It is becoming increasingly common to find nutricosmetic products or food supplements in supermarkets, pharmacies and specialty stores. However, not many people are aware of their true benefits, recommended dosages or when they should be used.
That is why we have gathered the most relevant information about nutricosmetic products. So you can choose the supplement that best suits your needs and learn how to use it responsibly.
The most important things to know
- Nutricosmetics focuses on reinforcing beauty from nutrition, that is, through the consumption of oral supplements. They help to obtain the recommended amount of nutrients, which, through food, we often do not reach them.
- Among the benefits of nutricosmetics are the prevention of premature skin aging, the strengthening of hair and nails, and the stimulation of collagen production.
- Although nutricosmetic products are available over-the-counter, it is always recommended to consult with a specialist. Do so before starting their consumption, since both deficiency and overdose of nutrients can be detrimental to health.
What you should know about nutricosmetics
If you are looking to purchase nutricosmetic products to include in your nutrition and personal care routine, it is important that you know the most important aspects of nutr
icosmetics. Here are
the most relevant facts you need to know, as well as the most common nutricosmetics questions among users.
Nutricosmetics is the combination of nutrition and personal care. (Source: yacobchuk/ canva)
What is nutricosmetics and how does it work?
Nutricosmetics is the combination of nutrition and personal care. The active ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals, are ingested orally in order to provide the body with nutrients that are often not consumed on a daily basis, even if you eat a healthy and balanced diet.
At the same time, nutricosmetics help to care for and maintain a healthy aesthetic appearance as the nutrients act directly on the skin, hair and nails.
The deficiency of nutrients can be caused by the lack of a healthy diet, the culinary procedure used or because the food is not healthy enough.
The intake of B-complex is sufficiently pure.
, it can be said that nutricosmetics has been born as a new category of products focused on enhancing beauty from the inside.
What are the benefits of nutricosmetics?
Unlike traditional topical cosmetics, which act locally on the most superficial layers of our body (skin, hair or nails), nutricosmetics act at a systemic level, strengthening the beauty and appearance both internally and externally.
At the same time, you should keep in mind that it is not necessary to leave your daily routine of personal care. You can incorporate nutricosmetics to complement it, since the use of nutritional supplements provides the following benefits
- Prevents premature aging of the skin, spots and wrinkles caused by UV radiation.
- Radiant, hydrated and healthy skin and hair.
- Helps to fight acne.
- Complement for cellulite treatment.
- Strengthens and stimulates the growth of hair and nails.
- Stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.
- Promotes a healthy and homogeneous tan.
- Contains antioxidant properties.
What are the most effective active ingredients of nutricosmetics?
The lack of nutrients in the body can cause failures in the functioning of certain organs and mood swings, but also a bad appearance of your face, your skin, your hair and your nails. That is why nutricosmetics should always go hand in hand with a balanced diet.
There are also active ingredients that have specific functions focused on enhancing beauty in a healthy and natural way. Below, we show you the different categories of formulas and nutrients approved by the European Parliament and the Commission for the manufacture of food supplements. In addition, we comment on their functions and the recommended doses of nutricosmetics (1, 2, 3, 4).
Vitamins are necessary for a good cellular functioning of the organism, growth and development. Our body is not able to produce them on its own. Therefore, if you want your skin to be more radiant than ever, it is important that you consume foods rich in vitamins and combine them with the right nutricosmetics.
Keep in mind
that vitamins are divided into two categories (5):
- Liposoluble: vitamins such as A, D, E and K dissolve in fats and are stored in adipose tissues and in the liver. Both excess and deficiency can be detrimental to health.
- Water-soluble: Both vitamin C and the B complex dissolve in water and, as the body cannot store them, a controlled daily intake is necessary because the excess is eliminated through sweat and urine.
