Do you sometimes look in the mirror and feel like your skin doesn’t look as smooth and youthful as it used to? Maybe your hair is thinner or not as thick or shiny as you can remember? And what about your nails? Are they strong and healthy or are they constantly chipping, peeling and breaking? If any or all of these scenarios sound like you, it may be possible you’re missing some important nutrients from your diet. Even if you are eating a healthy balanced diet, factors like stress, illness or bad habits like smoking and drinking can strip your body of the necessary nutrients it needs to function. A lack of these nutrients can also affect the way our skin, nails, and hair look.
But not to worry. With the reintroduction of the nutrients you’re missing, your skin, hair, and nails will bounce back looking just as good, if not better than before. We partnered with iHerb to you give you some of the most beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to nourish your hair, skin, and nails for a gorgeous radiant you.
1. GRAPE SEED EXTRACT
Dating back thousands of years, cultures like the Greeks have recognized the healing power of grapes. While they didn’t know exactly why years of scientific research have confirmed that a glass of wine is a rich source of healthy antioxidants. But the seeds from those same wine grapes also contain powerful antioxidants as well called proanthocyanidins. With wound healing and cell-protecting properties, early studies have shown that taking the extract of grape seeds may help to reduce the effects of UV triggered skin damage, and environmental stress while encouraging tissue healing and the regeneration of cells. A study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer suggests that, when applied topically, grape-derived antioxidants may even have cancer-fighting abilities. These compounds have been linked to improved skin’s texture and have been shown to reduce the signs of aging. This can result in visible signs of healthy, more vibrant skin.
What’s even more amazing is that grape seed extract is 50 times stronger than vitamin E. And it also doesn’t just protect our skin from damage, but also actively scavenges free radicals, the oxidizing atoms that can cause the skin to age. Grape seed extract works to repair cells from the inside out working to prevent cell damage before it even happens. For your skin, that means a more youthful radiant complexion with less fine lines and wrinkles.
You can’t read too much news about health without coming across something about the healthy wonders of magnesium. And for good reason. While magnesium is most often associated with its anti-anxiety and its muscle relaxing effects, it is also a super important mineral involved in over 300 cellular and enzymatic reactions in the body. It helps to accelerate our body’s energy production systems, support nerve function and promote deep restorative sleep. But it’s also involved in the health of our hair, skin, and nails.
If your skin looks like it could use a boost, magnesium may be able to help by raising levels of fatty acids on the skin while supporting collagen production. That means more hydrated, buoyant skin that has better elasticity and tone. In other words: fewer wrinkles. Do you break out when times are rough? Magnesium is also beneficial for those of us who suffer from hormonal or stress-related acne. It can help to lower cortisol which can trigger increased oil production on the skin and clogged pores during times of stress.
One study suggested that up to 75% of us are not getting enough magnesium. This means we’re also missing out on its incredible health benefits. Some symptoms of low magnesium include nausea, muscle cramping, decreased appetite or a general feeling of fatigue and weakness. Your nails and skin may also be showing signs of low magnesium as well. If your nails grow slowly, are soft, brittle or easily broken and your skin is super dry and broken out you may benefit from more magnesium.
Even if you eat a balanced diet with plenty of magnesium-rich leafy greens, nuts, and seeds you may not be getting your daily required dose due to the depletion of minerals in our soils. Try adding a daily supplement as a way to know you’re getting all the magnesium you need. The recommended dose of magnesium is 310 to 320 milligrams per day and be aware that too much can have a laxative effect.
3. VITAMIN C
We all associate vitamin C as an important nutrient that can help boost our immune system. But it can also help rejuvenate aged and photodamaged skin to promote a radiant complexion. An antioxidant by nature, vitamin C works to scavenge skin-damaging free radicals that can eventually lead to premature aging and wrinkles.
Vitamin C also plays a vital role in the production of collagen, the fibrous protein that provides structure and support throughout just about every tissue in our bodies, including our bones, teeth, tendons, cartilage ligaments and of course our skin. The production of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, naturally declines with age causing our joints to weaken and our skin’s elasticity to dwindle leading to lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. One of the most highly touted benefits of collagen is its ability to promote glowing, youthful, and bouncy skin. And researchers are finding that vitamin C is indeed helping collagen along. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that subjects whose diets were chock full of vitamin C also had smoother, more youthful skin with fewer wrinkles.
Boosting your vitamin C intake can even help to strengthen your nails if they seem brittle or growing slowly. Our bodies can’t produce or store vitamin C so it must be derived completely from our diets. Food sources include fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, mangoes, berries, spinach, leafy greens and veggies like bell peppers. And that’s why we love Svisse Ultiboost nails for hair. It contains vitamin C along with supporting vitamins and minerals including iron, biotin, and silica for a balanced supportive blend focused on nutrients vital to the health of your hair, skin, and nails. Even if you do not want to take the pills, try their liquid and fruity liquid version.
A mineral that doesn’t get the attention it deserves when it comes to getting gorgeous shiny hair, radiant-looking skin and strong healthy nails is silica. Along with vitamin C, silica is another major player in the formation in collagen. This important structural protein that gives our cells their structure, gives our skin its elasticity and suppleness, delaying the onset of wrinkles. While silica can restore your skin’s natural glow it can also help brighten the eyes for a youthful and healthy appearance. If your nails are weak and brittle, adding silica to your daily supplements can promote strong healthy nail growth and helps to deliver nutrients to the nail beds. After long term use, you may even notice that your hair is thicker and glossier than you ever thought was possible.
To add silica to your beauty supplement regiment look for a specially designed formula made specifically to nourish your hair, skin, and nails. We like Swisse Ultiboost Hair Skin Nails+ which offers both a tart and tasty liquid and tablet version along with supporting vitamins and minerals. You may need to take silica for up to 12 weeks before you see results, so stick with it for the ultimate pay off.
Here’s a fun fact about zinc: it is concentrated six times more in the surface layer of our skin than in the layers below. It also plays a key role in the way your skin protects itself. A trace mineral most often credited with boosting the immune system and helping to reduce the duration of the common cold, zinc also helps the skin heal itself from issues like trauma, acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis. Applied topically, it can also be found as the active ingredient in products used to relieve red, irritated, itchy scalp and dandruff.
Want strong healthy nails? If you’re not getting enough zinc in your diet, you may notice white spots on your nails form or they may split easily. The daily requirement for zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women each day and can be found rich in food sources like oysters, lobster, and crab, but also in meat, fish and plant-based sources like mushrooms, beans, pumpkin seeds, and spinach. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan it’s a really good idea to include a supplemental source of zinc in your diet to make sure you’re getting all your body needs.