Skin is the body’s largest organ (1). Whilst hair and nails are often considered for their cosmetic purpose, their bodily purpose and connection to our skin are more than skin-deep. Let’s take a look at the connection between hair, skin, and nails in more detail.
Aside from protecting our muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels, our skin also stops harmful microorganisms and material from entering our bodies. It acts as the body’s first line of defense, and prevents the loss of life-sustaining fluids like blood and water (2).
Our skin is made up of three layers. The epidermis is the tough, outer layer. The various cells located here give our skin their particular colouring, help protect our body against infection, and produce keratin, a basic component of hair, skin, and nails. The dermis, or second layer, contains connective tissue, nerve endings, hair follicles, and sweat glands. Thirdly, the subcutaneous fat layer which contains a network of collagen and fat cells. This layer helps conserve the body’s heat and protects the body from further injury by acting as a shock absorber (3).
The hair on your head isn’t just there just there to embrace the latest hairstyles. Generally speaking, our hair keeps us warm by preserving heat in our bodies. The hair in our nose, ears, and around the eyes also protect these sensitive areas from dust and other small particles from getting in. Eyebrows and eyelashes, in particular, protect our eyes by decreasing the amount of light and particles that go into them.
It might not seem like it, but our nails grow out from the deep folds of skin at our fingers and toes. Our fingernails and toenails support the sensitive tips of our fingers and toes (4). Nails are useful in helping us pick up objects, scratch an itch, or untie a knot.
The trifecta of skin, hair and nails form a comprehensive first line of defense for our body against any outside harm. In addition, keratin is a key component in our hair and nails (5). A process called keratinization forms our hairs and nails as they push out from under the skin.
Following this, a lot of the same nutrients that protect our skin are also needed to protect our hair and nails.
While taking in nutrients primarily happens through a healthy diet, you may not always get the vitamins and minerals you need from food alone.
Taking supplements is another way to ensure that you can assist your hair, skin, and nail health by helping incorporate important nutrients. Some of the vitamins and minerals that you can consider to support hair, skin, and nail health include:
A protein that is essential in giving structure to the skin, hair, nails, bones, ligaments and cartilage. Collagen supplementation may improve elasticity in the skin, support hydration, and maintain collagen formation (13).
Biotin plays a role in maintaining the state of vitamins and minerals in the body. Because of this, it helps improve hair health, nail strength, and skin health (14).
Zinc supports collagen formation and health, allowing it to support skin health, and strong nails and hair.
A potent, natural antioxidant that supports collagen formation and elasticity for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
An abundance of vitamin C is found in the epidermis and dermis (15). It plays an important role in collagen formation and health, which is necessary for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
B vitamins play a role in protein synthesis in the body, maintaining the state of minerals in the body which are crucial for hair, skin and nails, as well as supporting skin health.
Cranberry supplement supports collagen formation and supports the state of vitamins in the body. It also maintains skin health and aids in skin repair and regeneration.
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Find out more about other areas that the above supplements can help you with:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.