The truth about skin supplements

With attractive-looking capsules becoming a part of our beauty routines, Bazaar India decodes whether or not it is the path to holistic wellness.

The world of skincare is constantly expanding, with a legion of innovations making an entry every year. The supplements industry in itself isn’t new—most of us have tried multi-vitamins and probiotics to boost immunity and gut health—but there is a new army of wellness capsules, powders, and gummies that promise to heal you from top to toe. 

According to the Women Health and Beauty Supplements Market Intelligence Report 2022, the global supplements market is projected to grow 9.94 percent every year and is expected to reach USD 93.41 billion by 2027. With such rapid intrusion into the skincare space that has been long governed by lotions, potions, and serums, among other topical formulations, the question on everyone’s mind is: can these beauty supplements really make a difference? 

(From left) Augustinus Bader The Skin, price upon request; Power Gummies Jaw-Dropping Skin Gummies, ₹1,300; Gallinée Mouth & Microbiome Food Supplement Tablets, ₹1,390

Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, cosmetologist and founder of ISAAC Luxe, explains, “Most people are conscious about skin damage from stress, UV rays, and ageing. However, many of us forget to address skin issues caused by a lack of nutrition. Oftentimes, even with regular diet and exercise, our body can be deficient in certain nutrients. That’s where skin supplements come in.” However, this is not a trending synonym for vitamins—it is just one part of it.
A supplement essentially covers any food derivative that your body is deficient in, and ‘beauty supplement’, in particular, is a term brands use to convey the beauty benefits of the said nutrients. These supplements are designed to nourish and enhance the quality of skin, hair, and nail health. Dr Meghna Gupta, dermatologist and founder of Delhi Skin Centre, adds “Beauty supplements have antioxidants, minerals, and collagen, among other nutrients, in nominal or high concentrations, providing a boost to your skin health.” The most common supplements available in the market today include one or more of these ingredients, and are intended to be taken orally.
The inside-out approach to beauty, combined with a regular skincare routine, does offer additional benefits. “Our skin is a reflection of what is happening within our body. Impaired digestive function, hormone imbalances, and nervous tension can wreak havoc on our skin. As we learn how to strike a balance between topical products and supplements, the modern consensus is that no skincare regimen would be truly complete without efforts to rejuvenate the skin from the inside-out,” says Dr Mittal Gupta.
But with no stringent regulations in place, it is essential to consult a professional before popping a pill. “Beauty supplements are worth it if there is no underlying concern. The body will distribute nutrients as per its requirement. However, unlike pharmaceutical drugs, supplements are not meant to cure or treat any disease,” adds Dr Gupta. Beauty supplements have tremendous potential, but it is crucial to study the label, do your research, and consult a dermatologist before deep diving into the world of pretty pills.