We have many choices when it comes to vitamin supplements, each touting benefits of beautiful skin, thicker, stronger hair, and bullet-proof nails, the question isn’t always which one to try. Before you purchase another item in the natural health section, I think it’s fair to ask, “Can a vitamin supplement really improve your skin, hair & nails?”
As I approached 40, I became more serious about natural health and nutrition, and while discovering several products on the market, it wasn’t until I had a conversation with a MegaFood Regional Rep, Laura Theobold, that I started understanding the importance of gathering nutrients and creating supplements from actual foods, rather than simply from isolated, synthetic materials. Later while working at Dave’s Health in Salt Lake, of all the supplement companies that were represented, I loved the story of MegaFood the best, by using the slo-food method, the company’s long-standing integrity, and of course, that their products really do benefit people’s health!
From my experience, not all supplements are created the same, and it’s not easy to know unless you really trust where the supplement is being sourced from. I came up with a few questions that I would ask before purchasing or believing any claim on a supplement created to improve the skin, hair and nails.
I believe it’s important to ask not only what’s in the supplement, but why it’s being added and where is it sourced from. While there are dozens of skin, hair and nail formulas on the market, I wanted to point to one that I believe has done it right, the Skin, Hair, and Nails Formula from MegaFood. First and of great importance, I appreciate that MegaFood’s formula is sourced naturally and created from actual foods, foods that can be recognized and utilized fully by the body.
I asked MegaFood about this formula, and Erin Stokes, Naturopathic Doctor and Medical Director at MegaFood responded with the following:
1. What benefit do the following ingredients add to the Skin, Nails & Hair formula?
- Biotin & Vitamin E – Biotin, a B-complex vitamin, and Vitamin E both assist in promoting a healthy glow from the inside out by helping the body metabolize fats and proteins.*MegaFood delivers both of these vitamins in organic brown rice provided by Lundberg Family Farms.
- Vitamin B6 – Another member of the B-complex family, Vitamin B6 assists in turning food into energy for the body which is helpful in promoting healthy growth of new skin and hair cells.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
2. What makes MegaFood’s formula different than others on the market?
- MegaFood products start with a whole food base, such as oranges, cranberries, beets and brown rice, all provided by our Farm Fresh Partners. MegaFood then derives the nutrients needed for each product through its unique Slo-Food Process. During this process, whole foods are ground and mixed with additional nutrients and pressed into the tablets that you find inside each bottle.
While we all want a miracle in a bottle, these points would have to be considered as well:
Compliance and Time. You’ll have to take into consideration your particular skin type, hair and nail structure and growth rate. As we age, our surface skin cell turnover rate slows down and we cannot expect visible results until at least a full cycle (28 to 42 days) or more has occurred. It is logical to claim a similar outcome with hair and nails, it may take a while to notice visible results, so consistency of use and time are really going to determine any benefits received while taking a dietary supplement.
Your individual factors. The sum of many things go into the appearance and structure of our physical features. For the external ones: stress, hormones, genetics, diet, and your overall health each play a role. As a good rule, any big concern or change with the appearance of your skin, hair or nails can be an indication of a larger internal concern, so seeking professional medical advice would be advisable.
This month’s featured “Mythbuster Beauty Spotlight” is all about being authentic in all aspects that pertain to natural health, harmony and beauty.
Be sure to read to the end of this feature; and Anne’s thoughts on “being real” are just beautiful. xox
Occupation: Holistic Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Milk & Honey Wellness
Hometown? Bountiful, Utah
Where else have you lived? Seattle, Santa Barbara, White Fish Montana, Mexico
Where do you live now? Salt Lake City, Utah
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I lie in bed for a few minutes, breathe, stretch, and set my intentions for the day. Then I make my warm lemon water and coffee.
What first drew you to the business of natural health and wellness?
Every year as a child I would pick out seeds and plant a garden with my grandfather. I loved to be in the garden, watching things grow and eating food that I had started from a little seed. I would also help my mother can peaches, tomatoes, grape juice, pickles, you name it. Growing our own food and putting it up for the winter was something we did every year. I learned first hand how much better food the food that I had grown tasted compared most things from a grocery store. I have found that the cleaner I eat, the better I feel. My mission is to radically revolutionize the concept of what healthy eating can be. My intention is to teach people how to have pleasure and heal your body at the same time.
Do you have any special sayings or expressions?
It is all about having a life and body you love, not trying to shrink a body you hate.
Most important quality in a friend?
Reliability, flexibility, and an ability and go deep. Get a little woo woo and laugh until it hurts.
What’s the best compliment you ever received?
Being told that I am a really good listener and people feel comfortable sharing and opening up to me. Also, being told I am a great hostess. That people feel comfortable, safe and comfortable in my home. Being told that I help to connect and nourish someone to their selves.
Do you feel differently about yourself now from how you felt when you were younger? How?
Yes! I feel at home in my body and my own skin. I trust that I am enough just as I am. I know that I am more than just a number on a scale. For a long time growing up, it was just about how skinny or athletic I was. The external was more important than the internal. Now that has reversed.
MythbusterBeauty is all about being REAL. In a world and in an industry where many things are based upon appearance, what does the term “real” mean to you?
Confidence. Confidence in who you are and what you have to offer without having to modify it. Different. Real to me is all about being different. Big, small, blond, brown, blue or green eyes. etc.
