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Best Supplements for Hair, Skin, and Nails of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Written by Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD

Published on October 18, 2021

Are you looking for healthier hair, stronger nails, or clearer skin? A hair, skin, and nails supplement might be able to help. Here are our top picks.

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Best Supplements for Hair, Skin, and Nails of 2021, According to a Dietitian
Photo credit: iStock.com/Moyo Studio

Topical hair, skin, and nail products, like lotions or creams, can only do so much to improve your outward appearance.

Flawless skin, shiny hair, and strong nails start with a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition.

While you can’t use dietary supplements to override poor lifestyle choices, hair, skin, and nail supplements can be part of a healthy routine to help you look your best.

If you want to boost your beauty routine, read on to learn what ingredients you should look for and which products are best.

Summary of Our Picks

What to Look for in a Hair, Skin, and Nails Supplement

When choosing the best supplements for hair, skin, and nails, I looked for products with specific nutrients that could help support these external features.

These supplements are for generally keeping your hair, skin, and nails healthy, but they are not for addressing specific concerns like acne or eczema.

If you have a specific concern, it is best to start by speaking with your doctor first, who can help guide you to address the underlying causes.

Most hair, skin, and nails products are blends of different ingredients known to have benefits for hair, skin, or nails.

Some of these common ingredients include:

  • Biotin: This B-vitamin is a popular ingredient in most formulas for hair, skin, and nails. While many think that it helps hair grow or strengthens nails, the research on its benefits is mixed. But since it is a water-soluble B-vitamin, any biotin you don’t need will be flushed out. This means it has a low risk of toxicity, so there are minimal concerns with taking a supplement containing biotin. And it might help.

  • Vitamins A and E: These fat-soluble vitamins help keep skin and hair moisturized, aid in skin repair, and may protect against sun damage, one of the leading causes of aging.

  • Vitamin C: This water-soluble vitamin has antioxidant powers, helping protect the skin from damage caused by the sun and free radicals. It is also essential for making new collagen, a protein in the skin.

  • Collagen: Collagen is the structural protein in the body, and it plays a role in maintaining skin integrity and helping make keratin, the protein that forms hair and nails. Supplementing with collagen can help strengthen nails and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

  • Anti-inflammatory fatty acids: Omega-3s, GLA, ALA, and evening primrose oil are all healthy fats that support the health of hair, skin, and nails. They help maintain moisture and have anti-inflammatory benefits.

  • Hyaluronic acid: This naturally occurring substance in the body helps maintain optimal hydration of hair, skin, and nails.

  • Silica: Also known as horsetail, this fern has antioxidant properties that help protect hair and nails from damage. 

These are some of the ingredients that are commonly found in hair, skin, and nail formulas. Some brands add additional vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other antioxidants that may have benefits as well.

How We Made Our Selections

In evaluating hair, skin, and nail products, I started looking at popular brands known in the “beauty nutrition” market. From there, I included products with:

  • Research-backed ingredients: Is the brand committed to including ingredients backed by research? I selected products that contained one or more of the evidence-based ingredients listed above.
  • A fair price point: Is the price of the product similar to others in the same category? Or is the product of a very high value/effectiveness?
  • Brand reputation: Does the brand have a good reputation in the industry? Are the products made in a certified Good Manufacturing Practices facility?
  • Professional involvement: Are there qualified healthcare professionals involved with the brand?

Considering all of this, I pulled together a list of the best hair, skin, and nail products.

Best Overall: Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength Hair, Skin, and Nails

Best Overall
Rating Breakdown
  • Support for Claims:5.0
  • Ingredient Safety:4.0
  • Value for the Price:5.0
  • Brand Transparency:5.0

Overall Rating:

4.8

Pros

  • Contains multiple ingredients to support the health of hair, skin, and nails
  • Third-party tested
  • Reputable brand with a 50-year positive track record
  • Available at most major retailers
  • Excellent price point

Cons

  • Contains high doses of many vitamins, therefore should be used with caution with other multivitamins
  • Collagen dose provided is not high enough to have a significant impact on wrinkles

For the “overall best” category, I evaluated over 20 different products. None of them even compared to Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength Hair, Skin, and Nails formula.

This product contains several ingredients essential for supporting hair, skin, and nail health. These include Vitamins A, C, and E, biotin, collagen, ALA, silica, and hyaluronic acid.

It has every ingredient I would be looking for in a hair, skin, and nails product. Competitors were all missing one or more of these ingredients.

The dosages of many of the vitamins in the product are relatively high, providing 100% or more of the RDA.

If you take other vitamins, it is crucial to evaluate the dosages to ensure you are not taking too much.

While there is collagen in the product, the dose of 50 mg is likely not enough to make a significant impact. Collagen, being a protein, should be measured in grams, not milligrams.

I would recommend adding a collagen product in addition to this if you are focused on skin health specifically.

This Nature’s Bounty product can also be purchased at most national retailers for around $11 for a 50-day supply. This is the cheapest and the best product that I evaluated on the market.

