Do Vitamins For Hair, Nails & Skin Really Work?

It seems like everywhere you turn Instagram on these days, a reality TV star is arguing about one beauty supplement or another. They make all products so appealing, but here’s the big question: do any of these skin and hair nail vitamins actually work?

With so many of them on the market touting the benefits of skin detoxification to direct wrinkle removal, sometimes we wonder if just applying our vitamin serum at night is not enough – should- we ingest it too? We spoke with Dr Marina Peredo, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital and Josephine Tutrani, a clinical nutritionist specializing in personalizing anti-aging regimens, weight loss, hair loss, acne and other skin conditions.


“I recommend supplements to patients who are looking to solve certain skin, nail or hair problems,” says Dr. Peredo. In particular, she suggests three supplements that have been shown to be extremely effective in treating certain skin conditions.


“Biotin encourages the production of protein for nail growth when it is absorbed deep within the nail bed, where cells are generated,” says Dr. Peredo. “Plus, it also stimulates new hair growth and promotes healthier texture by protecting against dryness, scalp flaking and increasing the elasticity of the hair cortex to prevent breakage. I recommend it to my patients who have problems with thinning hair or brittle nails.

To try: NeoCell Biotin pops acai berry from Brazil

Vitamin B

“I generally advise my patients with acne to take a vitamin B complex to help them clear up,” says Dr. Peredo. “Vitamin B acts as an antioxidant for the skin, which can help kill bacteria. It helps balance testosterone levels which keeps acne at bay. Vitamin B deficiency is also a major cause of acne, so making sure your body is getting enough of it will help prevent and treat the condition. And if that’s not enough, vitamin B also helps reduce stress and treat the adrenal glands, so it’s beneficial for those who break out when stressed.

To try: Murad Pure Skin Clarifying Supplement

Marine fatty acids

“When ingested, marine fatty acids such as omega-3s work to fight dry, damaged hair, hair loss and a scaly scalp. The DHA and EPA present in omega-3s add shine, elasticity and shine to dull strands, helping restart hair growth, ”says Dr. Peredo. “Plus, the dietary fats in omega-3 fatty acids help protect and repair skin cells, hydrating the skin from the inside out. Omega-3s can even protect the skin from burns and overexposure to UV rays, so I suggest my patients take at least one to two capsules of the supplement per day.

To try: Perricone MD Omega 3 Dietary Supplement or Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Growth Supplements


What about the rest of them? They’re not harmful, says Dr Peredo, but to see dramatic benefits for the skin would require ingesting megadoses of vitamins, far more than what is actually found in supplements. While you shouldn’t expect dramatic results, clinical nutritionist Joséphine Tutrani says getting enough vitamins A, C, and E is very important for healthy skin – and surprise, surprise – many Beauty supplements on the market usually contain a combination of these ingredients.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps keep skin smooth and rejuvenated, says Tutrani, and is especially recommended for preventative purposes and for acne-prone skin. However, to see dramatic skin results, one would need to take a synthetic derivative of vitamin A, such as Accutane. The good old natural vitamin pills won’t hurt, but they won’t cause significant changes either.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important for collagen formation, however, it would really take a very high dosage to see results, advises Dr. Peredo. And since this vitamin is water soluble, taking more orally would simply dissipate it through urination. So make sure you get enough of it in your diet, but don’t expect it to work wonders as a supplement.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an excellent natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. In patients with eczema or psoriasis, Dr Peredo has seen that vitamin E supplements help soothe inflammation in some cases, but there is not enough medical evidence to conclusively say this. will still work.

The final verdict? There is nothing wrong with popping these pills, we say, but be realistic about the claims of their products and don’t expect to see dramatic results.

To try: Food Supplement Phyto Phytophanere


Recently we have also discovered new supplements that increase human growth hormones and with them promise to get rid of wrinkles and make you look years younger. According to Dr. Peredo, this is a category you can ignore. While human growth hormone therapy is helpful if you have pituitary gland issues, there is no evidence that it will do anything to fight aging.

One more thing to remember: Although most beauty supplements and vitamins on the market are harmless, it is important to consult your doctor or nutritionist before starting any type of diet, especially if you are taking other medications. because some additives in supplements can interact negatively.

Originally published April 2016. Updated June 2017.

Patricia J. Callender

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