There is something about spring that makes us want to be the best version of ourselves: arguably even more so than our New Year’s resolutions, because let’s face it, no one’s wearing shorts in January.
As with all blog posts, I’ll make my usual disclaimer: before taking any supplements PLEASE check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are on any medications.
Hair, Skin, Nails:
First and foremost, if you want healthy hair, skin and nails get your diet under control. Our outward appearance is a reflection of our overall health. Drink plenty of water, get enough vegetables and fruit (berries are great beauty fruits!) and consume adequate protein. If you are struggling with your hair, skin and nails and know that you need some help with your diet, contact Hilary with Lettuce Eat and Nourish (https://www.facebook.com/lettuceeatandnourish/?fref=ts)
In terms of supplements/herbs, and natural products you have a LOT of options. These are my favorites, in no specific order.
Biosil is a choline stabilized orthosilicic acid. This assists the body in its own production of collagen needed for healthy hair, skin and nails, which, though there is some dispute, a better way of increasing collagen, than taking collagen supplements. The first place it is usually noticed is in the strength of the nails. Biosil does not necessarily make hair grow faster, but stronger and thicker, as it increases density of the individual strands of hair. Biosil has also been shown to reduce fine lines and wrinkles! If you choose to take this product, make sure you’re ready to take it for about three months. It comes in liquid or capsules, and though the liquid is slightly more cost effective, it tastes awful. If Biosil is not in the budget, people still have great luck with bamboo silica or liquid silica.
For more information visit: http://pno.ca/item/biosil.html
It is not known precisely how biotin works, but it is known to increase the strength of the nails and assist hair growth. An average dose is 2500mcg per day, or 2.5mg, but there are doses that go up to 10,000mcg. Keep in mind that doses too high for what your body needs can produce acne, so it is better to start with low doses and work your way up.
Avocado Oil, Coconut oil, Shea butter
I love these as moisturizers. While my skin doesn’t respond as well to coconut oil as other people, I love it for eye makeup remover, at night before bed on my face, and to shave my legs. I also make a body scrub with coconut oil, lime essential oil and sugar. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, and penetrates hair well, making it suitable for acne prone skin and for homemade hair masks!
Shea butter is my favorite to put on after a shower (though it can be a bit greasy), and it makes my skin feel awesome! Shea butter contains high amounts of Vitamin A, and contains oleic, linolenic and palmitic acids that are nourishing and protective. Shea butter is amazing for very dry skin, and to mitigate damage from the sun-making it an excellent addition to your summer routine. I mix avocado oil with essential oils (right now I’m using Citrus Kiss from Pure Wow essential oils) and use that at night. Avocado oil contains a high amount of Vitamin E, and is great for protecting the skin and reducing scarring.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: most of the time I recommend Omega-3 fatty acids, but when hair, skin and nails are a priority than GLA (sourced from Borage) is the way to go. It is particularly hydrating for the skin. It is an Omega-6 that behaves like an Omega-3, so you do not need to be concerned about the pro-inflammatory consequences of having too much Omega-6, AND because of its anti-inflammatory properties it can also be helpful in conditions where the skin is inflamed.
VEIN SUPPORT: If you’re ready for shorts but don’t want to show off spider veins or varicose veins, now is the time to start taking supplements that will improve their appearance. I really like Veinsense (or Veinsmart, similar formulas) or Circuvein. I have personally taken Circuvein and noticed a big reduction in the appearance of spider veins (I have a ton!). If you have spider veins and varicose veins, you need to remember to exercise, try elevating your legs during the day, increasing the amount of time each day, and massage your legs with a little bit of peppermint oil mixed with olive oil to increase circulation.
SENSITIVE SKIN SUPPORT: If you have sensitive skin, and have difficulty wearing makeup, but would like to, there is a variety of skincare and makeup options at Grove Health Supplements and Foods. I love Viva and Annemarie Borlind for skin care, and I like to alternate between the two. Annemarie Borlind has a line specifically for sensitive skin.
As for makeup, I really like Evelyn Iona’s lip gloss, concealer and gel eyeliner and I am obsessed with Annemarie Borlind’s loose powder and anti-aging foundation. I know I’m not quite at the age category for anti-aging foundation but I prefer higher coverage. I will have a blog post in the near future on these cosmetic options:)