The product is third-party tested, non-GMO, and has over 30,000 positive reviews on Amazon.

Nature’s Bounty is a reputable supplement company that has been making quality products for over 50 years.

While they offer hair, skin, and nails gummies, the gummy version does not contain the same ingredients as in the extra-strength version.

The Bottom Line: Nature’s Bounty’s Hair, Skin, and Nails supplement is comprehensive with all the ingredients I would expect in a beauty formula, at a great price point, and available at most retailers.

The only minor concern I have is the high dosages of the vitamins in the product, which could pose a risk for toxicity if paired with other supplements.

Best Subscription Service: Hum Nutrition’s Runway Ready

Best Subscription Service
Rating Breakdown
  • Support for Claims:4.0
  • Ingredient Safety:5.0
  • Value for the Price:4.0
  • Brand Transparency:4.0

Overall Rating:

4.3

Pros

  • Multiple products to address hair, skin, and nail concerns
  • Online quiz helps direct you to the best product for you
  • Registered dietitians available to answer questions
  • Research-based product ingredients and claims

Cons

  • Registered dietitians only available via email
  • No one product contains all the ingredients beneficial for hair, skin, and nails
  • Some products are expensive depending on how many you take monthly

Hum Nutrition is the leader in the “beauty and nutrition” space, and they cornered the market with even Sephora carrying their brand.

While they have many products geared towards hair, skin, and nail concerns, Runway Ready provides two of their best sellers (Red Carpet and Killer Nails) in a convenient daily pack.

Red Carpet has GLA, ALA, and Vitamin E, all known to help improve skin moisture and have anti-inflammatory benefits. Killer Nails is a high-dose biotin supplement.

Together, these two products provide some of the ingredients that are beneficial for smooth skin, shiny hair, and strong nails.

The price point is a bit higher since it is two products in one. A 30-day supply is $36. If you purchase three or more Hum products, you can receive a 15% discount.

Additionally, Hum offers an online quiz to help select the best products for you and email consultations with a registered dietitian to discuss any concerns further.

The Bottom Line: Hum’s Runway Ready offers both anti-inflammatory fats and biotin to protect the health of hair, skin, and nails. While this product does not contain other beneficial ingredients I would expect, other Hum supplements do provide ingredients like collagen and silica to round out your beauty routine.

Best Gummy: VitaFusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin, and Nails

Best Gummy Supplement
Rating Breakdown
  • Support for Claims:5.0
  • Ingredient Safety:5.0
  • Value for the Price:5.0
  • Brand Transparency:4.0

Overall Rating:

4.8

Pros

  • Gummy form makes supplement easy to take
  • Inexpensive price point for 30-day supply
  • Sold at many retailers nationwide

Cons

  • Gummy supplements have calories and sugar
  • Missing many potentially beneficial ingredients for hair, skin, and nails
  • Not third-party tested

I was underwhelmed by the options available when searching for a good gummy vitamin for hair, skin, and nails.

Most brands are just biotin and vitamin C supplements with a handful of other nutrients thrown in.

VitaFusion was the only product I could find that was a reasonable price and contained a wider variety of vitamins that play a role in the health of hair, skin, and nails.

It contains a hefty dose of biotin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A.

One serving is three gummies, so a bottle should last a little over a month. This brand is sold nationwide at many different retailers, and the price is generally around $12 for 100 gummies.

Like with many other hair, skin, and nails products, my only concern is that it does provide 100% of the RDA or more for many vitamins.

To be sure you are not at risk for vitamin toxicity, you need to be cautious if you take this product simultaneously with other multivitamins or supplements.

The Bottom Line: While most hair, skin, and nail gummy vitamins lack many beneficial nutrients, the VitaFusion product provides a variety of vitamins known to be beneficial. If you are looking for a convenient product to take or can’t swallow pills, this product might be a good option.

Best for Hair: Naturenetics HairAnew

Best for Hair
Rating Breakdown
  • Support for Claims:4.0
  • Ingredient Safety:4.0
  • Value for the Price:5.0
  • Brand Transparency:5.0

Overall Rating:

4.5

Pros

  • Reputable brand
  • Extensively tested for purity
  • Competitive price point

Cons

  • Limited research on one ingredient for hair growth

If you are looking for a product to support hair specifically, HairAnew is an excellent choice. This product aims to promote hair growth, but it can also be used to keep hair healthy.

The benefits of this product for hair mostly come from the vitamins with antioxidant properties and biotin, zinc, and silica.

It does contain three other ingredients – kelp, inositol, and ginkgo biloba. These are ingredients to stimulate hair growth.

Kelp is rich in iodine, a mineral linked to hair loss, and inositol helps regulate hormones that may play a role in hair loss. Ginkgo biloba may stimulate hair follicles, but research remains limited at this time.

I am quite familiar with the brand, its owner, and his dedication to quality.

Naturenetics is diligent about third-party testing their products for harmful additives and providing the highest quality supplements possible.

Naturenetics HairAnew costs $29.71 for a 60-day supply. The brand also makes shampoo that you can pair with this product to tackle hair concerns from the outside.

