14/08/2014 16:41 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Vitamins: The Best Supplements For Hair, Skin And Nails

As well as eating the right foods, hair, skin and nail health can also be improved with vitamins and supplements.

Some are better than others at targeting these areas and although many brands stock multi-tasking vitamins to support all three things, there supplements which can be taken for specific needs.


For example, boosting the skin's health might be necessary after a summer holiday or you might want to restore hair after too much dip-dying.

However, it's important to find a vitamin that suits you - and do remember that taking too much could do more harm than good.

"There isn't a need to take a skin supplement all year round," said founder of Wild Nutrition Henrietta Norton. "Try beauty vitamins during those times when more protection is needed such as exposure to oxidative damage from the sun during the summer."

So - which vitamins do what? Here's what you need to know:

Zinc promotes hair growth and if you're diet is lacking in it, a deficiency can cause greying hair. Iron, and vitamin D also support the maintenance of healthy looking locks and if you want to get the glossy hair you've always dreamed of? Try incorporating B vitamins into your diet - they help with adding shine and volume.

Beauty products can only do so much. A healthy diet is one the biggest contributors to a glowing complexion and certain nutrients can really do wonders. "Copper contributes to the maintenance of normal connective tissue and healthy skin pigmentation," says Norton. Vitamins A and B are also essential for skin maintenance and nourishment, but if you're worried about the harmful effects of the sun? Vitamins C and E are what your skin needs to fight these.

If you're dehydrated or your diet is lacking in protein, nails can become dry and brittle. Zinc is also key - especially if you notice those little white spots appearing (a sign you're deficient in this nutrient.) Norton also recommends selenium - "it has been shown to support the maintenance of strong nails," she told us. However, although this mineral is essential, it's only needed in small quantities.

It's also worth noting improving your diet or taking beauty vitamins won't make a difference over night. "I usually see an improvement within a couple of weeks and certainly by six weeks," says Norton.

As for where to find them, it's important to go to a brand you can trust. "Go to a good health food store such as Planet Organic or Whole Foods where the staff are also often trained natural health practitioners," Norton advises. "Space NK is now doing a good range of supplements specific for skin, hair and nails."

Don't forget - you can also eat your way to better hair, skin and nails. Fed up with limp locks? Try adding these foods to your diet...