Collagen, fish oil and more: everything about dietary supplements and superfoods for glowing skin


By Andrea Saadan

April 19, 2021

There are an abundance of beauty products on the market right now and it is only normal to be confused. We’re asking a Singapore dermatologist to share some of their findings along with our own tips


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Our beauty regimes may have changed since Covid-19 took over the world. Some of us may have got used to longer skin care regimens to get a little more pampering, while the rest of us may have resorted to faster patterns that still do the trick. Amid the usual topical skin care steps, there is also the option of adding beauty additives to our daily routine. There are a variety of products out there, however, and who says you are consuming what is right for you? Sure, reading the ingredients is the most important part of anything so that you are aware of potential allergens, but otherwise the question arises as to whether these supplements are even necessary.

(Related: 7 Best Beauty Supplements That Could Help You Achieve Radiant Skin)

Personally, I’ve tried a number of beauty supplements like the U.S. wellness brand Vital Protein’s collagen coffee creamer (no thanks to Kylie Jenner for mentioning this on her social media), Laneiges youth collagen drink, Swisses Ultiboost Bella Collagen Jelly, and vitamins for stronger hair , Skin and nails, apple cider vinegar gums and more. These products worked well for me, but at the same time I also had regular skin care regimens that included topical treatments. However, I was also aware that our overall skin health has a lot to do with our diet and the amount of nutrition we receive.

As someone wanting to learn more about whether or not beauty supplements are necessary, I spoke to a dermatologist in Singapore to brief an expert on the key ingredients and products that have been gaining traction in the beauty field.

Carlson Labs, Norwegian, The finest fish oil, natural lemon flavor

Many of us in Singapore may have memories (like or not) of having to consume cod liver oil as a child because of its health benefits. Fish oil remains one of the most recommended superfoods on the market. And it’s not only very popular with us in Asia. American Youtube beauty guru Jaclyn Hill once recommended a lemon-infused cod liver oil from Carlson Labs to her fans, which she claimed did wonders for her skin. Some have tried using fish oil topically as it is supposed to improve the skin’s barrier. However, it is best to consult a dermatologist before attempting anything that you are not sure about.

Fish oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are extremely moisturizing.

“Because the outermost layer of our skin is actually held together by ceramide molecules, which are derived from fatty lipids, it is important that you maintain your healthy health with a diet filled with antioxidants, mostly derived from plants. .. The consumption of oily fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids or vegetable sources from vegetable seed oils or even evening primrose oil, has been shown in studies to be beneficial for repairing the skin barrier, ”said Dr. Teo Wan Lin. Dermatologist and founder of the TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Center.

Therefore, taking fish oil supplements shouldn’t mean replacing foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some good sources of this are flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil.

(See Also: Skin Care Tips: 5 Best Foods For Healthy And Radiant Skin)

It’s no secret that apple cider vinegar (ACV) isn’t the easiest to drink because of its high acidity. The taste is enough to put us off and not include it in our diet at all. However, this fermented liquid is very beneficial when applied to the skin as it can help balance the pH of the skin, exfoliate, improve hyperpigmentation, and much more.

Most importantly, the liquid must be diluted thoroughly before using it on the skin. However, an easier method is to only use products that have apple cider vinegar mixed in, such as toners, detergents, and peeling pads that contain the ingredient. In terms of health benefits, ACV is widely viewed as a natural remedy that can also help lower blood sugar levels, indigestion, and more. Some ways to consume it are mixing a teaspoon or tablespoon with a cup of water (and drinking it with a straw to prevent wearing the enamel), taking it in tablet form, or even apple cider gums, which have grown in popularity over the course of last year.

“ACV is seen as a prebiotic that benefits your gut. I think more research needs to be done on how it directly affects your skin. We do have early data on the gut microbiome, however, which is how gut health affects the gut of your skin, ”said Dr. Teo.

While it offers a wide variety of health benefits, it is highly recommended that you consult a doctor or dermatologist before applying apple cider vinegar directly to your skin.

Oh, collagen. We see this everywhere from beauty products to foods and drinks aimed at women looking to maintain a youthful glow. Collagen supplements are hugely popular with celebrities from Jennifer Aniston to Kylie Jenner. These are just a few of the A-list stars who have publicly declared their love for such supplements (which can come in powder, capsule, and even creamer form). for their anti aging benefits and more. But it’s important to understand how it works.

“Essentially, how collagen supplements work is that they are made up of peptides that are further absorbed. These peptides can stimulate your skin cells’ collagen production at the cellular level. In theory, however, we don’t believe that whatever you’re digesting is possible to truly localize it to any particular part of your body. “Said Dr. Teo.

“The animal studies are also interesting because the few that have been done suggest that mice given a collagen powder supplement experience certain genetic changes that lead to an increase in collagen production. However, what is best understood from scientific research is the subjects you apply. Whether in the form of drugs to treat pigments or non-prescription cosmeceuticals – these act directly on the surface of the skin. It definitely won’t replace your skin care routine. “

I don’t think most of these supplements pose a threat. So if you are interested in it and personally find that you are getting positive benefits from it, why not? In the dermatology community, I think it’s worth doing a little more research for us to get more data that can really be further explored.

– Dr. Teo Wan Lin

Another form of beauty supplement that is popular with women is vitamins for hair, skin, and nails. In Singapore, these vitamins are easy to find in pharmacies and department stores. Studies have shown that hair, skin and nail preparations usually contain antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E or coenzyme Q10 as well as biotin, a vitamin of the B complex. Those who lack these nutrients can potentially benefit from these supplements. However, experts have found that there is not enough evidence that these dietary supplements can help people without definite flaws. However, two studies conducted in the 1990s found that biotin supplements can help strengthen soft, easily fragile nails, according to Dr. Pieter Cohen, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and nutritional supplement expert in a 2017 consumer report on health.

(Related: 5 Foods To Eat For Healthy Hair And Nails)

“I don’t think most of these supplements pose a threat. So if you are interested in it and personally find that you are getting positive benefits from it, why not? And in the dermatology community, I think it is worth doing a little more research for us to get more data to really investigate further. If you have dry and sensitive skin and believe that collagen powder can improve your skin, I don’t think there is a strictly evidence-based practice. Therefore, at this time, dermatologists are not recommending these things to replace topical moisturizers, ”added Dr. Teo added.

“However, since there are some studies that show positive skin hydration and wrinkle reduction benefits in a group that took supplements versus the placebo arm, I think it is worth pursuing further investigation . However, it is currently very difficult for dermatologists to recommend this as a value-added treatment in addition to your regular skin treatment. The science behind this is that we are supposed to get all of our nutrients from our diet. “


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