This guest post comes courtesy of Sundaily. Sundaily is an ingestible skincare company committed to using active ingredients that have been rigorously tested for cosmetic and skin health benefits in humans, the results of which are published in peer-reviewed academic journals.
What is ingestible skincare?
We know “ingestible skincare” sounds like a mouthful, but we can promise it’s quite simple.
When we say “ingestible skincare” we’re referring to any product we eat or drink to deliver skin care benefits. Ingestible skincare solves the “only works where we apply it” and “too many products” problem and gives us access to nutrients not easily available in our diets. That said, it’s important to treat ingestible skincare with the same discerning eye you give everything else in your carefully-crafted routine.
In this post, we’ll give you the lowdown on ingestible skincare, help you separate fact from fiction, and point out the ingestible products we like best (and some to be wary of, too!).
How does ingestible skincare work?
Ingestible skincare is gaining popularity, and you are probably more familiar with it than you think. Brands like HUM Nutrition, Olly’s Beauty gummy, and Vital Proteins collagen products have embraced ingestibles so successfully that you can find them in the beauty aisle at your local Target. You might also recognize higher-end, celebrity-approved names like Moon Juice, Beauty Chef, and GOOP as they, too, step into the ingestible skincare space.
The one thing these pills, powders, and gummies have in common? You take them internally with the intent of improving your skin from within. Ingestibles may be everywhere, but not all ingestible skincare offers the benefits listed on the bottle.
So, how do we separate the good from the bad?
First, ask: “Does the label tell me what’s in this product?” Besides a list of pronounceable (or at least Google-able) ingredients, be on the lookout for ingredient stuffing. This practice buries ingredients in a list so long you’re not able to tell what’s really doing the work. In truth, there are very few skin-boosting nutrients that are better ingested than applied to the skin. What’s more, some ingestible skincare products will use language like “proprietary herbal blend” to mask the ingredients inside and avoid including exact amounts. That’s tricky because if you’re not sure what dosage of a particular nutrient is included in a label, you won’t be able to verify if research supports using that dose — a best practice for any new dietary supplement.
One great example is Biotin, or vitamin B7, is marketed as an ingestible solution to your brittle hair, skin, and nail woes. If you’re not biotin deficient (a very rare condition in the developed world) there’s a lack of data to support the alleged skin benefits of ingesting biotin, meaning biotin supplements aren’t the slam dunk they’re cracked up to be. What’s more, some biotin supplements include 5,000 to 10,000 mcg of biotin — a dose that far exceeds the 30 mcg recommended daily allowance. The FDA actually warns against biotin supplementation because these excessive doses have been shown to interfere with blood tests and could cause misdiagnoses.
The first steps in choosing an ingestible skincare product should always be verifying the active ingredients, verifying their amounts, and understanding whether both are backed by research.
How do I tell which ingestible skincare products are worth it?
Now that we know that some ingestible skin care products are more hype than help, how do we sort out the true gems?
First, it’s important to ask how an ingestible skin care product has a place in your routine and your life. If you’re eating a healthy diet, for instance, you might not need many of the additional nutrients packed into these pills or powders.
One strike against some skin-specific ingestibles is the fact that many are simply dressed-up multivitamins. Additionally, many of the vitamins that provide skincare benefits topically don’t necessarily have the same benefits when ingested. For instance, topical retinol, a vitamin A derivative, is a common ingredient with skincare benefits backed by significant scientific evidence. However, an ingestible that advertises retinol is actually formulated with vitamin A which does not have the same quality science for skin benefits. Furthermore, a common sweet potato has of vitamin A. You could take a fancy ingestible skincare supplement with vitamin A, sure. But it’s simpler, and usually healthier, to simply eat the sweet potato. Of course, we have to account for individual needs, too. Ingestible skincare products based on vitamins can have skin benefits when we’re deficient in certain nutrients. Common vitamin deficiencies that can impact skin are vitamin D, B12, and folate (especially if you’re avoiding animal products). In those cases, an ingestible skincare product containing those nutrients might really move the needle on improving your skin.
Outside of multivitamins, there are many supplements that are backed by clinical research for their skin health benefits. One main area of research looks at specific antioxidants that are not readily available in our diets and have been shown to improve overall skin health and appearance. These antioxidants work by fighting back against the toll (“oxidative damage”) that the environmental stressors of modern life like smog, smoke, poor diet, inadequate sleep, and stress take on our skin. That’s one reason we created Sundaily gummies — The Base Layer and The Back Up are both formulated with antioxidants backed by clinical research for their skincare benefits.
The point is this: if the ingredients in your ingestible skincare products have not been studied for skincare benefits at the dose on the bottle, then it’s hard to tell if you’ll see any added benefit (to your skin or otherwise) from taking them.
What place does ingestible skincare have in my routine?
Lest you think we aren’t supporters of ingestible skincare, we want to point out that when they’re good, they’re great! For many of us, the right ingestible skincare product can add a helpful boost to our routines. Those that are backed by data, provide clarity around dosing, and fill a true need can be a great tool to leverage for improved skin.
They’re simple to use, work in ways topicals don’t and can occupy your kitchen cabinet instead of your crowded bathroom counter. Perhaps best of all, ingestible skincare doesn’t require you to slather yet another thing on your skin. In most cases, these pills, powders, and gummies can fit easily into our morning or nighttime routines without disrupting the flow of our favorite topical products.
So what’s up with Sundaily Gummies?
Sundaily gummies, our line of antioxidant-packed ingestible skincare gummies, were created to help everyone protect their skin from environmental stress and free radical damage simply and effectively. We call it #skinfromwithin.
Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles put a lot of pressure on our skin. When environmental stressors build up they can cause oxidative damage to our skin and deplete our antioxidant stores, leading to wrinkles, uneven tone and dry skin, to name a few. The antioxidants in our gummies react with free radicals to neutralize them, helping to fend off the damage caused by environmental stressors and supporting our body’s natural repair of free radical damage that has already occurred.
We know that topical products alone are not enough to deal with the toll environmental stressors take on our skin. Both Sundaily’s The Base Layer and The Back Up work from within to fight back against these external stressors and promote healthier skin. These gummies rely on the power of antioxidants: Polypodium leucotomos (in The Base Layer) and astaxanthin (in The Back Up). Polypodium leuocotomos research shows this ingredient can help protect against free radical damage from the sun.
The Base Layer also includes vitamin D, a nutrient crucial to skin and immune health which, most of us don’t get enough of. astaxanthin was shown to be effective in improving skin texture and elasticity. A promising start!
Sundaily gummies are clear about what’s inside and provide nutrients that are depleted by everyday life. If this is something that interests you, ingestible skincare may deserve a spot in your routine!
The bottom line on ingestible skincare
At their core, ingestibles are another innovative way to get that glow you’ve been seeking. But they are only as effective as the ingredients you’re ingesting. You can turn this trend to your skin’s advantage by paying attention to what is in your formulation, choosing a product that fits with your lifestyle, and adding only the nutrients you really need.