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Do Beauty Supplements Work?

Today’s blog is about beauty supplements, so it’s a little different, for those of our readers who are more interested in holistic beauty! In our CIDESCO course, students learn about holistic therapies. The holistic beauty approach focuses on an all-inclusive approach to a healthy body, mind, and soul resulting in better and more radiant skin. Adopting a holistic approach to beauty will see you eating better, working out more often and meditating, all of which will better you altogether. 

So, the topic of the blog is beauty supplements! Whether you’re scrolling on Instagram or at your local supermarket, you’re bound to come across supplements. Many of us take them in the form of multi-vitamins, but there are supplements that promise to strengthen our nails and hair.

What Are Supplements?

According to the NHS, most people actually do not need to take supplements, they need to get their vitamins from a healthy balanced diet. However, many people have dietary and recreational habits like smoking, drinking or low-calorie diets that restrict them from getting the nutrients they need.

Vitamins and minerals are necessary nutrients that the body needs to function. The NHS added that taking too many supplements and doing so for a lengthy period of time can actually cause more harm than good. Department of Health and Social Care suggests supplements for people who have deficiencies related to particular vitamins and minerals. For example, all babies and children must take vitamin D supplements to absorb calcium and phosphorus as they don’t get adequate sun exposure. 

The recommended vitamin supplements are manufactured into liquids, tablets, water-soluble tablets, gel caps, capsules and so on to make it easier for the consumer to take them with their food. These supplements are not vitamins and minerals but can be amino acids, herbs, botanical extracts and many other ingredients with nutritional value. 

Beauty Supplements

In the beauty industry, there are a lot of companies with supplements that have made big claims on having the “magic pill” that will solve all of our vanity problems. Their beauty supplements claim to give youthful skin, lose weight fast or grow hair and nails etc. Social media culture is also a huge problem in pushing these beauty supplements. Big brands will pay popular influencers and celebrities to advertise these products to their followers. 

Problems from this kind of advertising can rise, as many influencers and celebrities are not healthcare professionals, nor do they vet companies properly. In fact, many companies and celebrities have received major backlash for promoting things that do not fulfil the promises stated in their advertisements.

Not to mention, there are a lot of companies creating supplements which are not regulated by the Food Standards Agency. It is important to buy vitamins recognised by your local authority! Otherwise, you might buy fake supplements that can be so damaging to your body. A telling sign of a counterfeit product is that it would be significantly cheaper than the original. Sometimes ‘bargains’ are too good to be true.

The Dangers of Supplements

In the UK, the Food Standards Agency has deemed two specific ingredients as dangerous: DNP and DMMA. The first one DNP (Dinitrophenol) is commonly found in supplements that claim they are fat burning or slimming. It has been deemed that it is not fit for human consumption and is extremely dangerous to human health. In humans, the chemical can cause a comatose state and may result in death. The case of DMMA (Dimethylamylamine) is a synthetically made substance that is often described as a “natural” stimulant commonly targeted at bodybuilders and people who are trying to lose weight. As DMMA contains a lot of caffeine it can cause higher blood pressure, and cerebral haemorrhage and can lead to other cardiovascular issues that can result in a stroke or death. This is because DMMA speeds up a process in the body called thermogenesis, which is the body using fat to generate energy through heat. Both ingredients are illegal and products with these ingredients should be reported to the FSA.

Do We Need to Take Supplements?

With that being said the question still remains, are supplements necessary to take? The answer is not as simple as it seems, as many studies have not been able to definitively prove that all supplements make a significant difference. There is a large portion of the market that is not regulated by FSA. As mentioned before at the beginning of this blog, there are still influencers promoting supplements that have “magical” marketing claims but there is little to no scientific evidence behind the alleged claims. Based on research, the best nutrients to supplement are: 

  • Vitamin B – Helps with nerve and blood cells healthy
  • Calcium and Vitamin D – Strengthens bones. 
  • Vitamin C and E – Can prevent cell damage. 
  • Vitamin A – Can slow down the loss of vision from degeneration due to age.
  • Melatonin – Can improve the ease of sleeping.
  • Zinc – Promotes skin health and also helps slow down age-related macular degeneration 

All of these supplement nutrients can be found in food and it is better to eat foods that are rich in these nutrients and take supplements so that the benefits are maximised. 

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