What I can ingest to improve my skinBeyond the rich culture, amazing food, scenic shopping, and photogenic cafes, South Korea has one of the top reputations for beauty & healthcare procedures and products. The industry continuously pushes boundaries and finds new and innovative ingredients long before others. They’ve brought ingredients like egg whites, green tea, and snail mucus to the industry for topical treatments. So it should come as no surprise that there is an equally robust supplements industry.
I am all about ingesting my supplements over topical products. Beauty starts within as the saying goes, and I couldn’t agree more. My skin was consistently clear until my late 20’s and then I started having cystic acne pop-up. On top of that, I’ve gained a whopping 30lbs (12kg) throughout COVID19. In the past, I tried a million different skincare routines with little to no help or worse the topical products made me break out even more. While I do work out regularly, I’m in my 30’s now and my metabolism isn’t what it used to be.
So, I whipped out my Google-fu and made of list of supplements for my goals. Once I started ingesting my supplements, I started to see a huge difference in my skin and energy levels. My acne cleared up and my weight started dropping again.
Of course, everyone has different goals for their skin and body. You should always refer to your physician before starting any new supplement or workout routine, but I thought I would share some of my favorite supplements.
NOTE: My supplements are focused on providing energy, weight management, anti-aging, hair strength and health, and acne. There are other supplements out there that aid in these that I do not take. Talk to your physician about which combination is best for you.
The staple supplement (outside of a multivitamin) everyone should have in their diet. You don’t need to worry about consuming too much (max safe limit is 2000mg a day) and receive many of the health benefits at just 500mg a day.
So what are the benefits? What aren’t the benefits?!
Vitamin C has a range of benefits from protecting your memory to helping absorb iron, but we’re here to talk about health & skincare! Here are some of the benefits for your skin:
- Help fade hyperpigmentation/dark spots (Source2)
- Helps with redness and evening skin tone (Source1)
- Aids in collagen production aka wrinkle defense (Source3)
- Protects against sun damage and pollution (Source4)
- Promotes faster wound healing (Source5)
I could really go on and on about my holy grail of skincare, Vitamin C. If you haven’t already, definitely add it to your daily routine!
My fave is Korea Eundan Vitamin C 1000. You can pick it up at any beauty store and can often find it on special for around 10k won.
You’ve probably heard this a time or two, but B-vitamins are essential for our bodies and each has its own role to play. If you keep up with K-beauty, you know that niacinamide is a highly popular product in many serums, face masks, etc. Niacinamide, niacin, and nicotinamide are all just fancy words for B-3. Biotin (B-7) is also great for hair, nail and skin health.
Some benefits from these:
- Stronger/healthier hair, skin, and nails
- Fights acne
- Promotes overall blemish-free skin
You can aim for a B-Vitamin that covers all the basics or go for the ones you need individually. I often go with NOW foods Biotin or Niacin.
I love a multi-purpose supplement. The recommended dose is 250–500 mg a day, and it is best taken with food. Not only does Green-Tea help with weight loss, but it’s also great for skin as well! You can consume this via the tasty drink or grab a supplement for ingestion ease. Some great benefits include:
- Contains catechins and caffeine (Both assist in weight loss by regulating hormones and enhancing thermogenesis) (Source3)
- Reduces Sebum (the oily substance that can cause breakouts)
- Helps skin aging and acne
- Reduce oxidative stress (Source2)
- May prevent some skin cancers (source1)
The downside to Green tea extract pills is they do contain caffeine, so if you’re caffeine-sensitive you may want to opt for another supplement or be sure to take them with breakfast. I take Vital Beautie Meta-Green Slim Tablets.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLAs) are fatty acids found in meat and dairy. Okay, so this is one of the most popular supplements in the world, but for good reason. I started taking this supplement a long time ago at the behest of a nutritionist and trainer. Some of the benefits include:
Increase fat burning & stimulate fat breakdown
Decreasing fat while maintaining muscle mass (Source6)
Blood sugar regulation
Boost immune system
This has been a long time staple for me, so I was happy to find an affordable option here in Korea. I use Wellers CLA.
These are some of my favorite supplements that have really improved my skin and overall health. I do take collagen supplements as well, but I order those from overseas as I can’t find the dosage or unflavored powders here in Korea. I would love to hear what supplements you’re using or if there are any, in particular like chitosan, you’re looking into and would love more information.