Yes, we love slathering our skin in serums and moisturizers, but you know the saying: Beauty starts from within. So while you hold onto that diligent skincare regimen, it’s time to shift your focus inward and add some anti-aging supplements to your routine. These supplements often contain a blend of essential components such as collagen, vitamins, and antioxidants, to name a few, which can work wonder in turning back the clock on aging. And don’t forget to keep up with your workouts and mindfulness practices, too, because a healthy mind and body equals glowing, youthful skin.
How do these supplements work to combat aging?
Sure, taking supplements isn’t going to magically make your skin young or put a stop to aging, but neglecting your body’s needs will work against you. Our bodies require a variety of nutrients and minerals to function at their best and age healthily, and sometimes it can be tough to get everything we need through diet alone. It gets even more challenging as we get older since the body starts losing essential components at a faster rate than it produces them. That’s where supplements come in handy. They’re like a little boost to help fill in the gaps and give your body what it needs to stay healthy. Just make sure you consult with your healthcare provider and choose supplements that are suitable for you.
What are the most effective anti-aging supplements backed by science?
It’s no secret that the supplement industry is booming, and there seems to be a pill or potion for just about everything these days. While most promise to do magic, only a few have actually been proven to have anti-aging benefits, and here we discuss all of them.
Did you know “collagen” is derived from kolla, the Greek word for glue? Collagen is literally the substance that binds cells together. It forms an extensive net-like framework throughout the body and imparts shape and structural strength to every skin tissue.
While bountiful in youth, the body’s collagen levels gradually decrease with age, leading to thinner, weaker, less resilient skin over time. More precisely, from age 25, your body loses collagen at a rate of 1.5% per annum. Consequently, by age 35, your body will have lost 15%, and by 45, 30%. This is when you start to notice a change in your skin’s elasticity and texture. So a proper collagen balance is crucial to maintain your skin structure integer. It’s well proven that taking collagen supplements improve several aspects of the skin, including hydration, elasticity, and roughness.
Resveratrol is a polyphenol produced by grapes that most people know from red wine. While it’s often seen as a typical antioxidant with UV protective properties, resveratrol is actually much more than that.
According to Dr. David Sinclair, biologist and professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, resveratrol can mimic the effects of the sirtuin gene, which are proteins that help repair DNA. Sirtuins are often referred to as “longevity genes” due to their ability to promote healthy aging and extend the lifespan of certain organisms. By mimicking their effects, resveratrol may help protect cells from damage and potentially slow the aging process. For reference, Dr. David Sinclai is taking 0.5g of resveratrol every morning, mixed in with yogurt. To put this into perspective, this is equivalent to about 85 to 2,500 glasses of red wine.
Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)
This hard-to-pronounce supplement is synthesized from vitamin B3. What’s special about it is that it’s a precursor of NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), meaning it converts to NAD+ once absorbed by the body. NAD+ is like the conductor of an orchestra—it keeps all the cellular processes in your body in harmony and ensures they function optimally.
Similar to resveratrol, NAD+ is a cofactor for sirtuins that support DNA repair and energy metabolism.
“You can think of resveratrol as the accelerator pedal for the sirtuin genes, and NMN as the fuel,” says Dr. David Sinclai. That said, one of the reasons skin ages is because it loses NAD+. “By the time we’re 50, our NAD+ levels are about half what they were when we were 20,” says David, which leads to a series of age-related conditions. Supplements with NMN are a promising anti-aging solution because they help increase NAD+ levels in the body. Ideally, you should start taking about 300mg of NMN in your mid-30s/early-40s and increase the dosage to 1g as you reach your 50s.
You’ll think that the body is capable of producing all the essential nutrients needed for optimal health. Well, it’s not. For example, it does not produce vitamin C on its own. It can’t store it either, so you must ensure your vitamin C intake every day, which is about 75-95mg. The safe upper limit, however, is 500mg, which has strong evidence to provide substantial benefits for the body when taken for 1 to 3 months.
Vitamin C is an essential supplement because it’s involved in several processes that influence how the skin ages, including collagen synthesis, wound healing, antioxidant function, immune system function, and the metabolism of certain amino acids and vitamins.
