I first started taking food supplements when I was trying to get pregnant. I wanted my body to be in tip top condition, with the optimum level of nutrients to support a growing baby.
How helpful my Pregnacare capsules were in this process is impossible to measure. But I felt sure enough to continue with supplements post birth, moving on to ones for my skin, hair and nails.
Over the past few years, as I’ve become better educated about my skin and as I noticed it starting to age, I have added more specific supplements to the mix such as hyaluronic acid and collagen – substances produced naturally by our bodies but which decline with age.
Here is a quick look at key skin supplements and what they do:
Skin, Nails and Hair
Pretty self-explanatory from the title, this was the first type of ‘beauty’ supplement that I took. I liked the idea of one packet covering a lot of bases, ie skin, nails and hair. These can be pretty expensive to buy so look out for deals in places like Boots, which often has popular makes like Imedeen and Perfectil on a 3 for 2.
These Solgar ones are comparatively good value at £11.99 for 60 tablets (take one a day). They contain an absorbable form of sulphur to relieve inflammation (which ages skin), as well as ingredients to help build collagen and keratin, which has a major role in skin health. More on Solgar here.
Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is responsible for binding all living tissue. Hyaluronic acid is found within the tissue and holds 1,000 times its weight in water, helping to keep skin hydrated and plump.
Jivesse Marine Collagen Capsules contain small peptides which are said to be absorbed by the body within a few hours . They’re easy to swallow but the taste is not particularly pleasant (they’re a bit fishy). They’re also pricey - £80 for 60 capsules – and you need to take two daily. You can buy them here.
Solgar recently rebranded their Hyaluronic Acid Complex supplements to Collagen Hyaluronic Acid Complex (£33.86 for 30 – 1 capsule daily). Read my full review here.
CoQ10 is a compound found naturally within cells. It has antioxidant properties that help protect our skin. But levels drop as we age. The thing to look out for with CoQ10 supplements is again the particle size – small is better as they’re easier for the body to absorb. Solgar claims that its Nutri Nano ones have 3 times better absorption than traditional CoQ-10 products. The cost of 50 softgels is £32.49.
Vitamin E is the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant. It is found in most vegetable oils, wheat germ, raw seeds and nuts, eggs, leafy vegetables and legumes. Vitamin E supports various bodily functions, including nutritional support for the skin, and the immune system.
I’m throwing this one in as I’ve recently started to suffer with minor joint pain in my hip. If you’re similarly suffering, this supplement could be one to look out for. Glucosamine is a natural sugar found in cartilage, the fluid and tissues that cushion our joints. When cartilage starts to break down (osteoarthritis) it can cause pain. In studies glucosamine sulphate supplements have been shown to ease symptoms. I take these Holland & Barrett ones (£24.99 for 120 capsules – 1 or 2 daily) and they’re currently available on the store’s ‘buy one get one for a penny’ offer here.
Post contains press samples.