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Question

Hi, i’m 31 years female. I’ve been very bright in complexion since i was young but my complexion is really change is getting dark and my hair is no longer growing. I’m taking Vital hair, skin and nails and vitamin beco but i haven’t see any changes yet. I heard about Vitamin C ( Ascorbic acid) that can help but i just want to know where can i get those Ascorbic acid vitamin c and how much dose should i take to get my colour back, what more should i take to assist those vitamin c and also what more to take for my hair. I’m desperate i’m getting married In 2 months. Please help.

- Thah / 30 October 2011

Answer

Hi there

I don’t quite know what you mean by your complexion getting ‘dark’, so it’s hard to advise on that. Of course, the most important thing here is to always wear sunblock & cover up when ging in the sun, but also bear in mind that some people do find skin changes & gets darker as one ages.

In general, if you have poor hair, skin or nails, a multivitamin alone won’t be sufficient. A multivitamin & mineral supplement is there to add on to a healthy diet – to cover the bases. However, if you are dealing with a specific problem, you need to take more of those things that will boost those specific areas (in this case, the hair, skin and nails).

I don’t think that Vitamin C will specifically assist here, although it is important for healthy skin. Ascorbic acid is the most common form of vitamin C. We make a chewable one of 300mg and a tablet of 1000mg that you swallow. It’s also good for healthy immune system.

I would definitely recommend having your iron levels tested as this can cause a change in complexion (one could get pale or ashy), and affect hair growth.

Life events, like stress, operations, eating disorders, hormonal imbalance or changes or ill health will all impact on your appearance, as will eating a poor diet, smoking and drinking excess alcohol, taking certain medications (check package inserts) and nutritional deficiencies like anaemia. Hair can also fall out from too many chemical treatments (perming, straightening, dyeing) and from being tied up or braided too tightly too often. Nails can also look bad due to insufficient calcium, repeated manicures (especially if false nails are applied) and fungi. It’s always best to consult your doctor first to check that there are no underlying health issues that could be causing poor hair, skin and nails.

I would recommend the following to help support healthy hair, skin and nails: (Note: all supplements should be taken on a full stomach with water.)

    • A multivitamin and mineral supplement specially formulated to support hair, nail and skin health such as Vital Hair, Skin and Nails. You can, if you wish, take this alongside most general multivitamin supplements. It won’t work overnight – you don’t mention how long you’ve been taking it, but you need to give it 2 – 3 months.

 

 

    • Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids (e.g. Vital Omega 3 & 6 concentrate), as these are very important for hair, skin and nails. They help with the moisture balance in the skin. Deficiency is often implicated when there are very brittle nails or acne. Not only that, they are also for brain and nervous system function, immune support, and good health in general.

 

 

    • If you are very stressed and busy, and/or are vegetarian, you will benefit from an additional Vitamin B complex such as Vital Maxi B or Vital Brewer’s Yeast. Not only are these important for healthy hair, skin and nails, they are also needed to help you cope with stress, and for memory, concentration and energy levels.

 

Bear in mind that hair has growth cycle of around 3 months. Also, nails take around 100 days to grow 1cm, while skin around 1 month or so. In other words, supplements for hair, skin and nails do not work overnight – you need to keep taking them for at least 3 – 6 months before you see an appreciable change. Also, if there is a deficiency that is causing this, first the body needs to correct this, and will send nutrients to the most important areas of the body first – i.e. internal organs, brain, etc – and only then will it go to the hair, skin and nails. So one does need to be patient with this kind of thing.

    • Make sure you drink enough water – 6 – 8 glasses daily – as this helps keep skin moist and flushes out toxins from your system. Skin is an important excretory organ, so toxins in your system will show up on your skin.

 

    • Aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables– a serving is around the size of a clenched fist.

 

    • The more natural your diet the better, as processed foods (ready meals, take-aways, sweets, pastries, white bread, etc) are generally very low in nutrients, and high in inflammatory constituents.

 

    • Sugar, artificial additives, and excessive saturated fats can increase your inflammation levels, so avoid these, as you need to keep inflammation levels low.

 

    • Smoking and alcohol are definite no-nos for skin – they rob you of nutrients, increase free radicals and speed up the ageing process.

 

Good luck with your wedding!

Good Health is Vital

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Hi, I’m Michelle Jooste.

As a registered dietitian, I can help you find the ideal combination of supplements that will support your needs. I’m ready to answer all your nutrition-related questions.

Just ask away, and I’ll get back to you within 2–3 business days.

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