Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth nutrition, fitness and adventure courses, and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+..
Your hair, skin, and nails are a reflection of your overall health. If you want thicker hair, smoother skin, and stronger nails, you can boost a balanced diet with nutritional supplements that increase your body’s production of collagen and help build supportive proteins.
Molecular biologists have identified collagen as the key structural protein that helps create smooth skin and strong hair and nails. Starting at age 21, our bodies’ collagen diminishes by one percent per year. By 30, the signs of reduced collagen on skin, hair, and nails become visible.
To counteract this problem, you want to activate your own collagen-generating cells, known as fibroblasts, rather than simply ingesting collagen, which your body would only use as food. The increased collagen generated beneath the skin plumps it up, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen is also essential for strong, healthy bones and joints.
The mineral silicon is also necessary for the formation of collagen and bone. Supplementing with orthosilicic acid, the dietary form of silicon, or the herb horsetail, which is rich in silica (silicon dioxide), can help smooth lines and wrinkles and also help fight brittle hair and nails.
Biotin is believed to help hair grow healthier, thicker, and longer. It may also strengthen brittle nails, preventing them from splitting and breaking. Your daily supplement regimen should also include vitamins A, C, and E, antioxidants that help promote strong connective tissues and cellular growth for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Boost the strength, tone, and texture of skin, hair, and nails with Sibu SevenOmega 7 Pure. This wild-grown sea buckthorn berry purée is flash pasteurized to ensure optimum nutritional benefits. The hardy, potent sea buckthorn berries, grown and harvested in the Himalayas, contain more omega-7 fatty acids than fish-the highest amount found in any known food source. Omega-7s support heart health, lowering LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol, and are powerful inflammation-fighting antioxidants.
Fight the aging process with NeoCellCollagen Beauty Builder tablets that pair premium beauty protein, Super Collagen, with hyaluronic acid, silica, and biotin. These potent beauty nutrients have a synergistic effect on skin radiance and hydration, hair thickness, and nail strength.
Take your vitamin B for “Beauty” with SolgarSuper High Potency Biotin 10,000 MCG capsules. Biotin is an important B vitamin that strengthens skin, nails, and hair, and is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Biotin also plays a key role in energy production. B vitamins are water-soluble and are not stored in the body, so supplementation is important.
Get thicker hair, smoother skin, and stronger nails with Natural FactorsBioSil Hair, Skin & Nails capsules. The specially formulated silicon and the B vitamin choline help nourish and restore your body’s three beauty proteins-collagen, elastin, and keratin (the protein that makes up 97 percent of your hair and gives your nails strength).
Support healthy skin, hair, and nails-as well as heart health and digestion-with Garden of LifeRAW RESVERATROL capsules. They combine whole-food fermented resveratrol; 23 raw, organically grown fruits and vegetables, including Cabernet Sauvignon grapes; live probiotics; and digestive enzymes. One capsule per day provides 350 mg of trans-resveratrol, as much antioxidant protection as is found in 200 bottles of red wine.
Sherrie Strausfogel is the author of Hawaii’s Spa Experience: Rejuvenating Secrets of the Islands. Writing about beauty, spas, health, cuisine, and travel, Strausfogel’s work has appeared in more than 100 magazines, newspapers, guidebooks, and websites. She is based in Honolulu.