The safety, efficacy, and contents of supplements cannot be trusted.
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Beauty supplements aren’t a new concept. We've been able to buy hair and nail formulas for decades at the drugstore.
The supplements, from vitamin ingredients like biotin, zinc, folic acid, vitamin C, to botanicals like oils, saw palmetto, ashwagandha, green tea, and turmeric, have different formulas that claim they will make you look better or younger.
Although beauty supplements were a small part of the beauty industry previously, they are now becoming increasingly popular. The global beauty supplement market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $6.8 billion by the end of 2024.
A survey of buyers revealed that supplement brands, not skin care or makeup brands, are most likely to be picked up by retailers, as
beauty supplements have become hope in a bottle.
The concept may not be new, but the techniques used to market supplements are.
In 2013, companies realized they could make use of social media to promote their supplements as youthful and fun.
One of the attractive qualities for supplements is a strong engagement on social media, with packaging designed to be super-shareable.
Supplement brands are making their products look very pleasing on social media. Then they use influencers to spread the message further.
The ultimate sign that brands have found mainstream acceptance is the now-familiar Instagram shelfies, where people post pictures of their well-displayed medicine cabinets.
The claims these supplements make are still doubtful. Many products have little or no data to support their claims substantively.
The FDA does not regulate supplements. They are barely subjected to government scrutiny due to a law passed in the 1990s. The claims that include vague words like "promotes", "maintains" and "supports" are legal as long as manufacturers attach a disclaimer that reads: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
However, target consumers are starting to become educated and care enough to call the beauty industry out on their wild claims.
Looking at individual studies won't determine if vitamin supplementation is good for you. They're scientifically dense and the conflicts of interest can be very hard to spot.
"Systematic review papers" are much better suited for that. This is where independent scientists gather up all the available data and re-analyze it to answer big questions.
Hydrating your skin is as important as hydrating your body. Your body needs hydration to look and feel good.