|Function||Food source||Nutricosmetics: Recommended dosage|
|B complex||It consists of a group of 8 vitamins that are involved in the production and maintenance of the integrity of hair, skin and nails.||White and red meat, eggs, green leafy vegetables, peas, nuts, peas, fortified cereals.||B-complex “50”: 1 – 2 capsules per day, with breakfast.no and food.|
|Biotin||Improves the functioning of body cells, metabolizes fats, sugars and proteins. Helps hair growth and treatment of dermatitis and dry skin.||Tigernuts, dairy products, mushrooms and vegetables, boiled eggs, white fish, legumes and yeast.||Between 0.5 and 3 mg per day, with meals.|
|Vitamin A||Stimulates collagen synthesis, has an anti-inflammatory effect and regulates sebum production in the skin. Ideal for treating acne.||Orange and yellow fruits, eggs, broccoli, spinach and carrots.||Do not exceed 25,000 IU per day.|
|Vitamin C||Antioxidant and cofactor. Helps prevent skin aging due to UV radiation and contributes to the production of collagen and elastin, providing elasticity and tone to the skin.||Citrus fruits, red and green pepper and kiwi.||From 1 to 3 grams a day.|
|Vitamin E||Antioxidant that protects cellular tissue and prevents premature aging.||Vegetable oils from corn, nuts, sunflower seeds, spinach and broccoli.||200-400 IU daily, with meals.|
|Vitamin D||It acts in the activity of the immune system avoiding pathologies such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, vitiligo, among others, promoting healing.||Fortified foods such as milk, cereals and fatty fish (tuna, trout and salmon).||Maximum 100 μg per day.|
Minerals, considered macronutrients, are essential for overall health and for our personal care. It is important not to exceed the recommended dose and to know which foods are a great source of them.
Nutricosmetics in combination with a balanced diet should be accompanied by good hydration. Remember to consume at least 2 to 3 liters of water per day.
|Function||Food source||Nutricosmetics: Recommended dosage|
|Zinc and Copper||Zinc is essential for the maintenance of the skin due to its antioxidant properties. In combination with copper, they strengthen the scalp and support pigmentation.||Foods of animal and vegetable origin such as nuts and legumes.||5 to 30 mg of zinc per day, with meals. The optimal ratio between zinc and copper is 10:1.|
|Selenium||Together with vitamin E, they provide an antioxidant action protecting hair and nails and delaying skin ageing.||Garlic, nuts, fish and seafood.||From 50 to 200 mcg per day (preferably in combination with a minimum of 100 mg (approx. 150 IU) of natural vitamin E per day).|
|Silicon||Prevents brittle nails and hair as well as the appearance of wrinkles by promoting collagen regeneration.||Bamboo-tabashir, nuts, whole grains, cucumber, celery, green beans, banana and mango.||Bamboo supplements usually contain 200 to 300 mg of bamboo stalk powder (providing 65-70% silica) per capsule, recommended intake is 2 to 6 capsules. per day|
|Magnesium||Lowers fatty acid levels, maintains skin hydration, prevents wrinkles and has antioxidant properties.||Banana, apricots, avocados and nuts (almonds and cashews).||250 mg per day.|
Amino acids, peptides and proteins
Within the group of amino acids, peptides and proteins there are two that stand out for their active ingredients in nutricosmetics. Here we tell you what they are and their main benefits:
- Keratin: It gives elasticity, resistance and protection to the skin, preventing premature aging of the skin. At the same time, it acts on the strengthening and vitality of nails and hair. In the use of supplements, a dose of 500 mg per day of solubilized keratin is recommended, preferably outside of meals.
- Hydrolyzed collagen: It is found in the skin and promotes elasticity, flexibility and firmness of the skin. It is also produced in our body naturally. Its maximum production occurs in adolescence and begins to decrease after the age of 40. After this age, it is recommended to combine nutrition with nutricosmetic supplements.
Beta-carotene is the orange pigment that gives color to fruits and vegetables. It is the most used carotenoid in nutricosmetics due to its multiple benefits. Since it has antioxidant properties, it helps maintain skin health, protects the skin against solar radiation and cancer. Some foods rich in beta-carotene are: carrots, pumpkins, mango, apricots, oranges and peaches, among others.
It is important to keep in mind that while your diet may include these foods, sun exposure is not always the same. Therefore, in periods where exposure to radiation is greater, it is advisable to supplement your diet with nutricosmetics containing this active ingredient.
Fatty acids are essential in terms of overall health and aesthetics. Within nutricosmetics, the polyunsaturated fatty acid that is most present is Omega 3. Deficiency of this fatty acid can cause skin disorders, especially dry skin. Nutricosmetic products are usually made from fish or flax seed extracts and provide the following benefits for the skin:
- Increased skin elasticity.
