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Are Beauty Supplements Effective? A Dermatologist Reveals The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Are Beauty Supplements Effective? A Dermatologist Reveals The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Unless someone has a prescription or a go-ahead from their doctor to pick up beauty supplements, we rarely see people in India buy them over the counter. Most of us rather eat and drink our way to pretty skin and stronger locks than rely on a pill or powder to work its magic. Even if you are someone who swears by beauty supplements, it’s important to spot a gimmick from the 1000+ odd variants of them. In some cases, glossy packaging, powerful brand ambassadors and flowery advertisements can do a brilliant job at boosting an inefficient product’s sales. Hence, it’s important to know the A-Z of a particular beauty supplement before you shell out big bucks on them. 

Ask yourself these questions before adding beauty supplements to your cart:

  • Am I buying beauty supplements because they worked for someone else?
  • Am I investing in beauty supplements because of its attractive packaging?
  • Before purchasing, should I be showing the supplements to my doctor?

These are just some tiny questions that will help you make better purchasing decisions. Now for the main question that’s on everyone’s mind right now, “Are beauty supplements really worth it?” Dr Kiran Sethi of Isya Aesthetics has some interesting points to make. 


An Expert’s Take On Beauty Supplements


Oh, boy! This is going to be a tough pill to swallow *pun intended*

What’s your take on chewy hair gummies?

Chewy hair gummies are popular on the ‘Gram and even the Kardashian’s love endorsing them. A single bottle for a 30-day dose costs close to INR 3,000. And while we all love the idea of vitamins being ‘tasty’, how effective are they? Chewable supplements have quite a bad rep in the industry, while they’re easier to take for someone who hates taking pills, they’re filled with sugar to make the vitamins palatable.

Dr Kiran: “Chewy hair gummies – a waste of time and money. Multivitamins are in fact rarely needed for healthy individuals with a decent diet. Then making already optional vitamins into an expensive sugar-laden affair is unnecessary.”

How about other hair and nail supplements?


Hair, skin and nail supplements are popular in the beauty community. We see a lot of our friends and family popping a HSN supplement to address issues like hair fall, dull skin and brittle nails. But there’s something you need to keep in mind before you decide to add one of these to your routine.

Dr Kiran:  “I believe these should be chosen based on the person’s lifestyle and inner chemistry. First of all, everything cannot be packed into one supplement in the required doses. Humans were raised on food, and not on supplements. We can’t absorb everything together thrown into a pill. Take the guidance of your doctor before spending money on something that isn’t specifically chosen for you and your needs. You want targeted care that will absorb, not something that will psychologically make you feel like you are doing something without it having any effect. Or else, all of it will feel like a waste of time and money”



How about plant-based collagen powders?

Another ingredient that has taken the beauty industry by storm is collagen. Collagen is a protein that is abundantly found in your body, in your connective tissues, your skin and even your bones. As we age, your body tends to produce less collagen. While consuming collagen is definitely beneficial, as an ingredient, it is derived from animal sources. A lot of brands have launched collagen powders, supplements and even collagen drinks and to cater to the vegetarian community, an increasing number of brands have launched vegan collagen too. But what is collagen? Do you really need it? And is vegan collagen really effective? Dr Kiran spills the beans.

Dr Kiran: “I totally believe in collagen supplementation. Any decent dose of collagen is helpful for wounds, joints, skin suppleness and anti-ageing. But grass-fed bovine collagen is the best because it has collagen Type 1 and Type 3. However in India, many people will not tolerate beef derived supplements, so we use marine supplements with Type 1 and Type 2 collagen. These are less effective. Unfortunately, some brands do not have either of these. They use vegan protein and claim that will be a collagen builder. Unfortunately, that has not been proven to actually work. There is no vegetarian option to collagen yet because collagen supplements have all the essential amino acids, and vegetarian proteins do not.”

What are your favourite beauty supplements?


Dr Kiran: “I like trichospore tablet for hair for trace minerals particularly. I also like Radiplex elixir or Nutrova for collagen – although these are marine collagen.”

Now that you know the good, the bad and the ugly parts of beauty supplements, we hope you make smarter purchasing decisions! When in doubt, always remember that your doctor is just a call away.  

Images: Shutterstock, Pexels


28 Apr 2020

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