Post-London Fashion Week, the team got hooked up to IV therapies for a reboot and ever since I've been hooked on the questions of how do we know what we need in the supplement department, who’s to say and where do we start?

To help me navigate the grey area and overwhelming landscape of pills, powders, drips and patches, I sought out some trusty advice from a couple of experts behind their own supplement brands: Dr. David Jack, a leading London based aesthetic doctor and Lumity, the anti-aging skincare brand.

Take note...

Where to start with supplements?

Dr. David Jack: "Generally speaking, supplements are a great way to support your skin as it ages and there is increasing reliable scientific evidence for supplementation with antioxidants such as vitamin C, Vitamin E and glutathione on ageing on the skin. This is fairly universal so most people would generally benefit from taking at least some additional vitamin C on a daily basis, particularly if your diet is compromised in any way. With advances in nutritional knowledge, a great number of supplements have been identified as beneficial for both general and skin health in addition to a healthy diet. In my personal opinion, taking a supplement rich in antioxidants, biotin (vitamin B7), omega 3, and superfoods, as well as a good broad-spectrum amino acid blend can produce some really noticeable results in the skin over time. As always, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise is important – supplements are supplementary to these, of course!"

Lumity: "I think it's very difficult nowadays to get all the nutrients the body needs even from the best possible diet. Soils have been depleted of nutrients and therefore the fruit and vegetables that grow on these soils are less nutritious than they were years ago. There are many different kinds of supplements. Multi-nutrients aim to cover all the nutrient requirements of the body like an insurance policy, while single-nutrient supplements target specific deficiencies, which are usually identified by taking blood tests. Supplements, such as Lumity, provide targeted support for specific processes in the body to deliver tangible benefits like immune resilience, beautiful skin, hair and nails, strong vitality, ageless balance and youthful joints and bones."  

How long does it take to see or feel results?

Dr. David Jack: "Supplements for the skin need to be taken on a routine basis to notice any real effects over time. Remember, supplements are not drugs or medications that can be taken a few times to expect massive changes. Incorporating them into your daily routine is important!"

Lumity: "This very much depends upon the quantities of nutrients contained in each dose. If each dose contains levels of nutrients far above the recommended daily requirement (megadoses of over 1000% can now be commonly found), then it would not be recommended for long-term use. If quantities of all nutrients contained in a supplement fall below 100% of the recommended daily requirement and therefore, allow for amounts integrated in diet too, then such a supplement may be suitable for long-term continued use." 

What are the key differences with oral supplements vs. topical products?

Dr. David Jack: "Oral supplements and skincare products target the skin in different ways, with a cumulative and synergistic effect together, rather than alone. Topical products target the top layers of the skin from the outside (the epidermis and upper layers of the dermis), whereas oral supplements reach the skin via the blood supply, which supplies the entirety of the dermis. By using both, the idea is that you provide maximum benefit to the whole thickness of the skin, by targeting surface issues but also reaching the deeper layers of the skin via the internal body environment." 

Lumity: "Most nutrients required for the healthy functioning of the body must be ingested (through diet and supplements). However, some nutrients can be integrated through the skin (transdermal nutrition), such as magnesium; by taking a bath in Epsom salts, magnesium is absorbed into the body through the skin. The skin requires a range of nutrients to maintain optimum health, these come from within (through diet and supplements) and can be supported by nutrient-rich skincare applied topically. Plant oils, specifically, are rich in many nutrients and, through their affinity with the skin, are able to penetrate the skin's upper layers and nourish and support the skin's health and optimum function."

What are the key ingredients we should be looking to introduce?

Dr. David Jack: "There are some ingredients that are in both the topical skin products and oral supplements and some that are specific to each. Generally speaking, topicals and supplements both contain antioxidants – such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E – however, a function of the topical skincare is also sun protection. So, All Day Long, for example also includes ingredients that block UV light. Likewise, the supplements contain an exhaustive list of superfoods such as matcha, Yerba mate and micronutrients that have known benefits when taken orally but that don’t have evidence when used topically."

Lumity: "There are many ingredients used in our oral supplements and skincare that target and work to improve different properties of the skin and your health. For example, Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy skin, hair and nails and vitamin A is crucial for healthy skin as it stimulates the growth of the base layer of the skin. What does this mean for you? Healthy skin growth, moisture retention (no dry skin), healthy skin tone and the appearance of youthfulness. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant, which means it protects skin cells from free radical damage – it's also vital in the production and maintenance of collagen, the protein that gives your skin structure and prevents it from wrinkling and sagging. There is much more to cover, such as Vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant that is also a skin healer, Selenium, which is important for DNA synthesis and lysine, essential to sustaining youthful levels of collagen in the skin." 

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