- Reduces flaking and roughness.
- Increases hydration and softness.
- It has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects.
Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally in the body and although it is distributed throughout the body, most of it is found in the skin. Its main function is to support proteins, specifically collagen.
Among its benefits is its ability to store moisture, that is, it helps maintain skin flexibility and prevents facial wrinkles. As we age, the production of hyaluronic acid decreases progressively, so it is recommended to reinforce it with nutricosmetic supplements.
Finally, nutricosmetics based on plants can also be used thanks to their properties.
s for personal care at an aesthetic and health level. Among the wide variety of plants, we highlight the following:
- Turmeric: Contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help prevent premature skin aging. The recommended dose is 6000 to 1200 mg per day of turmeric extract. It is recommended to consult a doctor in case of pregnancy.
- Green tea: Nutricosmetics with green tea extracts help protect the skin against photoaging, maintain hydration, delay the formation of wrinkles and are a powerful antioxidant. Its consumption is recommended in combination with vitamin C.
- Sabal: In this case, it provides great benefits for the hair, as it helps to prevent hair loss. Nutricosmetics are made from berry extract and it is recommended to consume between 160 to 320 mg per day.
Why does the skin age?
The aging of the skin can be caused by several factors. Mainly, as the years go by, the cells present in the skin stop working properly, thus reducing their production of collagen and hyaluronic acid.
As a consequence, the skin progressively suffers a loss of elasticity and luminosity, and signs such as wrinkles, flaccidity, thinning of the skin and dehydration appear. Also, the causes of aging can vary, depending on the type of aging in question (6)
- Intrinsic or chronological aging: It is an inevitable biological process, determined by genetic factors, where the skin ages gradually as we advance in age. The clinical manifestations are: thinning of the skin, xerosis, fine wrinkles and atrophy; without changes in pigmentation.
- Extrinsic aging or photoaging: It is associated with external environmental factors. The most important is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, but other relevant factors are smoking, pollution, stress and poor nutrition. UV rays are responsible for photoaging. The severity of photoaging is proportional to cumulative sun exposure and inversely related to the degree of skin pigmentation. Signs of extrinsic ageing are: broken capillaries, fragile lips, pigmented spots and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.
Should a medical consultation be made to consume nutricosmetics?
Although a medical prescription is not necessary for the acquisition of nutricosmetics, since they can be found both in pharmacies and supermarkets and special stores, it is always recommended to seek advice from a specialist or treating physician before starting its consumption.
The Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (ASEAN) has issued an official Decalogue for responsible consumption of food supplements in which it stresses the importance of always seeking information from a doctor, particularly if you have a previous illness or pathology (7).
Also, a professional will be able to recommend which nutricosmetic products to buy, because these are marketed from unknown or unauthorized sources. Finally, be wary of nutricosmetics that are advertised as having incredible properties and effects or as miraculous solutions to your
Can nutricosmetics be used to lose weight?
No, nutricosmetics are not intended to be consumed for this purpose. On the other hand, advertisers should not promise unimaginable results just for taking supplements orally.
Taking care of your health, as well as your skin, hair and nails should be sought first and foremost through nutrition. Nutricosmetic products are used as a complementary treatment in order to achieve the necessary dosage per day and try to obtain the desired results (8).
The importance of taking care of yourself to prevent premature skin aging.
(Source: Rido: 106505999/ 123rf)
What are the contraindications of nutricosmetics?
Nutricosmetics, by themselves, do not have a direct contraindication. However, if you wish to start using them, it is important that you consult your doctor beforehand so that he/she can analyze your particular situation. Some of the contraindications may include the following:
- Deficit or overdose of nutrients.
- Alteration due to previous illness or pathology.
- Allergic reaction to any active ingredient.
- Consumption during pregnancy or lactation period.
- Consumption prior to surgery.
- Treatment in children.
The doctor will be able to advise you on which nutricosmetic product is best, taking into account your medical history, analytical and objectives.
“It does not make sense to use nutricosmetics in the context of a very unbalanced diet. In these cases, dietary education and dietary change towards a greater consumption of vegetables, legumes and fibre, must be the priority.”
What types of nutricosmetics are there?
