4 Best Supplements for Ageless Skin, New Study Finds
If you're trying to make your skin look as healthy as possible, it helps to be sure you're keeping it hydrated. For one thing, making sure your skin is moisturized can help it look better overall. Beyond that, though, if wrinkles are your main concern, it's worth knowing that, when your skin has the moisture it needs, that hydration helps to obscure some of those fine lines that are more readily apparent in drier skin. While a high-quality moisturizer that works with your skin type is definitely a great first line of defense against dehydration, the nutrients in your body can also play a role.
Now, a new study identifies four supplements—collagen, ceramides, hyaluronan, and procyanidin—that could boost skin hydration.
In the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers conducted a systematic review and a meta-analysis (processes that synthesize the results of previous research on the subject, examining results across different studies) of 66 experiments. They found that the four aforementioned supplements were "proven to be effective" at moisturizing skin. On the other hand, for two other supplements that have been recommended, lactic acid bacteria and astaxanthin, the evidence was "insufficient."
With some of these supplements, however, researchers could have been influenced by other factors, so it's worth taking these findings with a grain of salt.
"There was possible bias stated in many studies including collagen and hyaluronan; researchers were employees of corporations providing supplements," says Kathy Siegel, MS, RDN, CDN, a Nutrition Consultant at Kathy Siegel Nutrition and author of The 30-Minute Clean Eating Cookbook and Eating Clean Vegetarian Cookbook.
She suggests, instead, that you look at your diet on the whole, adding that focusing on nutrient-dense, whole foods "is the best start" when you're thinking about how your diet can help you "maintain and restore healthy skin."
In general, it seems like the consensus among nutrition professionals is that you're best off taking this kind of broad approach than focusing on individual supplements.
"This study found beneficial effects for several supplements. While this may be so, I tend to take a food-first approach," Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, and member of our Medical Expert Board, says. "Eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and practice healthy skin hygiene. Beyond that, supplements may help but we don't know long-term effects or interactions with medications."
For more on how your food choices can affect your skin, be sure to check out these 22 Naturally Moisturizing Foods To Eat When You Have Dry Skin.