Nutritional Supplements to Treat Skin and Hair Aging: A Review of Current Information

With today’s increasing life expectations, the desire to look youthful plays a more important role than ever; thus the appearance of skin and hair becomes even more relevant. Even-toned, supple skin with a healthy glow and silky, shiny hair establish an individual’s image and self-perception. In humans, the association of nutrition with changes in skin and hair was first made by James Lind in 1747 with the confirmation of an empirical link between scurvy and vitamin C.1

Nutritionals for the body and mind have been marketed for decades, first as medicines and later as food supplements. Skin and hair traditionally have been treated topically since they are located on the outermost areas of the body. However, since the penetration of ingredients into and through the skin is limited, research has attempted to reach the skin and its appendages through systemic means. Thus, the concept of “beauty from within” developed, and in turn, supplements for both dermocosmetic and dermatologic applications.

Yet, uncertainty remains among caregivers and consumers regarding the capabilities of such preparations. While not exhaustive, this review examines select data on nutritional supplements in relation to skin and hair benefits, to examine the potential for nutritionals to treat skin and hair aging.

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