Dull skin, weak hair, brittle nails


When you look in the mirror and sigh because you’re met with the sight of dull skin, red patches or a flare-up of spots, what’s the first thing you do to remedy the problem?

If you reach for a lotion or serum – or head to the shops in search of a skincare solution – you’re not alone. But what if popping a pill was the answer to your complexion complaints?

“It’s difficult to maintain healthy skin if you’re only addressing what you’re applying to your skin, and neglecting what you’re putting inside your body,” says Juliette Kellow, nutritionist on behalf of The Harley Medical Group.

“While skincare is undoubtedly important, the easiest way to address any concerns is by looking at what we’re ingesting.

“Making sure your skin is getting enough supplements can keep it healthy and youthful, without the need for investment in expensive creams. Taking supplements could translate to a reduction of dark spots, redness, wrinkles, rough patches and excessive dryness.”

And it’s not just your skin that can benefit. Targeted supplements can revive lacklustre hair and put an end to brittle nails.

“But what’s important to note is that vitamin supplements are meant to accompany food and are not meant as a replacement for a healthy diet,” Kellow warns. “Supplements will have no affect if you’re continuing to consume an unhealthy diet.”

Got your daily diet sorted? Then you’re ready for an extra shot of nutrition. These are the pills and powders that will boost your beauty from the inside out.

Anti-ageing supplements
“Type one collagen is the most abundant form of collagen in our skin and levels deplete rapidly as a result of both intrinsic and extrinsic ageing processes,” explains Dr Anita Sturnham, a GP specialising in dermatology.

“It makes sense that providing the body with a nutritional source of bioavailable type one collagen will allow replenishment of collagen stores in the dermis and help to boost the skin’s natural scaffolding.”

That’s especially true after the age of 30, so look for supplements that combine collagen with hyaluronic acid, which helps hydration levels, plus antioxidants like vitamins C and E, for keeping skin looking younger for longer.

Skin boosting supplements
If ageing isn’t a major concern for you (lucky thing) but you want brighter, more hydrated skin, a blend of antioxidants and vitamins is what you need. “If you struggle with skin outbreaks or acne, consider vitamin A, vitamin E and zinc,” Kellow advises, as well as alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10.

“How quickly you see results will depend on lifestyle factors. Results could be seen within three to four weeks, but this will depend on factors such as age, diet and stress.”

Hair health supplements
Having a bad hair day – or year? “Nourishing the hair from the inside out is the most effective way of getting hair back on track,” says Neil Moodie, session stylist and ambassador for Viviscal, the supplement that contains a protein complex, along with vitamins that improve hair health and thickness.

“For best results, Viviscal must be taken for 90 days or more, but I promise you the improvement in the condition of your hair will make the wait worthwhile.”

Nail strengthening supplements
Some people find that by taking an all-round beauty supplement, their nails suddenly become noticeably stronger and longer, because a lot of the same nutrients are needed for your skin, hair and nails.

If you’re struggling with nails that snap off all too easily, look for a product that contains a decent dose or collagen, plus zinc and selenium.

Catherine Devane