The boundaries between health and beauty are increasingly blurred as we seek products that aim to deliver both. Self-care and wellbeing can translate as a salt-infused bath for some, aromatherapy diffusers for others. As much as I love trying out new skincare products in the search for the ultimate miracle worker that tackles all woes, I’m conscious that topical creams can only deliver up to a point. A mix of genes and lifestyle habits also play a role in how healthy your external organs – such as skin – look. So to complement my beauty routine I’ve trialled five beauty supplements that promise glowing skin, strong nails and glossy hair.
Best for: an all rounder
These aren’t labelled as beauty supplements however with the word ‘radiance’ in the product name I was instantly drawn to them. When it was announced the country was going into lockdown due to COVID-19 I didn’t stockpile on loo roll – I headed to Holland and Barrett to buy a 4-month supply of multivitamins for my husband and I. This multi-tasker provides all-round nutritional support thanks to vitamins A, D, E, C, B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, biotin, calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium & zinc. One of these vegetarian tablets contains 94% of your recommended daily levels of vitamin A (supports cell growth), 50% of vitamin D (for healthy bones), 63% of vitamin C (anti-ageing and radiance boosting) and 30% of zinc (its anti-inflammatory properties help combat acne). Small in size, easy to swallow and at a great price point, this tablet ticks a lot of key vitamin boxes for overall good health. During the one month I took these my skin behaved itself pretty well. 60 tablets RRP £4.79 OR 240 tablets RRP £13.99
Best for: an easy treat
I’d seen these star-embossed gummies all over Instagram accompanied by gushing reviews, so wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. Well for one they do look more appealing and less pharmaceutical than traditional supplements. More like a sweet treat, which isn’t far off considering the first ingredients in these vegan gummies are sweeteners for a not unpleasant berry flavour. These supplements tackle the traditional beauty trinity of hair, skin and nails, and the list of vitamins are tailored to that effect. Two gummies will deliver 50% of your recommended daily levels of vitamin A, C, and zinc, but also 100% of your recommended daily levels of antioxidant vitamin E, biotin (for strong healthy nails) and collagen-boosting folic acid for firmer skin. I took these for one month, and although I didn’t notice a big change in my skin, my nails grew at a faster rate with no brittleness whatsoever. The most expensive but also most treat-like option here, it’s a viable solution if you lack motivation taking traditional supplements. 60 chewable gummies RRP £39.99
Best for: glowing skin
I’ve used Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Frankincense beauty products on and off for years, but until now I never realised the range also included supplements. And I’m so glad I discovered these, as they’ve become my favourite beauty supplements. For all round health my top choice is the Holland & Barrett option, but for glowing skin, this is it. It helps that the packaging belongs more on my dressing table than in the kitchen cupboard: a glass apothecary bottle encased in a thick cardboard box with gold lettering. The vegan capsules contain biotin for healthy skin, vitamin C to boost collagen and anti-inflammatory zinc to control acne. But the ingredient that stands out from other supplements is copper which apparently ‘contributes to normal skin pigmentation’. I’m not clear on whether it helps fade pigmentation or enhances a tan, and a Google search doesn’t bring up much conclusiveness on this topic. But going by the results, i.e. clear radiant skin, I’d say these supplements are doing a good job at providing a beauty boost. 60 capsules RRP £20.00
Best for: beauty ingredients checklist
I thought Neal’s Yard Remedies provided the ultimate beauty ingredients concoction, but then I tried Fushi Beauty Totale. The ingredients list reads like a who’s who of skincare heroes: vitamin C and biotin of course, but also copper, 100% of your recommended daily allowance of zinc, firming resveratrol, hyperpigmentation-reducing niacin (you may have come across niacinamide in your skincare which is a form of this vitamin B3), anti-ageing retinol and beta-carotene for natural UV protection. I have to admit my skin didn’t look as good as when I was on the Holland & Barrett or Neal’s Yard capsules, but overall it remains a strong performer: my nails and hair looked healthy and felt strong. 60 capsules RRP £16.00
Best for: a hit of vitamin C
I left trialling this product until last. I was scared. It’s easy to pop a couple of capsules or chew on some sweets, but a health shot? I remember the taste of those Liquid Health Supplements I forced down my throat every morning pre-breakfast, ensuring I had a tasty breakfast bar within reach to mask the taste. Were the results worth it? Well yes, but I do prefer the all gain no pain approach. So I was pleasantly surprised when I gulped down 30ml of Amla juice diluted in a small glass of water before dinner. And didn’t get hit with a horrible aftertaste. Even though the instructions warn you that ‘Amla is a crisp and juicy berry that produces a naturally sour tangy taste’. Also known as Indian Gooseberry, anti-inflammatory Amla is highly praised in Ayurvedic medicine for bringing balance to your body. If you’re after a big dose of vitamin C this health juice contains 20 times more than an orange, as well as iron, calcium and carotene. If you take it twice a day as directed the bottle will last you just over 8 days, but I’ve only managed to remember to drink it once a day. 500ml RRP £15.00
Do you rely on any beauty supplements for a healthy glowing skin? Please leave a comment below to let me know.
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