Younger, smoother, clearer, more radiant, beautiful-looking skin. That’s pretty much the sum of all the reasons we create, buy, apply, or scrub stuff onto our face in the first place. And simply the fact that you’re reading this post, you’ve probably heard or used a product that contains a retinoid of some sort. Retinoids are an active form of vitamin A that with continual use on the skin can bring favorable, even beneficial results like reducing the look of wrinkles, scarring and preventing acne. While I’ve written and used several retinol/retinoid-based products, there have been times I have discontinued their use for different reasons and wondered about alternative natural ingredients that could replicate those same benefits.
In my search, I came across a great read on Roxanne King’s natural wellness site, “Holistic Mama.” In her article, this particular mama writes about the favorable anti-aging results she discovered while using Rose Hip Seed Oil as an alternative to a retinoid. Roxanne most graciously sent me a sample of her very own Renewing Facial Serum. This serum is a combination of Rose Hip Seed Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil and Vitamin E Oil. Oils are all the rage in skin care, and these 3 work even better together! Since using this product, results have been impressive. My skin is feeling nourished and I have also noticed it seems to be gaining strength, clarity and smoothness. I will keep you posted on long-term results: all good things take time! Thank you Holistic Mama Roxanne for working with nature and taking a gentler approach too.
From Roxanne’s article: Effective All Natural Alternatives to Retinol
After learning all of this information I was determined to find a natural alternative to retinol products that would produce similar results. I came across some interesting information about rose hip seed oil and it’s anti-aging properties. Rose hip seed oil is an amazing product, which has only recently become recognized by the general public. The popularity is for a good reason because it is believed to be the best oil available for anti-ageing and skin rejuvenation. Numerous scientific studies have also taken place, which have yielded astounding evidence supporting the use of Rose hip Seed oil.
In 1983 the University of Santiago conducted research on 180 individuals using rose hip seed oil. The tests studied people with extensive facial scarring, acne scarring, deep wrinkles, UV damage, radiation damage, burn scars, surgical scars, premature aging, dermatitis, and other skin related problems. In these tests, rose hip seed oil regenerated the skin, reduced scars and wrinkles, prevented the advancement of wrinkles and aging, and helped skin to regain its natural color and tone. Another well-known study in 1988 was conducted on twenty women between the ages of 25-35 with extensive premature aging to their skin. Their skin was wrinkled, and had sun spots from overexposure to the sun. After four months of applying rose hip seed oil daily, their wrinkles and sun spots had almost completely disappeared, and the skin had a fresher and healthier look.
Pineapple. Papaya. Pumpkin.
While wisdom sometimes increases with age, unfortunately our skin cell turnover rate doesn’t. Sluggish turnover can make the skin appear dull, lack radiance and even trigger congestion and breakouts. While many products and ingredients address this issue, some may work better for you than others.
How do you know what will work best for you?
Receiving four decades of sun and environmental skin damage, from time to time, I believe it really pays to seek out for help from professional estheticians.
During one particular consultation, I asked about the various treatments available and what she would recommend. After talking and looking at my actual face, she told me that microdermabrasion may be too harsh for my particular skin type of skin (combination, sensitive and acne-prone), that it would only cause more redness and potential flare-ups. What she did recommend was a fruit-based enzymatic skin peel.
How will an enzyme peel help?
Enzyme based skin peels work slightly different than chemical alpha (AHA) or beta (BHA) peels. Usually fruit-based (from pumpkin, pineapple, papaya…) enzyme masks or peels literally digest dead skin cells, and in turn stimulate the growth of new collagen, lightening pigmentation and scar tissue, as well as diminishing the appearance of fine lines. All good things! Enzymes can also penetrate the skin to help deeply cleanse pores and improve skin tone and texture. Considered safe for all skin types, it doesn’t wound the skin, as some chemical peels can, and does all this without excessive flakiness, irritation or redness. (more…)
In addition to my glowing review about Annmarie Skin Care, I wanted to follow up by asking her about natural solutions for some of the most challenging skin care struggles. While Annmarie is currently taking time to raise her two young children, her staff graciously took on these questions.
Thank you Abby Jean, Lisa and Annmarie for sharing your wisdom and providing healthy solutions for optimum skin health.
Hate is a strong word, but I am really unhappy about the sagging skin and collagen loss of the neck. How is collagen lost and what can be done about it?
Collagen, as you know, is a type of protein which forms the connective tissues that hold our skin together and create “firmness”. This protein inevitably breaks down with age. When this happens, loss of elasticity in the skin occurs – unfortunately, in the form of fine lines and wrinkles (boo!). There are many factors that contribute to our loss of collagen in the skin, things like smoking or drinking too much alcohol, poor nutrition, not keeping the body adequately hydrated, stress, and of course, overexposure to the sun. Fortunately, there are many options available to help stimulate the production of collagen (beyond invasive treatments i.e.: injections, fillers, laser and other costly- and not always effective – medical treatments). The natural options include eating a diet rich in vitamin C, amino acids and antioxidants, all of which help strengthen the body’s ability to increase collagen production in the skin. (The list of specific foods is quite long, but just think lots of greens and a variety of whole, unprocessed, organic foods). (more…)
To share a little bit more about how my passion for living simply and naturally developed, please check out this MegaFood Blog: MegaFoodie Spotlight with yours truly. While I am still scratching my head on how this interview even happened, it came about after submitting a testimonial about MegaFood’s Turmeric Strength. In my active life, this product pretty much changed the way I deal with pain and inflammation.
After scraping every last bit of the samples given (a very good sign when it comes to reviewing something), 3 products stood out and I simply broke down and purchased them, I enjoyed them that much! Isn’t that what a beauty regimen should be? While some things in life can be met with frustration or meh… your skin care routine shouldn’t be one of them!