Making yourself beautiful…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 28 - 2010

…from the inside out?

Beauty supplements are big business nowadays, with entire websites dedicated to selling dietary supplements that claim to rid you of cellulite, improve your skin tone, make your hair stronger and delay the signs of ageing.  You name it, they’ve got a supplement for it.

But do you think that beauty can really be achieved in powder, tablet or liquid form in this way?

I think if you ingest enough Southern Comfort on a Friday night, beauty is most certainly achievable through a pair of beer goggles and soft lighting… but in broad daylight, with a clear head?  I’m curious, but ultimately in need of convincing.

One of the things that puts me off finding out for myself is the price tag that these supplements usually come with.  Imedeen, one of the most well known and respected brands to offer “internal skincare” have developed an entire range of anti-ageing supplements.  I took their online LifeStyle Skin Assesment and as a result was recommended their “Derma One” skincare tablet (their first signs of ageing formula for hydration and radiance).

So far, so good… I continue reading…

Take two tablets per day. Visible results within 12-24 weeks.

1 month’s supply £34.50

So that’s visible results within (ultimately) 6 months, so £207 later I can expect to see…

~ Improves skin quality and structure
~ Improves moisture balance
~ Skin appears more radiant
~ Makes skin on face and body feel softer and more supple

I can’t help but think I could bank that £207, instead making sure that I eat my 5-a-day, force a bit more oily fish down my throat, drink my 6-8 glasses of water a day, slip-slap-slop and get a bit lot more exercise than I currently do.  Realistically… I’m gonna achieve simillar if not better results in 6 months time.

Do I think Imedeen and the like is a con?  Not at all… I just think that £207 is a lot of money to pay for a convenience.

But then it goes and gets a bit tricky on us.

We all know those simple lifestyle changes we should be making to improve our overall health and appearance, but what about specific skincare concerns?

Help: Clear Skin is another supplemental beauty product that claims to bridge the gap between nutrition and pharmaceutical drugs and effectively help clear acne in (a minimum of) 6 weeks.

It’s claims come down to a single, key natural ingredient called Lactoferrin.  A substance that is found in a protein called Praventin which in turn, is found in milk.  Being the uber sharp-minded soul that I am, I think…. well… go find your neighbourhood milkman and slip him a note reading “8 pints of gold-top STAT!”

Of course, it’s never as easy as that is it…  Cow’s milk contains about 0.5% – 1% Lactoferrin, tiny amounts.

Although Praventin can be found in milk, the beneficial skin clearing effect is only activated when this bioactive protein is extracted from the milk. This means that drinking litres of milk is not going to deliver the same benefit.

Praventin – the key ingredient in help: clear skin – is rich in Lactoferrin, known to reduce the development of bacteria responsible for many skin impurities. In addition, Lactoferrin also helps to prevent blemishes and spots forming due to its antimicrobial effect.

It’s to this end that Help: Clear Skin offers a more convenient way to supplement your body with Lactoferrin… at a cost of £49.99 a month.  You can read more about the clinical studies that they’ve done here.  They claim that the median (average) time took to achieve significant results was around 8 weeks… so you’re talking about £100 leaving your purse before you can make any informed decisions about it’s affects.

This kind of supplemental dietary beauty addition appeals to me more though, simply because it’s targeting something tangible.  If you’re not seeing less inflammation, breakouts and cysts in 8 weeks… then you’re gonna know about it aren’t you?  I would imagine that it’s much harder to accurately measure general anti-ageing supplemental benefits.

There is one other option…

Remember that lovely sounding Lactoferrin?  Guess where you can find high concentrations of it?  One word…


No, really.  About 15% concentration… one of the reasons breast milk is so beneficial to supporting a baby’s immature immune system… but erm…

Yeah, I’ll just go get my purse…

What do you ladies think about beauty supplements in general?  Are they really any more dubious than spending £120 on face creams that claim to offer the same anti-ageing benefits with prolonged use?  I’m on the fence on this one, if you’re joining me… mind the splinters!

14 Responses to “Making yourself beautiful…”

  1. VexintheCity says:

    I’d rather just eat fruit and veg and drink lots of water tbh. I tried some recently and they did NOTHING.

  2. Sophie says:

    I am going to be trying this soon, I am just waiting to receive it, and I am very excited to see if it will do anything to help my acne/spot prone skin. We shall see… If it’s amazing though, There is no way I will be able to spend £50 a month on using it..

  3. Blimey they really add up don’t they? I always think, oh well 30 quid isn’t that much, but when you actually calculate it over 6 months that’s a bit of a stinger. I quite liked the Femibion stuff, cheaper than Imedeen. Nothing spectacular but am sure hair/nails looked a bit better.

