But here’s the catch: Not a single one of these products is regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and they are not intended to treat any medical condition. “Supplements are such a deep, dark box of unknowns,” says board-certified dermatologist Elizabeth K. Hale, MD, who is based in New York City. Regulations stop at the packaging; you have to list things like ingredients, but you don’t have to prove those ingredients make good on their claims.
None of these beauty supplements are miracles in a bottle. “What you eat, how you hydrate, sleep, and exercise have a lot more impact,” says Dr. Hale, who does carry in her office both Nutrafol (an outlier with significant research showing it helps treat thinning hair) and Isdin Sunisdin (a pop-in-your-mouth antioxidant that can help reduce some of the effects of sun damage, but that still requires the use of sunscreen).
A “glowing skin” ingestible doesn’t replace a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which is more powerful than any vitamin. “We need to recognize that supplements are there to do just that — supplement,” says Dr. Bowe. A topical vitamin C serum is often unstable, so Dr. Bowe recommends that her patients also get vitamin C through diet or supplements, adding 60 to 90 milligrams per day, along with a plant-forward diet.
Collagen peptides, when 10,000 milligrams are taken daily, have shown some (key word: some) promise for boosting skin’s moisture and elasticity, according to a study published in the journal Dermatology Practical & Conceptual. However, far more research is needed to determine its efficacy. By the way, it’s impossible to direct collagen to the skin on your face vs anywhere else on your body.
Nutritionist Keri Gans suggests her clients “have blood work done to see if certain supplements are needed or not, such as [correcting a deficiency in] vitamin D or iron.” It is essential to consult with your doctor instead of taking what looks pretty in the bottle. If you’re downing something for hair, skin, and nails, says Dr. Hale, it is possible to overdo it, causing nausea or cramps, for example. “You can overdose on vitamins. Too much of a good thing is bad.”
This article first appeared on allure.com
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