Why you may need a beauty supplement and the best ones to start taking now

By Fiona Embleton

Photo: Getty

Whether your goal is shinier hair, stronger nails or more supple skin, the beauty supplement market is booming

At one time our skincare routines involved little more than cleanser, toner and moisturiser. Then serums, essences, eye creams, face and even body masks began to steadily flood our bathroom cabinets. Now it seems the compass has swivelled to tackling concerns from the inside out with the rise of ingestible beauty supplements.


To put this into perspective, the global women’s health and beauty supplement market was valued at $53 billion in 2020 and this category is only growing. The collagen market alone is anticipated to be worth $16.70 billion by 2028. Proof, perhaps, that the allure of popping a pill to give lacklustre skin, limp strands and flaky nails a concentrated boost of goodness is too great for many of us to resist.

“Supplements are an additional boost to help your body function optimally,” says Daniel Collins, founder of Finnish health brand, Forest Spa Finland. “For healthy skin, hair and nails, you need to ensure your body has an array of nutrients in plentiful amounts.
Supplements are a good way to top up anything that may be lacking in your diet.”

Photo: Getty

However, choosing the right capsules can be overwhelming – not to mention knowing how pure the powdered ingredients are or whether the amounts listed on the label are accurate. So how to guarantee supplement success? According to Collins, it all comes down to simplicity. “Not all supplements are created equal,” he says. “Be cautious of excessively long ingredients lists. Good things to look out for are claims from the brand such as ‘no fillers’, ‘no synthetics’, or other indicators that tell you that the supplement is ‘highly bio active’, which means it is a high quality extraction and will absorb well in your system.”

Oliver Amdrup-Chamby, founder of Puori concurs, adding that the brand submits itself to third party testing to prove supplements contain what the label states and are free from potential contamination. “When nutrients are extracted from natural sources they become super concentrated – meaning potential traces of heavy metals, pesticides, toxins and other undesirable substances may likewise increase in concentration.” All test results for Puori supplements are published through the Clean Label Project.

Beauty supplements: where to start?

Vitamin C

According to Thorbjörg Hafsteinsdóttir, an Icelandic wellness expert and founder of The Health Revolution, vitamin C is a good entry point supplement. “Vitamin C is a classic immune booster and antioxidant,” she says. “As a supplement it fights free radicals,
oxidation and inflammation throughout the body. Vitamin C is needed in the dermis to support production of hyaluronic acid and collagen to keep the skin plump, healthy and glowing.”

In terms of absorption, Hafsteinsdóttir recommends combining vitamin C with a zinc supplement. “Or choose liposomal vitamin C, where the vitamin binds to phospholipids, which in my opinion ensures the best absorption.”


Super C Smart Nutrient Beauty


Collagen Peptides

Collagen supplements, such as Puori’s CP1 Pure Collagen Peptides, are also enjoying a moment in the supplement spotlight.

“Collagen proteins contribute to the health of your connective tissue alongside skin, hair and nails,” explains Amdrup-Chamby. “However, as we age collagen production decreases, resulting in weaker connections. Ligaments become more prone to injury and skin loses firmness and elasticity. Eating more plant-based protein sources and less of the gelatine and collagen-rich food, like traditional bone broth or pigs’ trotters, has created a significant shift in our amino acid intake. While these aren’t to everyone’s taste, supplementing with collagen can help give you the amino acids and proteins you need.”

However, there are some things to consider before diving straight in. “There are two main sources of collagen: marine and bovine,” explains Amdrup-Chamby. “Marine collagen consists of collagen type 1, where bovine collagen contains type 1 and 3. Studies have shown that you need double the amount of marine collagen compared to bovine in order to achieve the same effect.”


Green + Collagen Formula



CP1 Pure Collagen



Adaptogens are another buzzword in beauty circles right now and a core tenet for Forest Spa Finland, which uses restorative ingredients sourced primarily from Finland and the Nordics to build your immunity to stress. “Stress is your skin’s worst enemy,” warns Collins. “Mitigating some of the reactions caused by stress on the skin means less sensitivity and fewer flare ups or breakouts.”

Put simply, adaptogens are plants known for their ability to naturally adapt and thrive in harsh environments. They are thought to help the body resist stressors of all kinds, including environmental, given they are a rich source of antioxidants.

“Finland is one of the purest natural forest ecosystems on the planet, so you can find highly active compounds in many species of adaptogenic plants,” says Collins. “One of my favourites is Chaga mushroom, which grows on the side of birch trees, and is one of the highest rated sources of antioxidants. Anti-inflammatory Rhodiola Rosea is another star ingredient for helping to boost cellular repair, while Cloudberries are high in skin-brightening, immune-boosting vitamin C.”

Forest Spa Finland

Nordic Adaptogen Supplement