Multitasking gets a bad rap these days. Maybe I shouldn’t scarf down a Clif bar…
Many people believe they are doomed by their genetics. Well, the good news is that a healthy diet and good skincare regimen can take you pretty far when it comes to keeping your skin beautiful. In fact, your lifestyle determines a large part of your general health, including the health and vibrance of your skin!
Along with making good lifestyle choices, you can enjoy the benefits of natural beauty supplements that help to support your body and nourish your skin. In addition to eating a rainbow of colors (fruits and vegetables—not Skittles) and doing a weekly at-home facial, here are 11 supplements for perfectly radiant skin.
Make sure to check with your physician before beginning any new supplements—especially if you already take prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, or vitamins or if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant—to make sure it’s OK to add them into your daily routine.
Because nature’s supplements have some pretty potent activity (assuming they are sourced properly), they can potentially affect certain medical conditions and interact with your prescribed medications.
11 Must-Have Beauty Supplements
1. Evening Primrose Oil or Black Currant Seed Oil
Both contain the essential omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is anti-inflammatory [source] and promotes healthy skin cell growth. These can take a few months of daily use before you start seeing results—so stick with it!
Evening primrose oil is especially beneficial for PMS symptoms and around perimenopause to alleviate hormonal imbalances [source]. Black currant seed oil is also an anti-inflammatory and has immune system-enhancing effects [source].
2. Fern Extract
Polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE) is derived from a tropical fern grown in Central and South America. It has antioxidant and photoprotective properties that protect skin from UV rays, sun damage, and discoloration [source].
3. Fish Oil
The idea of downing fish oil every day might seem weird (and what’s with those gigantic gel caps?), but it’s worth it: omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA—both of which are found in fish oil—support collagen production [source], which forms the framework of your skin and helps fill in any lines on your face. They also help reduce symptoms of rosacea, acne, and eczema [source], regulate your skin’s moisture balance, and improve the overall appearance of your skin.
Taking fish oil has been shown to have many anti-aging, anti-inflammatory benefits. It is a blood thinner, so avoid it before any surgery and let your physician know you are taking it. Also, make sure you are sourcing your fish oil from a reputable source to avoid any laden with mercury from toxic fish!
If you get those horrible fish oil burps, be aware that they usually improve over time, but one of the tricks I recommend is to store it in the freezer and take it frozen. It has already passed into your gut before it thaws out, and voila! No burps.
The root of this shrub, native to Southeastern Asia, has started to get attention recently for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which are proving particularly effective against arthritis [source] and acne [source]. It’s been used in Ayurveda for ages to relieve stress, improve longevity [source], and support many of the common skin conditions [source] and all skin types—not just those prone to acne.
In addition to skin benefits, ashwagandha reduces anxiety [source], treats insomnia [source], improves sexual functioning in women [source], and has been shown to have cancer-fighting benefits [source]. The cool thing about this unique herb is that it is an adaptogen, which means it balances everything out in the body.
Buy it: Organic India Ashwagandha
5. Vitamin A
Have you ever noticed that your skin looks so much better after you drink a carrot juice or do a pumpkin face mask, especially if you have oily skin? That’s because, when taken internally, vitamin A has anti-inflammatory effects, reduces sebum production, and maintains protective tissue [source]. It’s often used by people with acne, psoriasis, or eczema.
Definitely don’t take a vitamin A supplement if you’re pregnant, as it’s been linked to birth defects—and make sure to check in with your doctor about your dosage because overdoing it can be dangerous. But if your diet is high in processed foods and you don’t get a lot of orange veggies and fruits, chances are that you are likely deficient in vitamin A.
Buy it: Bronson Vitamin A 10,000 IU
6. Vitamin D
Between the ages of 20 and 80, your body loses 50% of its ability to create vitamin D [source]. And this vitamin is crucial to epidermis cell replenishment [source], repair, and metabolism (which keeps your skin’s moisture locked in and supports its immunity), and it can minimize acne and dark spots.
We depend on sunlight for much of our vitamin D intake, so if you live in a climate where sunlight is inconsistent or minimal, it’s probably worth asking your doctor if a vitamin D supplement would be appropriate.
Buy it: NatureWise Vitamin D3 5,000 IU
Researchers have found that people with acne tend to have lower zinc levels than those without, and studies have shown that the mineral is almost as effective as antibiotics in killing acne bacteria [source]. It’s a powerful antioxidant, and it reduces the inflammatory response in acne-prone skin.
Look for zinc picolinate and zinc methionine, which are more easily absorbed by the body. High doses of zinc can cause stomach cramping and digestive upset, so check in with your doctor if you want to start taking zinc.
Buy it: Source Naturals OptiZinc
8. Vitamin C
We all know that vitamin C can help protect us from colds, but its antioxidant properties are great for skin, too [source]. It offers protection from free radicals, creates collagen, supports cell strength, and combats wrinkles, spots, and dullness.
Buy it: Nature’s Bounty Vitamin C
9. Vitamin E
Another potent antioxidant, vitamin E, is anti-inflammatory, is useful in the treatment of acne [source], and important to healthy cell turnover, skin aging, and UV protection [source]. Studies have shown that vitamin E protects better when it’s combined with vitamin C, and subjects who took both had lower amounts of DNA damage after UV exposure [source]. The tocotrienol form of vitamin E is more beneficial than the tocopherols.
Buy it: Sundown Vitamin E
The amino acid glucosamine, which is a natural component of cartilage, can help minimize fine lines, accelerate wound healing, improve skin hydration, and reduce wrinkles and hyperpigmentation [source]. You might even find your need for a moisturizer decreases as you take it!
Also known as coenzyme Q10, CoQ10 is produced naturally in the body. It helps neutralize free radicals and keep cells in tip-top shape while supporting collagen and elastin production. We produce less of it as we age or experience stress, so our cells are less able to withstand free radicals and we start to look older. If you have crow’s feet around your eyes, a CoQ10 supplement can help minimize those lines and smooth the skin surface [source].
Because CoQ10 provides energy to the body, it is best taken in the morning so you don’t have issues sleeping. Also, if you take blood pressure or cholesterol medications, these deplete CoQ10 from the body.
Buy it: NOW Foods CoQ10
What beauty supplements do you swear by?
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before taking any new supplements.