Follow Mint Lounge

Latest Issue

Home > Health> Wellness > 5 supplements to power your skincare arsenal

5 supplements to power your skincare arsenal

Experts weigh in on five skincare supplements that can help boost your skin's health

Skin care supplements taken under expert guidance can help beat damages caused to skin by stress and a low-nutrient diet
Skin care supplements taken under expert guidance can help beat damages caused to skin by stress and a low-nutrient diet (Unsplash)

In an ideal scenario, we’d all be getting our nutrients, including vitamins and minerals from our diet. Realistically speaking, however, achieving optimal nutrition levels through food alone is difficult. The same observation applies to our skin as well. Topical products tend not to get absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin, which is when supplements step in. The question of what works best for you depends on your end goal in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. That being said, here’s a comprehensive roundup of supplements that are beneficial to your skin:

In skincare circles, collagen peptides are considered to be the Holy Grail of all supplements and not without reason. The main protein found in the body’s various connective tissues, it is responsible for maintaining the health and structure of the skin. Dr Sravya C Tipirneni, consultant dermatologist, cosmetologist & trichologist at Manipal Hospitals in Bengaluru, says that collagen production decreases as we age leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. “Supplementing with collagen can help improve skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles, and promote hair growth,” she explains. Though there are a multitude of collagen creams and other skincare products available in the market, Akshay Pai, founder & CEO of evidence-based supplement brand, Nutrova, believes that collagen peptides are too big to be absorbed through the skin and need to be ingested to get to the deeper layers of skin. “When ingested, collagen peptides are used by our body to build new collagen in our skin and repair damage. When it comes to hair, collagen supports the health and structure of the hair follicle, which is where hair is produced”, says Pai.

Also read: How to avoid falling for wellness myths

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that keep the skin hydrated and reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found in fish oil or flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, salmon and spinach among others but when that is not enough, an oral supplement can work wonders. According to Dr. Sneha Ghunawat, director and co-founder of Meraki Skin Clinic, Gurugram, “Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids required for skin hydration and reducing inflammation. Due to their anti-inflammatory effects, they also protect the skin from sun damage and reduce acne inflammation”, she says. Anushka Suryavanshi, 29, an interior designer from Bhopal consumes Omega-3 regularly. “Omega-3 is important for our body. Things like nuts, avocado, flaxseeds are rich in fatty acids. These fats have helped regulate my hormones and kept inflammation down. They’ve also improved my overall skin health and keep my skin plump.”

Dr. Ghunawat, who is also a consultant dermatologist & cosmetologist, recommends glutathione for skin brightening. “Glutathione is a potent free radical scavenger and helps in skin lightening by reducing the activity of tyrosinase,” she explains. Oral and intravenous glutathione are popular for skin brightening. Dr Rashmi Shetty, founder and chief dermatologist at Ra Skin and Aesthetics and wellness brand SolSkin in Mumbai and Hyderabad, feels that unlike previous generations, attaining glowing skin and lovely hair today requires more than following a simple lifestyle. “Today, with our hectic lifestyles, erratic sleeping habits, food with low nutrition values and stress, the skin suffers from free radical damage and heightened inflammation. A powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplement like glutathione can help fight oxidative stress. Healthier cells, with less free radical damage, will be able to better absorb the micronutrients our bodies need. Nutritional supplements with a perfect metered dose of vitamins and minerals, amino acids and essential micronutrients help add necessary nutrients to our body for good skin and hair. They also work to repair and undo the damage”, says Dr. Shetty.

Today, hair fall is an issue plaguing men and women alike – across every age group. Our body needs biotin to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Also known as vitamin H, biotin is essential for hair health. “It supports the production of keratin, a protein that makes up the structure of hair. Biotin supplements can help strengthen hair, prevent breakage and promote hair growth”, says Dr Tipirneni. A bout of severe hair loss led Bengaluru-based Alekha Upadhyay, 33, to try out a biotin supplement. It has been life changing for her. “From losing more than a 100 strands of hair per day, having this one dissolvable tablet from the past six months has reduced my hair fall by more than 50%”, exclaims Upadhyay. She also follows a protein-rich diet plan along with a regular exercising schedule.

Also read: How daily multivitamin may protect your memory

Vitamin C
Another supplement gaining traction is Vitamin C. It is an essential part of skin health and contributes to photo protection, decreases photo damage and aids in adequate wound healing. Dr. Tipirneni says, “Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that aids in collagen synthesis and protects the skin from free radicals. It can help brighten the skin, fade hyperpigmentation, and promote a more even skin tone. Additionally, vitamin C plays a role in iron absorption, which is necessary for healthy hair.”

But are supplements safe for everyone? Dr Tipirneni has a word of caution. “While supplements can provide benefits, it is important to exercise caution and consider potential side effects before using them. Excessive intake through supplements can be harmful. For example, high doses of vitamin A can lead to toxicity and cause adverse effects such as hair loss, dry skin, and even liver damage,” she warns. Dr Ghunawat agrees. “Supplements should always be taken under expert guidance. The most relevant side effect to be considered is hepatotoxicity. Most supplements serve their benefits within 3-6 months and there is no need to take them for longer durations,” she says. 

So, which supplement should one go for? There is no one size-fits all approach when it comes to choosing the right supplement for you. Bhavna Anand, CEO of Cureveda, offers a quick tip. “Customers need to become more discerning while reading product labels. If you are choosing a particular format like a gummy – be aware of how much nutrition it offers vs. a powder blend, which can accommodate much higher actives and deliver superior performance. Additionally, choose a supplement which has clinical evidence”.  Anand recommends going for a ‘superior quality multivitamin’ which addresses everyday deficiencies. “You can follow it up with collagen, biotin or any other supplement,” she advises.

Also read: Are non-sugar sweeteners actually bad for you?


Next Story