nurture. And that nurturing starts with nutrition. Thankfully, a few key supplements can simplify that process, partly by contributing to the production of the protein keratin, which makes up your hair, skin, and nails. To shine a light on your body’s real beauty needs, here’s an A-to-zinc breakdown of nutrients that boost your beauty from the inside out.
Your skin craves vitamin A to regenerate, because it stimulates fibroblasts, which are cells that help you build new tissue and maintain a firm, youthful appearance. Keep your skin happy by stocking your diet with carrots, sweet potatoes, and red and yellow peppers. They all contain beta carotene, which converts to this essential nutrient.
If you haven’t seen the social-media hype surrounding biotin, it could be because you’re living under a massive sheet mask. This beauty boosting superhero also goes by the name vitamin B7. Biotin is an important contributor to the health of your skin, hair, and nails, which goes far deeper than their appearance. In fact, biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss, brittle nails, and dry skin. And while a number of topical hair products now include biotin to support hair growth, your best bet is to consume it in foods like whole eggs or in supplement form.
Through smiles, frowns, and general expression, your skin is constantly stretching. Collagen supplies it with the structure that helps it bounce back to its beautiful shape. As one of your body’s primary proteins, it also contributes to keratin production for healthier hair, skin, and nails. Unfortunately, collagen production slows after age 18, leading to less youthful-looking skin. It’s plentiful in bone broth, but it’s just as effective in a supplement when soup is not on the menu. Foods that are high in vitamin C, like broccoli, red peppers, and cauliflower, can also help boost collagen production.
Not to throw shade at the sun, but sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin. That said, reducing your risk from rays shuts the curtains on your natural production of vitamin D3, the “sunshine vitamin.” While it mainly helps your bones absorb calcium, D3 is also involved in the regulation of cell growth and cell metabolism, and it may help with skin issues like psoriasis. Fatty fish and egg yolks are prime food sources.
While other vitamins focus on generating new cells, vitamin E looks after the cells you already have. It helps your skin form a protective barrier, ensuring a hydrated, smooth appearance. It’s also excellent for topical use, as it can be absorbed by the skin. Sunflower seeds and hazelnuts have plenty.
Iron helps you metabolize proteins and build the red blood cells that distribute nutrients throughout your body, so it shouldn’t shock anyone that it’s essential for gleaming hair, skin, and nails. While some hair needs to fall out as part of the growth cycle, if you notice yours is dull or tumbling too quickly, an iron supplement could be your new BFF. You should also get these issues diagnosed by a healthcare practitioner, as they may be signs of anemia. Shellfish and red meat have tons of iron, as do legumes and spinach as vegetarian options.
This miraculous hormone can help you get some beauty sleep when you’re struggling with insomnia, making it a bonafide beauty booster. Your body produces it naturally as part of your sleep cycle, but an oral melatonin supplement can help you establish healthy sleep patterns.
Like vitamin E, selenium is an antioxidant that nurtures your cells with a protective coating and fights free radicals, which can contribute to premature aging. Brazil nuts are a tasty trove of selenium, but make sure to keep an eye on intake. Health Canada recently recommended keeping your upper limit to 200 micrograms per day, the amount found in only two nuts!
Zinc can be used topically to soothe irritated skin. According to Health Canada, zinc can also help maintain healthy skin by promoting the formation of connective tissues. Oysters are an ideal source of zinc, but if you’re feeling less fancy, it can also be found in beans and whole grains.
Still feel overwhelmed? Jamieson’s Healthy Beauty line of supplements combine the above nutrients into simple products that nurture your body and boost your beauty from within.
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