The Best Supplements for Glowing Skin, Healthy Hair, and Strong Nails

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You are what you eat, and what you eat can often be reflected on your skin, hair, and nails. Eating many processed, high-sugar foods can lead to acne and a proinflammatory state, causing premature aging. When our body is deficient in specific vitamins or minerals, our skin will look sallow, our hair limp and dull, and our nails brittle. 

Achieving optimal nutrition through diet alone is just not realistic. We all try, but It’s hard to meet the dietary recommendations daily, especially for most of us with a busy work schedule. For those of us who cannot get all these requirements through food, including me, I recommend daily vitamins and nutritional supplements to help support our overall health plus that of our skin, hair, and nails.

Supplements for Healthy Skin

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for our body and skin health. It is a crucial nutrient our skin needs to make collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. In addition, to hiding, it also supports our muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Collagen is lost over time due to aging, which manifests as sagging of skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. 

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps fight premature aging induced by the sun and our environment. It is a water-soluble nutrient that is not produced by our bodies. Therefore we must obtain it through diet. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruit such as lemon, oranges, and grapefruit; vegetables including bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and Brussel sprouts, to name a few.  

Daily supplementation of vitamin C at 500-1000mg can be taken for those who cannot keep up with dietary recommendations. Because it is water-soluble and excreted through urine, over-ingesting and toxicity are uncommon.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another essential nutrient, like vitamin C, with antioxidant properties. The two often work better together. Vitamin E helps prevent DNA damage induced by free radicals generated by the sun and pollutants. It also helps to strengthen our immune system and to avoid blood clots. Many topical formulations of vitamin E plus C are available to help fight sun damage and reverse signs of aging. 

Vitamin E is fat-soluble and can be found in leafy greens, nuts, avocado, and plant oil such as sunflower oil. Since vitamin E is fat-soluble, it is not as quickly metabolized as vitamin C. To avoid build-up and toxicity, limiting supplementation to < 15mg daily.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

There are numerous health benefits from omega-3s. These essential fats need to be consumed through food or supplements as our bodies cannot produce them naturally. Fatty acids are a necessary component of cellular membranes and help fight inflammation. They also may play a role in the prevention of some chronic diseases. 

Over time our skin dries and dulls from chronic sun exposure and natural aging. Omega 3s help to decrease inflammation and repair the skin barrier, allowing our skin to function correctly and form that healthy “glow.” Omega-3s have also been found to help with chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3, but taking a fish oil supplement daily is a great alternative.


The body’s microbiome plays a vital role in keeping our body healthy and balanced. We know that there’s often an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in many inflammatory diseases. 

Daily probiotic supplements help decrease bloating in patients with IBS and decrease the amount of inflammation seen in individuals with chronic skin diseases such as eczema. Clinical studies have shown that in patients with atopic dermatitis who took daily probiotics, there was a decrease in the frequency of topical steroid application compared to that in the control group.

Supplements for Healthy Hair and Nails

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin made on our skin upon UV exposure. It has numerous biological effects on our body, including promoting bone health, modulating inflammation, and hair health. Research has shown that vitamin D may also play a role in modulating autoimmune disease by regulating gut bacteria. 

Individuals who experience extensive and diffuse hair loss and brittle hair often have vitamin D deficiency. Most people do not synthesize sufficient amounts of vitamin D from sun exposure alone, and chronic sun exposure is not recommended for the risk of skin cancer and aging. It is best to consume vitamin D through supplements and food. Fatty fish, soy products, and egg yolks are high in vitamin D. Taking a daily supplement of 800-1000IU is recommended for the average adult.


Biotin is a water-soluble B7 vitamin needed by our body to convert nutrients into energy. It is essential to our body’s daily function, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

Biotin also plays a vital role in maintaining strong and healthy nails and hair. Exactly how biotin works are unclear. It’s been found to strengthen keratin, the building blocks of our skin, hair, and nails. Clinical studies have shown that biotin supplements can improve hair growth and strengthen brittle nails. 

Taking a biotin supplement daily helped me recover from my postpartum hair loss. I recommend ones containing a few other vitamins and minerals, including zinc. Zinc helps to fight free radical damage, and like biotin, it is essential for cellular metabolism, immunity, and fighting inflammation.

Supplements for Acne-Prone Skin

Acne is the most common condition that brings individuals to my office. Acne doesn’t just affect teenagers–a handful of adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and even older will be afflicted by acne. 

Hormonal acne in women can be frustrating. It manifests as deep pimples on the cheeks, jawline, chin, and even neck, often worsening around their periods. Although the most effective treatments are prescription medications to counter the hormone flares, not everyone can tolerate these treatments. Below are two natural ways I’ve found to help my skin stay clear without drugs.


Spearmint has well-known anti-androgen effects. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Spearmint modulates hormones that are increased during our menstrual cycle. These hormones then stimulate our oil glands, leading to deep cystic-like pimples around menses. Clinical studies have shown that 1 cup of spearmint tea twice daily has moderate effects on improving hormonal acne.


Turmeric has long been used for centuries as medicine, a trendy ingredient in India. Curcumin is an active compound isolated from turmeric with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Being one of the most heavily studied spices, turmeric has shown many promising results in laboratory studies. Curcumin has demonstrated potential in inhibiting propionibacterium, a crucial bacteria involved in the pathogenesis of acne. In addition to acne, turmeric may help fight psoriasis, eczema, and even aging. Given that topical formulations such as skincare products or masks can irritate and stain the skin yellow, I recommend daily supplementation in powder form. Consider adding turmeric to your smoothie, curry, or tea–this is an easy, effective, and multipurpose way to add more antioxidants to your diet.

Remember that great skin, hair, and nails are more than what you put on the–diet and nutrition play a huge role. Combining a good diet with regular exercise, adequate time for self-care, and stress relief will ensure a clear mindset, healthy body, and glowing skin.


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