What’s the secret to health that shows? Good health is more than skin deep. Your lifestyle and overall nutrition play important roles in keeping your hair, skin and nails in tip-top condition. But there are some ingredients that are particularly beneficial when it comes to helping you look vibrant and healthy. Here are a few of the best ingredients for healthy-looking hair, skin and nails.
1. Coffee for Skincare
Coffee is good for more than giving your body an energy boost with caffeine. It can also boost your skin’s glow! The antioxidants in coffee help protect your skin from free radicals and provide anti-aging benefits. Since caffeine is a natural constrictor, coffee may help with the appearance of puffiness and dark eye circles. Caffeine also has a mild diuretic effect, which helps you eliminate retained fluids, providing another line of defense against puffy skin. You can even use coffee grounds to make an exfoliating facial scrub.
2. Keratin for Strength and Flexibility
Keratin is the primary component that makes up your hair, skin and nails. It’s a protein that provides strength and resilience.4 Like biotin, keratin is a popular ingredient in some hair and skin products, but benefits are limited when applied externally. Although your cells produce some keratin naturally, diet and age can contribute to lower keratin levels. Supplementing your diet with keratin may help improve the strength of your hair and the overall quality of your skin. Keratin may support better moisture retention, skin elasticity and nails that are more resistant to breakage.
3. Vitamin A Benefits for Skin
You’ve probably heard that vitamin A is good for your eyes, but did you know it’s also great for your skin? Vitamin A, which is also known as retinol, plays a major role in healthy skin cell production. It may help stimulate and support the cells responsible for producing skin tissue and collagen development.2 For brighter, healthier-looking skin, get enough vitamin A in your diet and consider trying a retinol skin cream.
4. Biotin for Hair, Skin and Nails Support
Want thicker hair, stronger nails and healthier skin? Who doesn’t! Biotin, also known as vitamin B-7 or vitamin H, works wonders for your outer glow. Biotin helps your skin cells get the nutrients they need and stimulates hair and nail growth.3 It’s an ingredient in many hair and skin products, but biotin is more effective when taken internally, either by eating biotin-rich foods or taking biotin supplements.
5. Flaxseed Oil for Skin
Flaxseed oil supports your body inside and out. It can be massaged into your skin directly or added to your regular moisturizer to lock in hydration, which helps keep skin firm and looking supple. Flaxseed oil also can help with the appearance of dark spots and puffiness, and it’s high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which may have a calming effect on certain skin concerns.1 You can also take flaxseed oil internally as a supplement.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a popular ingredient in hair and skin tonics. Since apple cider vinegar with mother contains live cultures (probiotics), minerals, vitamins and acids, it can help with hair, skin and nail health by providing essential nutrients. Apple cider vinegar is available in liquid and supplement forms. For more on apple cider vinegar, read 30 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar.
Another important ingredient for hair skin and nail health is MSM. MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic, biologically active sulfur derived from the earth’s water cycle. While sulfur is present in many whole foods and unprocessed foods, it can be lost in the heating process necessary to cook foods. Sulfur is a necessary component of collagen and keratin for skin and nails. So, MSM benefits include helping to support strength and flexibility in nails and hair. Plus, for skin health, MSM works in the body to help with collagen formation and works with vitamin C in tissue and skin health. MSM also has detoxifying properties for whole-body health.5 MSM supplements, like MSM powder or capsules, can help you add this ingredient to your beauty routine. Learn more in MSM Benefits: Joint Health & Beyond.
Show off Your Healthy Glow
Nothing says healthy like a vibrancy that comes from within. Stay hydrated, get plenty of rest and supplement your diet with these top vitamins and nutrients for better hair, skin and nails. For more healthy beauty tips, check out these articles: Hair Growth Tips: Nutrients & Food for Healthy Hair and Is Coffee Good For Your Skin?
1 Magee, Elaine. The Benefits of Flaxseed. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed#1 (accessed 12/11/2017)
2 Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin A (retinol). PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17515510/ (Accessed 12/11/2017)
3 Biotin: WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-313-biotin.aspx (Accessed 12/11/2017)
4 Keratins: National Library of Medicine (NLM). https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/genefamily/keratins (Accessed 12/11/2017)
5 MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane): WebMD.com. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/msm-methylsulfonylmethane-uses-and-risks#1 (Accessed 12/11/2017)
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Originally published: 07/01/2021 | Updated 11/1/2021