"The principle behind ingestible supplements is to provide the body with the necessary building blocks for healthy skin cells and collagen, as well as maintaining appropriate stores of antioxidant defenses against free radical damage," Zeichner explains. "Hyaluronic acid is a humectant—a moisturizing ingredient that attracts water. It is unclear whether ingesting it will truly affect the skin." So, we're sh*t out out of luck? Not completely. Since your gut health is tied to skin health, Zeichner says that if hyaluronic acid pills can improve the health of your GI tract and reduce inflammation, then your skin can benefit from it as well. "An angry, 'leaky' gut promotes generalized inflammation that has a negative impact on your skin, so any supplement that can improve that can also benefit your skin," he says.
As for the collagen in these supplements? Zeichner says they're broken down into proteins that may help support healthy skin function, just like any other protein, but there's no proof it will go directly to your skin and benefit in the way these brands claim. (You can read more about ingestible collagen here.)
Zeichner says that in the end, the best way to have healthy skin is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. "What you eat provides your body with the necessary tools for healthy skin," he says. "If you don't have a well-balanced diet, or you would like an extra boost, a supplement certainly won't hurt." Music to our ears.
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