Saturday, December 29, 2012

The two vitamin supplements that have changed my life

This is going to be an unusual post, but because I'm constantly recommending these two supplements to people I know, I figured I should put my thoughts in writing - both for you, readers, and so I can refer people to this post in the future.

There are two vitamin supplements I take daily that I can honestly say have changed my life for the better. Here are my thoughts on each.


The first is Nature's Bounty Super Potency Biotin (500mcg/5mg). I take one of these every single day and I have for over two years now. It is available for purchase on Drugstore.com and Amazon.com but I usually wait and stock up on it (I buy 4-6 bottles at a time) when I find it buy one get one free at a local drugstore - Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS all sell this brand. It's also usually possible to find coupons for the Nature's Bounty brand online.

It took me about two months of taking this daily (which means about one full bottle's worth) to start seeing a difference in my body, but once I did, I knew I would never go back. This does help somewhat with the glow and clarity of my skin, but not enough that I would keep taking it if that were all it did. What blows my mind is how much of a difference it makes in my hair and nails.

I have a nasty habit of using my fingernails as "tools" for everything, I have rather short nail beds, and I was a nail biter for over 15 years, so I used to deal with an immense amount of peeling, tearing, and breaking. Now, my nails are much stronger and rarely peel or break, even if I don't do a single other thing to benefit them beside taking the biotin. (I know moisturizing my hands and cuticles and using strengthening treatments on my nails can be helpful too, but I am terrible at being consistent with applying any of those things.) My nails also have a natural shine to them now, as if I've buffed them, but I never do.

The other thing biotin does for me is that it makes my hair super healthy. I don't do much of anything in the way of styling or treating my hair. Regardless, I get compliments on its smoothness and shine often, it grows much faster than it used to, and I don't lose as much hair to the shower and my hairbrush as I used to. Now, the downside to this is that it's not only the hair on my head that grows faster: I also have to get my brows waxed more often than the average person if I want to keep them looking neat, and shave my legs more often if I want to keep them feeling smooth. But for all the benefits I get from this supplement, I'm okay with that.

When he remembers to take biotin consistently, my boyfriend notices an improvement in the sebhorreic dermatitis on his scalp and around his nose and ears, too.


The other supplement that has changed my life is Source Naturals Skin Eternal Hyaluronic Acid. I have suffered from chronically dry hands and lips for as long as I can remember, and it's gotten even worse as I've gotten older. I have tried dozens of hand creams and lip balms and while I've found some clear favorites, none can cure either problem. When my hands are at their driest, which is exacerbated by the heating and cooling system where I work, the skin between my fingers and on my palms peels like crazy, and sometimes the skin between my fingers will crack and bleed. My lips will also peel, crack, and bleed, regardless of the season or how much water I drink, and the skin around my mouth sometimes gets dry and flaky as well. After talking with a few friends who struggle with similar problems, I came away with the recommendation for this particular hyaluronic acid supplement, picked for its efficacy and nonexistent side effects.

On the recommendations of those friends, I started out by taking five pills per day for the first week (to "saturate my system") and then two pills per day from then on. After that first week was over, I noticed that my lips were smoother and plumper than ever but still occasionally peeling. I went back to putting on lip balm every night before bed (I'd stopped for that week while testing out the supplement), and after a couple of days, my lips looked like they'd been transplanted from someone else's body. I've never seen them like this - so smooth, soft, and normal-looking, not dry in the least. Only someone who has also experienced chronically dry lips can imagine what that feeling is like, I'm sure. I start doing a little happy dance every time I think about it!

Fully believing in the benefits of hyaluronic acid, I also started occasionally (maybe twice a week) spreading just a drop of Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster, a liquid treatment product that is mostly hyaluronic acid, on my lips at night right before I apply my lip balm to lock it in. That makes even more of a difference - my lips look like a model's when I wake up.

I've been taking the Source Naturals supplement for about one month now and will also never go back from taking that, now that I've seen what it can do for my lips! As an added benefit, my hands are much less dry (they still start peeling a little bit once I've been at work for several hours, but nowhere near as badly as they did before) and I don't see that dryness on the skin around my mouth anymore. Yay!

I buy the hyaluronic acid supplement from Amazon.com and have already set up a Subscribe & Save order to save about $1 on each bottle. I also buy the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster on Amazon.com, but one bottle has lasted me years so far with occasional usage on my face and now my lips, so I doubt I'll need to repurchase anytime soon.

I hope this has been informative and helpful to at least a few of you. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comments.

2 comments:

  1. I've heard that biotin is really good for hair and nails but I'm just too lazy to take icky tasting pills (which is why I have gummy vites for my multivitamin and my calcium). But my poor nails are peeling and tearing and splitting constantly and I'd really like for them to look HEALTHY for a change! Having my hair shed less would be nice too... but shaving and tweezing more would be definite drawbacks, as I already have to shave my legs EVERY DAY because they get stubbly so quickly. :(

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    1. Oh, Marilyn, the pills aren't "icky tasting" at all. I take gummy multivitamins for the same reason! The biotin ones I posted about are tiny gel capsules, there's no flavor to them at all even if you accidentally don't swallow them right away. And I can't make any promises about shaving, but if you already shave every day anyway, I bet you'd be fine. I just have this wishful thinking that I should be able to shave every 2-3 days and stay smooth in between! And THAT won't happen with me on biotin. But like I said, if you're already shaving daily anyway, I doubt you'll get much extra stubble in between those shaves!

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