Do Hair, Skin, And Nail Vitamins Really Work?

There is no shortage of supplements available to help with everything from sleep to digestive health to stress levels. Some of the most popular supplements on the market are ones that claim to help with hair, skin, and nail health. Promises of long hair, glowing skin, and strong nails are tempting, but are these vitamins worth the hype?

Experts don't seem to think so. Vitamins and supplements are held to relatively low standards when it comes to making health claims. "Supplements, in general, are kind of an unregulated market. A lot of supplements are not FDA approved so we don't get a lot of research on them," Michelle Henry, clinical instructor at Weill Cornell Medical College, told Yahoo Lifestyle via HuffPost.

Beauty supplements are not necessarily bad for you, but they are often little more than overpriced multivitamins full of things you don't need. "While it's true that vitamins and minerals are important for skin health, most people get the nutrients they need from the foods they eat," Dermatologist Hadley King, M.D. told Refinery29. "There's little data to show that either a beauty supplement or a multivitamin — however it's marketed — will improve the health of the skin in an otherwise healthy person without a vitamin deficiency."

These supplements can be helpful for people with vitamin deficiencies

Most of the ingredients found in hair, skin, and nail vitamins can be accessed through whole foods. These include vitamins like biotin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and fish oil. However, some medical conditions can cause deficiencies in these and other vitamins. For example, long-term antibiotic use and some seizure medications can cause a deficiency in biotin (via Consumer Reports). A poor diet can also cause nutrient deficiencies.

While hair, skin, and nail vitamins can be useful if they contain an ingredient you are deficient in, it is best to have a medical professional address your deficiency directly. They will be able to diagnose the issue, prescribe the correct supplement, and find a long-term solution.

If you still want to try these vitamins, be careful how you shop. "Shopping for vitamins can be tricky," Michele Green, M.D., told Greatist. "You want to be sure the label says they're 100 percent natural and list all-natural ingredients with no synthetic fillers." It's also a good idea to stick with supplements that are third-party tested by companies like U.S. Pharmacopeia, NSF International,, or UL (via Consumer Reports).