Nutricosmetics improve our external beauty, from the inside, in a healthy and responsible way. Also, there are many active ingredients used, so not all nutricosmetics offer the same benefits (9).
Nutricosmetics for hair and nails
If you want your hair to be healthy, radiant and resistant, and your nails to be stronger than ever, you must first of all confirm that you do not have an iron deficiency. If this is the case, you need to start by correcting it.
As for nutricosmetics, the most effective are those that contain solubilized keratin and silicon in their formula. It is also recommended to combine it with B complex, Zinc and Copper and Selenium.
<img src=”https://www.reviewbox.es/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/142626497_s.jpg 848w, https://www.reviewbox.es/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/142626497_s-300×200.jpg 300w, https://www.reviewbox.es/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/142626497_s-768×512.jpg 768w, https://www.reviewbox.es/wp-content/
uploads/2021/07/142626497_s-450×300.jpg 450w” alt=” width=”848″ height=”565″ />Nutritionists will be able to give you the keys to a healthy and balanced diet tailored to your needs. (Source: Milkos: 142626497/ 123rf)
Among the facial nutricosmetics you can find different categories of products. Some are focused on protecting the skin against photoaging and providing antioxidant support. Others focus on keeping the skin hydrated and supplementing its production of structural elements in order to prevent wrinkles and delay aging.
Regardless of the final objective of facial nutricosmetics, it is important that they act in combination with vitamins, especially with B Complex, Vitamin C, and minerals such as Copper. The most recommended active ingredients are the following:
- Antioxidant agent: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium, Turmeric and Green Tea.
- Delaying skin aging: Hydrolyzed collagen, solubilized keratin and silicon.
- Maintenance and hydration: Hyaluronic acid and fatty acids (Omega-3).
Did you know that the skin is not the only thing that ages? Your nails and hair do too.
First, a sunscreen, with a sun protection factor (SPF) suitable for your skin type, is a must before leaving the house. Secondly, the most effective active ingredients in solar nutricosmetics are the following:
- Healthy tanning: Beta-carotene (it is recommended to start taking it at least 2 months before prolonged exposure to the sun in the spring-summer periods).
- Antioxidant protection: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-carotene, Turmeric and Green Tea.
In conclusion, nutricosmetic products are very useful complements when reinforcing a dietary and cosmetic routine. They are consumed in order to obtain the necessary nutrients and promote the health of our skin, hair and nails.
Finally, it should be noted that, although the acquisition of these food supplements are regulated and are sold over the counter, it is important to consult with our doctor or nutritionist. In this way, you ensure a responsible consumption, avoiding possible adverse effects. We hope you found this article useful. If so, you can leave us a comment!
(Featured image source: Heckmannoleg: 120083308/ 123rf)
1. García Iturrioz M. Nutricosmetics Beauty from nutrition [Internet]. SM Natural Solutions; pp.8-23. [cited 2021Jul15].
2. REGULATION (EC) No 1925/2006 OF THE PARLIAMENTEUROPEAN REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 20 December 2006 on the addition of vitamins and minerals and of certain other substances to foods
COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1170/2009 of 30 November 2009 amending Directive 2002/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the lists of vitamins and minerals and their forms that may be added to foods, including food supplements.
TOLERABLE UPPER INTAKE LEVELS FOR VITAMINS AND MINERALS EVALUATED BY EFSA [Internet]. ASEAN. Ministry of Consumer Affairs; [cited 2021Jul19].
5. Chazi C. VITAMINS [Internet]. UPS Scientific Journals. 2005 [cited 2021Jul22].
6. Alves R, Castro Esteves, T, Trelles MA. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors involved in skin aging [Internet]. SciELO Spain – Scientific Electronic Library Online. CIRUGÍA PLÁSTICA IBERO-LATINOAMERICANA; 2013 [cited 2021Jul23].
7. Decalogue for responsible consumption of food supplements [Internet]. ASEAN. Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad; [cited 2021Jul19].
8. Lizarraga Dallo MA. Nutricosmetics. Are they dangerous? [Internet]. More dermatology. Frontera dermatológica; 2008 [cited 2021Jul15].
9. García Iturrioz M. Nutricosmetics. Beauty from nutrition [Internet]. SM Natural Solutions; pp.24-25. [cited 2021Jul15].