  4. Grace London says:

    A friend of mine absolutely swore by left over expressed breast milk as a facial treatment. She’d whack some on a cotton pad and apply as a mask at night. Fabulous skin, not absolutely sure I’d fancy it myself, although I did try it in tea once when I’d run out of cows milk and was desperate. (Oddly sweet and very watery, in case you’re wondering.)

    Supplements! Hmm. I think that a good multipurpose can do the stuff that Imedeen does less expensively. I do think a good multipurpose is worthwhile as extra insurance, but I’m pretty disciplined in what I eat and with exercising too.

  5. rhamnousia says:

    I don’t really believe in these pills, you could easily eat the foods which give you the raw nutrients. Some people are so blinded by these pills though, I know a woman at work who swears by Vitamin C and calcium pills but is outraged when people tell her to eat oranges and drink milk instead.

    Also, I find that some tablets/supplements have side effects which are not what you want. I went to uni with a girl who felt her hair was thinning, she started taking pills which DID make her hair thicker but she also found that she was getting hair in places where she didn’t have hair before..

    Basically, like Yinka the natural stuff before you go to the pills, that’s what I would do.

  6. edenblue says:

    The ‘natural’ stuff, if we’re talking about remedies, is often total bollocks too. I’m extremely sceptical of supplements as I feel that if you need something you can either get it from your diet, a regular vitamin supplement or, if its something more medical, something from a prescription, I’d encourage everyone who’s interested in this article to buy the book Bad Science or read These supplements are part of the beauty industry, which exists to sell stuff. (Well…. I guess the pharamaceutical industry does too, but its better regulated.) I’m not saying don’t try stuff, just that there is a lot of stuff out there that has been shown to do NOTHING, have less than 0.1% active ingredients and stuff like that.

  7. Marina says:

    I think they do help to some extent…..I take Perfectil. It costs me just under £20.00 for a 3 month supply from boots and it has deffo improved my hair and nails. If you have a crap diet and lifestyle thou I really don’t think any tablets can help you! 😛


  8. Laura says:

    I think it’s shocking how they can get away with charging that kind of price’s.

    I’ll just carrying on with my green tea and fish, mega cheaper, plus if I had £207 I certainly wouldn’t be spending it on supplements.

  9. While I believe that you will get benefits if you take vitamin supplements daily, I’m not sure about these! I don’t believe that vitamins can target one specific thing in your body (like better skin), either!

    I’d rather spend the 200 GBP on something I KNOW that works – whether it’s a gym membership, a facial, or a pretty dress to boost my confidence!

  10. Well, I think that those beauty supplement are a bit of a lie. If someone eat properly, he doesn’t need beauty supplement. And if someone doesn’t eat properly, the beauty supplement don’t help at all.
    For me, it’s a complete shit since you can improve your health and beauty by eating better and more natural :)

  11. Jasmine says:

    I think supplements or natural health food there are factors out of our control when it comes to beauty ingestibles. For example, scientists have discovered that our fresh produce today are significantly less packed with nutrients than produce of the past. Add to that a complicating factor of our bodies having different ability to digest and absorb or utilise these nutrients … (why they say vitamins only make expensive pee).

    Coming from a part of Asia, I would think that these supplements described here are more responsible than the supplements touted at the heart of Asian tradition. Over here, everybody believes in the chitin and collagen of sharks’ fins and birds’ nest. And finely ground pearl powder. And nightingale poo. And all these traditional ingredients that are more dubious or environmentally destructive continue to enjoy a roaring trade. I’d rather slap that 30 quid for something that’s (more) backed up with science and isn’t 10 times more expensive (shark’s fin).

  12. Rebecca says:

    LOL Bitty! Ahahaha, you had me in hysterics with that line.

    I’d rather just eat well.

  13. Shortiee31 says:

    Hmmm, I’m not convinced!

  14. kim saunders says:

    I have been using imedeen prime renewal for three months now i have just ran out of these wonderful tablets, i say wonderful because the difference they have made to my skin is amazing, not just on my face but my whole body, it is so soft no dry elbows or heels, the lines around my eyes are much less noticable and nails feel so much stronger. this is not a placebo effect if it were i would not have so many people commenting on my appearance and my husband loves the feel of my new soft skin. As most women now lead hectic lifestyles and dont have time to shop cook and eat a totally healthy diet (which would cost more than the price of these tablets per month) let alone attend the gym, stay out of the sun and for those who do, stop smoking. I am sticking with my Imedeen tablets the only thing negative about these is the price, if they were a little less im sure more people would try and love them.

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