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…

Bitty.

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!


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