The Bottom Line: HairAnew is a perfect option for those who want to keep hair healthy or are experiencing thinning hair. While some hair loss is hereditary, a supplement to help improve thinning hair may help you keep some of the hair you have.

Best for Nails: EU Natural BIOTIN 5000 MCG Hair, Skin, Nails

Best for Nails
Rating Breakdown
  • Support for Claims:3.0
  • Ingredient Safety:5.0
  • Value for the Price:5.0
  • Brand Transparency:5.0

Overall Rating:

4.5

Pros

  • 100% vegan
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Biotin carries little risk of toxicity
  • Third-party tested

Cons

  • Despite its popularity, there is only limited evidence to support efficacy of biotin for nails

As popular as biotin is, surprisingly, only some evidence supports its use for nail strength.

One small 1993 study found that biotin supplements increased nail strength by 25%. Despite that, it is always recommended as the first-line supplement for nail health.

If you struggle with brittle nails or nails that break easily, there is no significant downside to trying a biotin supplement.

Biotin is water-soluble, so whatever you don’t need, your body will get rid of it. Expect it to take about 6–8 weeks to see results.

EU Natural’s product is third-party tested, vegan, non-GMO, and comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. The price point of $19.99 for a 120-day supply is excellent.

The Bottom Line: A biotin supplement, like EU Natural’s, may help strengthen your nails if you take it consistently enough to take effect. There are no significant downsides to trying a biotin supplement, and it may help support nail health.

Best for Skin: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Best for Skin
Rating Breakdown
  • Support for Claims:3.0
  • Ingredient Safety:4.0
  • Value for the Price:4.0
  • Brand Transparency:4.0

Overall Rating:

3.8

Pros

  • Includes Types I and III collagen, best for skin
  • Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid for skin health
  • Third-party tested

Cons

  • More expensive than other collagen products
  • Returns not guaranteed

Vital Proteins contains 20 grams of Types I and III hydrolyzed collagen, the primary type in the skin. Taking collagen has been found to reduce wrinkles and improve dryness.

It also has vitamin C and hyaluronic acid that help support skin health.

This brand is diligent about third-party testing and quality. The collagen is made in an NSF-certified facility, which means that it meets the highest production standards.

Since collagen comes from animal sources, and this particular product is from grass-fed cows, it is not appropriate for vegans or vegetarians.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is easy to add to your daily beauty routine. It is unflavored and can be added to any beverage, like coffee or a smoothie.

At $43 for a 4-week supply, Vital Proteins collagen is more expensive than many other brands. You can save 25% when you sign up for the subscription.

But it is a high-quality, effective product that may be worth the cost.

The Bottom line: Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is easy to add to your daily routine. It is a great choice to support skin health, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and improve skin moisture and hydration.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hair, Skin, and Nail Supplements

  • Do hair, skin, and nail vitamins work?

    They can work, but it depends on the brand and product. Choosing a product with one or more nutrients essential for hair, skin, and nails is important.

    These include vitamins that function as antioxidants, biotin, collagen, hyaluronic acid, silica, and anti-inflammatory fats.

    The goal of any product should be to provide nutrients needed to support the healthy growth of hair and nails, reduce inflammation, and fight damage caused by free radicals and the sun.

    A product that combines two or more of these nutrients is likely more effective for this goal as it can tackle many different aspects of hair, skin, and nail health at once.

  • How long does it take vitamins to work?

    Since it takes a bit of time for hair and nails to grow and skin to regenerate, expect to wait at least 6–8 weeks of taking the vitamins consistently before seeing results.

  • Are hair, skin, and nail vitamins safe?

    Yes, hair, skin, and nail vitamins are generally safe. But it will depend on the formula and specific ingredients. Always talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.

  • What are side effects of hair, skin, and nail vitamins?

    The side effects that you might experience will depend on the formula and specific product. With supplements in general, digestive upset is always a concern.

    Taking the product with food might help alleviate some of these symptoms.

  • Can you take hair, skin, and nail vitamins with other supplements?

    Yes, you can take hair, skin, and nail vitamins along with other supplements, but with caution.

    Many of these products have a very high dose of certain nutrients, at or above the daily recommended amounts. Therefore, you should read the labels carefully to ensure you are not exceeding the upper limits for any specific vitamin or mineral if you take multiple supplements.

    Speaking to your doctor or registered dietitian about what you are taking can be an excellent place to start.

The Bottom Line

Hair, skin, and nail supplements are a great way to support your beauty routine with good nutrition.

While a supplement can help, don’t forget that your lifestyle matters as well. A healthy lifestyle is a foundation for shiny hair, glowing skin, and strong nails.

Getting enough sleep, limiting alcohol, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly are the best ways to ensure you will look amazing throughout your life.

If you are struggling with specific hair, skin, and nail concerns, like eczema, rashes, hair loss, or brittle nails, this could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Before taking a supplement, speak to your doctor, who can help treat any underlying causes.

Beauty does come from within, and you can optimize your appearance from the inside out with proper nutrients.

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