As far as quick fixes go in the beauty world, I for one am open to almost anything. I mean, who doesn’t want to grow massively long lashes and spot-free skin overnight?
So when I saw the spike in beauty supplements on social media (mainly Instagram) I was enticed.
Pictures of Khloe Kardashian holding a bottle of mysteriously bright blue teddy bear-shaped vitamins (Sugar Bear Hair Vitamins) began to litter my timeline more and more frequently, alongside claims that these simple little pills are the only way to achieve long and luxurious locks without extensions.
I then began to hear about anti-ageing supplements online (a pill that can reduce the signs of ageing – really?), and at this point I decided it was time for me to get my facts straight.
Firstly, I wanted to know what the hell these things even are. Yes, they’re beauty supplements but what is actually inside them? Well, from my research I have gathered that they are pills that contain vitamins which are proven help certain areas of the body.
So if it really is as simple as taking a pill infused with vitamins to make our hair longer, nails stronger and skin clearer, why aren’t we all taking them automatically?
Fitness and well-being blogger Molly Horne points out that “Beauty supplements are not miracle workers. They simply enhance what is already there within your body, so unless they’re teamed with a healthy lifestyle and a good, well-balanced diet, they won’t work. They work with the vitamins already within your body.”
The popular beauty brands fail to mention the key point that Molly referred to: supplements are an enhancer, not, the creator of vitality. So if you have a rubbish diet and you are not living a healthy life, don’t expect them to work wonders – they simply will not.
Lucy Jones, dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, confirmed this: “The problem is that it’s not a simple equation. Just because we know that, for example, inflammation is associated with ageing, and that coenzyme Q10 can reduce inflammation, doesn’t mean that taking lots of coenzyme Q10 will make you look younger.”
After my research, I concluded that these new beauty supplements don’t really differ that much from every day multi-vitamins. Most multi-vitamins contain the essentials for healthy skin, nails and hair, but a supplement that precisely focusses on hair, skin and nails is likely to contain larger quantities of these vitamins in order to guarantee they take effect. They also contain added extras such as collagen hyaluronic acid designed to make your body, skin and hair perform optimally, and look good. But that’s all the ‘value-added’ they have.
Skin is the last thing to absorb the goodness in the vitamins we eat. Therefore there is reason enough to suggest that if taken properly along with a healthy and well balanced diet, beauty supplements might well take the vitamins we ingest a little bit further, doing a little bit more for the way we look.
But that’s about as far as it goes.