Everyone wants healthier hair, skin and nails. Not only are these features key in beauty and appearance, but you simply feel better when your hair is silky smooth, your skin is hydrated and supple, and your nails are hard and smooth. Unfortunately, that means overcoming many environmental detractors. Hard water, poor air quality and lackluster diet are all contributors to poor hair, skin and nail health.
To give your hair, skin and nails the support they need to look and feel their best, it’s important to explore supplementation options. There are a wide assortment of supplements out there designed to improve hair, skin and nail health, and it can be difficult to choose between them. Thankfully, most of them contain five common ingredients, proven to increase the strength, texture and composition of these three beauty hallmarks.
Here’s a look at the top five nutrients for healthier hair, skin and nails and why they’re so beneficial for beauty and wellness.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A primarily benefits skin and is known for its abundant properties. It’s a common ingredient in acne treatments because of its anti-inflammatory capabilities and is also a well-established anti-aging nutrient—you might know it better as retinol or retinal, a marquee ingredient in top-selling facial creams.
Despite its association with better skin, vitamin A also benefits hair and nail growth to a degree. Because vitamin A promotes healthy cell growth, it’s naturally beneficial to hair and nails, since these are the fastest-growing cells in our bodies. Additionally, vitamin A helps the body better retain water, which can promote healthier hair and nails by extension.
2. Vitamin B
There are a wide range of B vitamins out there, but generally, vitamin B in regard to hair, skin and nails refers to vitamin B complex. Vitamin B complex is a mixture of several B vitamins, including B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin) and B9 (Folate).
The B vitamin complex is particularly beneficial for skin and nails, thanks to several of the individual B vitamins that comprise it. For example, niacin has anti-aging properties that benefit the skin, while folate is linked to stronger, smoother nails. Taken as a complex, B vitamins offer widespread benefits for hair, skin and nails that make them stronger, healthier and easier to care for.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that has widespread benefits for the body. Its ability to fight off free radicals promotes brighter skin, stronger hair and smoother nails. Perhaps its most important role in hair, skin and nail health, though, is its ability to stimulate collagen production, which promotes the healthy growth of these cells.
Vitamin C is also a catalyst for supporting nutrient absorption. For example, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, which is an important building block for hair growth and nail fortitude. There’s a reason scurvy—a disease caused by lack of vitamin C—affects the hair and nails first! If you want healthy, strong nails, hair and skin, make sure you’re eating plenty of citrus.
Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is worth mentioning apart from the B vitamin complex because it’s often a standalone nutrient in many beauty products. Biotin might be the most powerful and effective nutrient on this list! It promotes the process responsible for producing amino acids, which are key building blocks in hair, skin and nails. This promotes stronger cells, leading to healthier-looking features. Biotin also helps in metabolizing fat, which promotes healthier skin.
Lack of biotin is something many people deal with because it’s difficult to come by in foods. While many foods contain some biotin, very few contain it in large amounts. The two best sources of biotin are beef liver and cooked eggs, but you’d need to eat liver or at least three eggs daily to get enough biotin. It’s why most people supplement.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids
Fish oil is one of the best things you can put in your body because it contains ample omega-3 fatty acids, which are a boon for hair, skin and nail health. First, they serve to repair cell damage caused by environmental factors, such as hard water or poor air quality. Second, they promote healthy cell growth that results in shinier hair and smoother nails. Finally, they promote better hydration, which improves just about every facet of your body’s wellness.
If you suffer from a condition like dermatitis or psoriasis or are prone to dry, brittle hair, fish oil is one of the best things you can take to combat the effects of these conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids’ benefits for heart health and immunity just happen to be big-time positives to go along with their beauty benefits!
Treat your features to better nutrition
When it comes to shinier, stronger hair, smooth, durable nails and soft, supple skin, your body can use all the help it can get. Start with these five nutrients. Whether you get them through your diet or supplement them, you’ll start to see improvements in no time!