Do Skin Supplements Really Work?
A guide to the latest complexion-clearing pills and gummies.
Updated Oct 12, 2018 6:16 AM
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There’s a general consensus for what steps should be involved in a skin-care routine: cleanse, tone, add in a serum if you’d like, moisturize, and—in the morning—never forget to apply sunscreen. Skin supplements have never made the list—but maybe they should.
The category as a whole isn’t totally new—collagen powders, for one, have been all the rage for the past few years—but a fresh wave of products is starting to feel a bit more medicinal: more like tablets and gummies you’d add to your pill case and less like mix-ins for your morning smoothie. They tack on merely an extra second to your routine—and the benefits they tout are impressive.
Basically, the way your skin looks doesn’t come down to just what you apply to your face. Your levels of sleep and exercise, alcohol consumption, and genetics also have an effect. And ultimately, diet plays a big role. “But it can be hard to ingest all the ingredients we need just through the food we eat,” renowned skin-care expert Dr. Barbara Sturm says. “We formulated our supplements to make a healthy lifestyle and balanced food intake much easier.” Her trademark scientific approach leads her to choose ingredients that have been proven effective by clinical trials again and again.
Sturm’s skin-care line is just one of the brands diving into this category. Herbal remedy company The Nue Co. also recently released its first skin-focused pill, and new entry Sundaily is focused solely on complexion-clearing gummies. There’s clearly plenty to choose from—here’s how to find the best option for you, depending on which concerns you’d like to tackle.
If You’re Dealing With Hyperpigmentation: Brightening Food by Dr. Barbara Sturm
Key ingredients: Olive-leaf extract and vitamin C What it does: Helps to even out skin tone (read: any dark spots that might be a result of sun overexposure or acne). However, this can make you more sensitive to sun exposure, so you should always make sure you’re wearing SPF—but you do that already, right? Bonus: It also contains Centella asiatica, an herb that hydrates skin, and purslane, which is anti-inflammatory—so your skin will also feel soft and soothed.
If Your Skin Is Dull and Uneven: The Base Layer by Sundaily
Key ingredients: Polypodium leucotomos extract (aka fern extract) and vitamin D3 What it does: Neutralizes free radicals—basically, the unstable atoms that wreak havoc on your skin, resulting in hyperpigmentation and premature aging—with antioxidants. Bonus: This gummy is a preventative treatment that also happens to taste like candy—and it’s vegan and non-GMO.
If Your Complexion Is Less Than Clear: Skin Filter by The Nue Co.
Key ingredients: Zinc, vitamin C, and beta-carotene (which turns into vitamin A when ingested) What it does: Vitamin A is crucial for collagen production, which counteracts damage and helps keep your skin feeling smooth and healthy. It’s most often found in retinols, which are powerful but aren’t always the best option for people with sensitivities; this makes for a gentler alternative. Bonus: It’s clinically proven to show results—increasing skin luminosity and elasticity and decreasing redness and blemishes—in 60 days. Not too shabby.
See more wellness: This New Brand Makes Customizing Your Skin-Care Routine Easier Than Ever What Happens to Your Body When You Take CBD Every Single Day Adding This Supplement to Your Routine Could Help You Get More Z’s