What's In Hair, Skin, And Nail Vitamins, And Do They Actually Work?

If you're like many, you have had a time in your life when you've wondered about whether hair, skin, and nail vitamins might improve your look. For some, this comes after a significant life event, like pregnancy, when hair loss and nail breakage are common.Yet, it can also occur when battling a chronic disease like hypothyroidism, which causes dry skin and hair, notes Everyday Health, or after harsh medical treatments like chemotherapy which causes hair to fall out.

However, many people try hair, skin, and nail vitamins to boost their everyday appearance. For those who regularly keep their hands in water due to either cleaning their home or their job, nails can become brittle and break. Some people just want to recover from a bad haircut and try vitamins to make their long locks grow faster. Others take them when they notice a dull complexion due to aging, environmental factors, or inadequate nutrition.

There are such varied reasons for using hair, skin, and nail vitamins, but do they actually work?

The ingredients found in hair, skin, and nail vitamins

The truth is the vitamins found in hair, skin, and nail vitamins aren't unique. In fact, they include many of the same vitamins contained in your regular multivitamin, such as vitamins A, C, E, and D. These are antioxidants that are thought to aid in collagen production and hair growth.

Yet, the main ingredients in most of these supplements are B complex vitamins and in particular, biotin. Biotin is a vital nutrient that helps the body to synthesize proteins that are necessary for proper muscle and bone growth and repair.

When your body gets the vitamins and nutrients it needs, it works optimally, which results in better skin, hair, and nails overall. However, you don't necessarily need to turn to supplements since the vitamins needed for lustrous hair, glowing skin, and long, strong nails are the vitamins found in a healthy diet. Food sources such as lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, fruit, and veggies can supply your daily needs.

Taking these vitamins won't always help

Taking supplements can boost your vitamin intake and that helps your skin, hair, and nails only if you are deficient in these vitamins. Most people with healthy diets get an adequate amount of nutrients from food.

Different brands of vitamins contain various amounts of each vitamin so it's important to know whether you actually need them. "The doses in many supplements are many multiples beyond the daily recommended amount," dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch told Prevention.

If your vitamin levels are healthy, you may simply need to adjust your lifestyle habits. For hair, be very careful to not use too much heat and chemicals on a regular basis. For skin, use a moisturizer and sunscreen, and stay out of the direct sun. To treat brittle nails, keep them out of water which can expand the nail bed and make them weak. The best way to decide whether you need additional vitamins is to see your doctor, especially if you notice that your skin, hair, or nails are lackluster.