Can Pills Turn Back The Skin Clock?

Let’s take a break away from the skincare world of topical treatments and injectables just for a moment and instead explore the developing industry of oral supplements in skincare. With so many different ones already available on the retail market, it is hard to decipher which ones are clinically effective and which ones are just vitamins or a bunch of empty promises. Can a cocktail of pills really improve your skin? We have selected a few standouts that we think may be great additions to your skincare regimen. Let’s delve into how they are being used to improve your skin, hair, and nails.

Starting with skin, one of the latest supplement lines on the market is the Imedeen® supplement line. These supplement capsules contain a proprietary protein called the BioMarine Complex, which is a blend of proteins extracted from fish of the deep sea. The BioMarine Complex is combined with antioxidants, tea extracts, and other plant derivatives to create Imedeen®’s unique formula. This exclusive combination is incorporated into supplements targeting 3 different age groups: Prime Renewal® for individuals in their 50’sTime Perfection® for those in their 40’s, and Derma One® for users in their 30’s. When taken regularly, these supplements increase the production of the body’s natural proteins: collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. These increased proteins lead to a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, and fine lines, while maintaining a smoother, softer, and more firm-appearing texture. Also, impressive is that in studies, skin’s moisture content increased by 30%, and there was a visible reduction in fine lines, a fading of sunspots, and an overall brighter complexion. Sign me up!

Hair loss is a trying and heart-breaking issue in both men and women of all ages. There isn’t a given week that Dr. Honet isn’t being consulted for hair loss or thinning. Hair loss can arise from all kinds of hereditary conditions and systemic diseases, from heat and chemical damage and breakage, and of course from simple hormones, genetics, and aging. Although it is possibly one of the most frustrating dermatologic conditions to treat, at HDC, we sell two remarkable hair supplements that have provided numerous patients with promising results.

The first is Viviscal® Pro, which is an oral supplement backed by 25 years of clinical research. Taking Viviscal® Pro can significantly increase hair thickness and significantly decrease hair shedding. Its proprietary ingredients include an aqueous marine complex, AminoMar® and when combined with Biotin, Vitamin C, and apple extract, it promotes hair growth from within. Most impressive is that it results in an 111% increase in terminal hairs after three months of use and an 80% increase in terminal hairs in 6 months.

We are excited to announce that we carry the fantastic and new hair supplement called Nutrafol®. Although Dr. Honet discovered it at the ASDS meeting last November, you may have heard about it because it has been getting a lot of positive press lately. This exclusive oral supplement is composed of hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed marine collagen, the brand’s special BCM-95 BioCurcumin, hair-strengthening biotin and high doses of vitamin A, C, and D. Its potent therapeutic plant extracts with their multi-dimensional therapeutic properties make the Nutrafol® formula unique and effective. These proprietary phytochemicals are concentrated and specifically combined to create Synergen Complex® exclusive to Nutrafol® to promote hair growth, hair restoration and hair health. Nutrafol® is available in separate and distinct formulas for men and woman, and is backed by tremendous research supporting its claims and clinical results. It works to rebalance, repair, revitalize, and regrow hair. Containing an exclusive compound of these specific plant derivatives, Nutrafol® increases hair growth and hair health while increasing the hair’s resistance to stress. These properties translate to decreased breakage, decreased damage over time, and a fuller head of hair.

And of course, what would oral supplements be without mentioning Heliocare®, the oral supplement formulated with a unique fern extract called Polypodium leucotomoswhich is found to specifically protect your skin from the exposure to UVA free radicals of the sun. These free radicals from sun exposure lead to oxidative damage, which causes wrinkling and brown spots, not to mention other significant skin diseases like skin cancer. The powerful antioxidant properties of Heliocare®, backed by over 20 years of clinical experience, can be an effective supplement for anyone interested in possibly decreasing the potential for skin cancer and aging from sun damage. Interestingly enough, Dr. Honet grew up eating the fiddleheads of ferns, which is a delicacy in the Korean diet. I guess Dr. Honet’s grandmother knew what she was doing when she cooked these delicate plants for dinner.

On the flip side of oral supplements, a topic that resurfaces from time to time from our patients is questions about the latest trend of drinking collagen. These various formulations of oral collagen are appearing in the Western beauty world as the latest and greatest skin rejuvenation treatment. Although it may seem that chugging collagen is a good alternative to collagen-boosting procedures like Ultherapy® and topicals that contain retinoids and peptides, this is not the case. Ingesting collagen is not an effective option because oral collagens, which are derived from various food sources such as chicken, bovine and even fish scale, is naturally broken down by your digestive enzymes and processes into its amino-acid components like any random protein in your diet. Since collagen gets metabolized like any other protein you would eat, there is no real direct benefit for your skin. There are no sound studies to support oral collagen’s claim to improve skin health or wrinkling. Sorry, but oral collagen supplements are a waste of money as far as your skin is concerned.

While we have only touched upon a few of the many oral supplements available on the evolving skincare market, remember that it is of the utmost importance that everyone stay educated and up-to-date with what is truly clinically effective in keeping skin healthy. In the business of skincare, as well as anything else, knowledge is power! And at HDC, we want to empower you to be well-educated consumers, so that you can achieve the best results possible for optimal skin health and skin rejuvenation.

Finally, we shall leave you with a small public service announcement. Remember that although many oral supplements are a combination of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and other derived extracts from the “natural” world and may seem safe, many are often not studied and scrutinized well enough by any governmental or professional jurisdiction. The oral-supplement arena is just not regulated. However, the ones we mention in this blog post are ones that Dr. Honet has researched and ones that she has found to be backed with sound clinical data. Also, these are ones that Dr. Honet has found to be safe and effective and she herself is taking or would take if she needed it. Also, just like any other change or addition to your diet, it is important to consult with your healthcare professional to ensure that the choices you are making are the best for you and compatible with your own unique health-maintenance regimen.

Happy, Healthy Skin!

–Senada and Dr. H

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