Vitamin E goes hand in hand with vitamin C to help the immune system fight off viruses and bacteria while acting as a potent antioxidant to protect cells from free radical damage. You can get vitamin E from natural sources like grains, sunflower oil, nuts, oats, and other dairy products, or supplements that have been proven effective in improving the body’s stores of antioxidants and helping skin age healthily.
EGCG, or Epigallocatechin gallate, is the most abundant catechin found in green tea. It might slow down the appearance of aging signs by restoring certain cell functions and acting on AMP protein—an enzyme that plays a role in cellular energy balance. Moreover, EGCG functions as an antioxidant, protecting the skin from free radicals caused by sun damage and pollution and supporting proper cell growth. Taking supplements containing 200mg of EGCG, which is equivalent to 2-3 cups of green tea, is considered safe and effective in providing enough photoprotection.
Coenzyme Q10 is an essential antioxidant that the body produces and uses to support energy production. You can think of it as the fuel that keeps you going. However, as you get older, the body’s ability to synthesize enough CoQ10 decreases, which often leads to fatigue and other health issues. Supplements with coenzyme Q10 can increase the levels of this energy-boosting nutrient and protect your body from oxidative damage. They have also been shown to speed up the production of new collagen and elastin.
Did you know that when the gut is out of whack, it negatively influences your mood, skin health, and energy levels? Keeping your gut in good health plays a major role in how well the body ages and that’s where probiotic supplements come in beneficial. They have been shown to improve the gut microbiota, which in turn restores the skin’s pH, reduces the impact of oxidative stress, and supports the skin’s barrier function.
Other important supplements
- Quercetin: Quercetin is a flavonoid with antioxidant activity that can offset free radical damage, stimulate cell renewal and protect proteins from degradation
- Curcumin: Curcumin, a polyphenol found in turmeric, has been shown to reduce inflammation and cellular stress, which are key contributors to skin aging.
- Selenium: This mineral acts has a key role in the body’s antioxidant defense system, and it protects the body from photoaging and various forms of cancer, including skin cancer caused by UV damage. You can add more selenium to your diet through seafood, eggs, and whole-grain cereals. It’s a promising supplement, for sure, but it needs more studies on humans.
What else do you need to know?
- Consider taking supplements in your mid-30s. Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, you don’t need them at younger ages.
- Supplements don’t replace a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
- Drink plenty of water and get enough sleep.
- Use topical treatments like retinoids and take advantage of anti-aging devices like LED masks and radiofrequency machines.
- Consult with your doctor before starting a supplement regimen. It can help determine the appropriate dosage based on your specific condition, medical history, and current medications. It also guides how long you should take the supplements for optimal results.
Supplements we recommend
Youtheory Collagen Supplements
These supplements are a total package for your skin and body. They’re made with 6,000mg collagen and 90mg vitamin C in a hydrolyzed formula that’s easily absorbed into the body where it promotes general wellbeing. The supplements are FDA-approved and GMP-certified, meaning they’re produced and controlled according to strict quality standards.
Thorne ResveraCel supports healthy aging by building more NAD+ in the body, which improves cellular energy production and aids in repairing the DNA. The capsules also contain resveratrol and quercetin to strengthen the natural antioxidant system and reduce oxidative damage.
Dr. Emil Multi Collagen
These pills contain only proteins from 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised beef, chicken, eggshell, and wild-caught fish. Plus, they’re also enhanced with BioPerine—a patented black pepper extract that drastically improves collagen absorption in the body. With a non-GMO formula, free of artificial excipients, sugars, soy, gluten, dairy, and allergens, and also Keto and Paleo-friendly, they are sure to please everyone.
Women’s Concepts uses reliable sources, including dermatologists’ insights, clinical trials, and scientific journals, to find accurate information and support all the facts shared in our articles. All statements and claims have clear and legit references. Read our editorial policy to learn more about our sources of information, our process of researching and fact-checking the content, and how our team strives to keep all articles updated, completed, and trustworthy.
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- Vitamin C, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), March 26, 2021
- Vitamin E and Skin Health, Oregon State University, Micronutrient Information Center, February 2012.
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