Best Vitamins & Minerals for Your Hair, Skin & Nails

How do you bring out your natural beauty? It starts with taking good care of your body. When you look fresh and vibrant on the outside, that’s usually a sign that you’re healthy on the inside. 

It means you’re drinking enough water to help your body detox, getting enough exercise to maintain healthy blood flow, and getting enough “beauty rest” to support your body’s nightly repair process. It also means you’re giving your body the right nutrition to feed those fast-growing cells in your hair, skin, and nails.

Hair, skin, and nails are constantly regenerating themselves, and they need key nutrients to support the growth and regeneration process. Antioxidants are also important for protecting against oxidative stress, which can trigger inflammation and damage cells, accelerating signs of aging. Here are some of the most important vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain healthy, beautiful hair, skin, and nails.

Biotin

Biotin has been gaining a reputation as the go-to supplement for maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails. One of the B vitamins (B7), it has also been called “vitamin H” after the German words for “hair and skin,” haar und haut. Like other B complex vitamins, biotin helps metabolize carbs, fats, and proteins to create energy. It also plays a role in protein synthesis and supports the production of keratin, a basic protein that makes up hair, skin, and nails.1 Lack of biotin can cause hair loss and skin rashes, so we know it plays an important role in hair growth and skin health. Recent studies also show that biotin can be very effective at strengthening brittle nails.2,3  

Like all B vitamins, biotin is water-soluble, which means it is not stored long-term in the body and must be replenished regularly. You can find biotin in foods like eggs, whole wheat bread, salmon, sweet potatoes, and chicken. But if you want an extra biotin boost, you can also take a supplement, like our strawberry flavored Biotin Gummies.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that supports your skin’s natural regeneration process and helps neutralize free radicals from environmental stressors, such as UV light and air pollution, which can prematurely age the skin. Vitamin C also helps your body produce collagen, the primary protein in your skin that gives it that youthful firmness and "bounce". Studies have even linked vitamin C with fewer wrinkles.4

Vitamin C is water-soluble and can be found in many colorful fruits and vegetables, from citrus fruits, strawberries and bell peppers to broccoli, spinach, and brussel sprouts. For an extra boost, you can also try our Vitamin C supplement made with real Acerola cherry extract and citrus bioflavonoids from orange and lemon.

Zinc

Zinc plays an important role in healthy tissue growth and repair, helping skin to regenerate and heal and encouraging healthy hair and nail growth. It assists with collagen and keratin synthesis, supporting the structure and strength of hair, skin, and nails. Because it helps with healthy cell turnover, zinc also helps regulate oil production on the skin and around hair follicles. Lack of zinc has been linked with hair loss and acne.5,6

Zinc is an essential trace mineral. We only need a little at a time, but we need to replenish it regularly. You can find zinc in foods like oysters, beef, spinach, and pumpkin seeds. It may also be a good idea to take a multivitamin to make sure you’re getting your daily dose of zinc. If you’re looking for a higher dose, try our Zinc Whole Food Complex.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is well known for its skin health benefits and is commonly found in topical skincare products. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that’s concentrated in the naturally produced oil from your skin glands and your skin cell membranes, where it helps maintain a healthy skin barrier to keep skin cells protected and hydrated. Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin against damaging free radicals and UV rays that can accelerate signs of aging. Vitamin E levels in the skin decrease with age and can also be depleted by UV exposure, so it’s a good idea to replenish it, especially as you get older.

You can get vitamin E from foods like avocados, asparagus, nuts, and seeds. If you want to take a supplement, make sure it’s the natural form of vitamin E, which studies have shown to be nearly twice as bioactive as synthetic vitamin E. Our Vitamin E supplement is completely plant-based, sourced from organic whole foods like coconut, rice bran, and sunflower.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a great multitasker when it comes to supporting your skin and scalp. Not only does it have antioxidant benefits, it helps promote collagen and keratin synthesis to maintain strong, healthy skin and hair structure.7,8 Vitamin A also helps regulate cell turnover and oil production in the skin cells, which helps keep pores from getting clogged with dead skin cells and oil. This makes it a great natural remedy for acne and helps exfoliate the scalp to encourage hair growth.

You can get more vitamin A by eating foods like salmon, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and dairy products. You can also take a multivitamin with vitamin A to get your daily dose. Vitamin A comes in two different forms -- retinol, the animal-based version, and beta carotene, the plant-based version -- and they are processed differently by the body. It's important to understand those differences if you are taking vitamin A in supplement form.

Retinol is preformed vitamin A, while beta carotene is provitamin A, meaning our bodies must convert it into active vitamin A. The reason this matters is because vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which can be stored in the body for long periods of time. Unlike water soluble vitamins, which are regularly excreted by the body, fat-soluble vitamins can build up in the body, so you don't want to take too much.

You should avoid supplements that include more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Value of vitamin A as retinol. However, it's fine to take higher doses of beta carotene, because your body will only convert it into vitamin A as needed. Check the label of your multivitamin so you know what you're getting. Our Naturelo multivitamins are vegan, so we only use the plant-based version of vitamin A, which allows us to include over 100% of the RDA of vitamin A as beta carotene.

Looking for a way to get all of these vitamins and minerals at once? Our Hair, Skin & Nails supplement includes all five, plus collagen, fish oil, aloe, horsetail, and more.

References:

1. Catlett, Tess. “Biotin for Hair Growth: Does it Work?Healthline, April 2021.

2. Floersheim GL. [Treatment of brittle fingernails with biotin]. Zeitschrift fur Hautkrankheiten. 1989 Jan;64(1):41-48.

3. Geraghty, Laurel Naverson. “4 Research-Backed Supplements to Boost Your Hair, Skin, and Nails.” WebMD, Sep 2018.

4.  “The Benefits of Vitamin C For Your Skin.” WebMD, Nov 2020.

5. McDonnell, Kayla. “The 5 Best Vitamins for Hair Growth.” Healthline, Aug 2016.

6. Rostami Mogaddam, Majid et al. “Correlation between the severity and type of acne lesions with serum zinc levels in patients with acne vulgaris.” BioMed research international vol. 2014 (2014): 474108. doi:10.1155/2014/474108

7. James Varani, et al. “Vitamin A Antagonizes Decreased Cell Growth and Elevated Collagen-Degrading Matrix Metalloproteinases and Stimulates Collagen Accumulation in Naturally Aged Human Skin.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Volume 114, Issue 3, 2000, Pages 480-486, ISSN 0022-202X.

8. Törmä, Hans. “Regulation of keratin expression by retinoids.Dermato-endocrinology vol. 3,3 (2011): 136-40. doi:10.4161/derm.3.3.15026