Hi Bunnies! Today I’m sharing some of the supplements I take regularly for anti-aging, immunity, gut health, hormone balance, and overall wellness. You can pay hundreds of dollars for fancy skincare products and treatments, but your health needs to be optimal for beautiful, glowing skin (as well as strong, healthy nails and hair for that matter). I just want to preface this by saying I’m not a healthcare professional, and I’m not making any claims or giving any medical advice. I’m just sharing the supplements I take (from a brand I trust), and letting you know WHY I take them. Please consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
Best Supplements for Skin and Overall Health
I thought you guys might want to hear about my supplement routine, which is just as important as my skincare routine! This is NOT a sponsored post, but Life Extension did send me refills of some of the supplements I regularly buy.
I’ve been buying supplements from Life Extension since I was a teenager. My mom got me into them, and over the years, I have just found more and more reasons to trust them. They have always impressed me with their depth of knowledge on pretty much every health topic (browse their site if you have time, or check out their print magazine). And I’m also impressed by their extensive medical and scientific advisory boards that are full of MDs and PhDs. You can read more about their standards here.
Some of you guys know I have several health challenges, such as PCOS, aldosterone-deficiency, migraines, depression, anxiety, and thyroid cancer. That means I’m always trying to give my body what it needs to optimize itself. I walk 2-3 miles per day and I try to stick to a healthy diet. Of course, I’m human, so I cheat now and then, but for the most part, I avoid sugar, dairy, alcohol, and most grains. My husband and I buy grass-fed meat and eat organic veggies whenever possible. There are some things diet cannot do (partly due to depleted soil used to grow crops in America and partly due to how much I’d have to eat), and for those things, I take supplements.
I really want you guys to get in the habit of reading the back of supplement bottles the same way you’d read the back of skincare products. You’ll want to educate yourself on what’s actually in the bottles and look out for brands that add unnecessary fillers or use cheap ingredients that your body can’t absorb. You’ll also want to pay attention to the dose. Taking MORE of something is not necessarily better. In fact, it can be harmful.
I also highly suggest testing to see what your levels are before taking supplements. Life Extension has blood tests that you can order online and take to a local lab if you don’t want to go through your regular doctor. You can read about my experience with Life Extension lab tests here.
Zinc for Immunity and Clear Skin
Zinc is one of my favorite supplements to help with skin, hair, and immune system health. One of my endocrinologists recently diagnosed me with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). I’ve always had a battle with hormonal, cystic acne and facial hair, and now I know why (too much testosterone).
If you have trouble with acne, I highly recommend quitting dairy. I know it’s hard, but it’s a HUGE acne trigger for many (if not most) people with acne. Sugar and gluten are often dietary triggers as well.
Zinc has been INCREDIBLY helpful for my skin health. It has antioxidant properties along with the ability to inhibit inflammation and promote good bacteria for healthy skin. I have been taking Life Extension Zinc Caps for years now and I can tell you when I take it I see a big difference in my skin. I periodically check my copper levels to make sure I’m not overdoing it on the zinc.
Life Extension advises: “Supplemental zinc can inhibit the absorption and availability of copper. If more than 50 mg of supplemental zinc is taken daily on a chronic basis, 2 mg of supplemental copper should also be taken to prevent copper deficiency. Chronic ingestion of more than 100 mg of zinc daily may be immunosuppressive for some aspects of T-cell and NK cell function.”
Vitamin C to Build Collagen and Increase Immunity
Vitamin C is pretty much an anti-aging no-brainer! Everyone wants more Vitamin C, and hopefully, we get a lot from our diets. But is it ever enough? Experts disagree passionately on how much Vitamin C is just right and how much is too much. I don’t have all the answers for you, but I think taking a reasonable daily dose of Vitamin C is a good idea. It’s an antioxidant that supports healthy inflammatory responses and promotes a healthy immune system. It also helps your body to create collagen, which is vital for keeping your skin looking healthy (along with your arteries, bones, and teeth).
I have been taking Ascorbyl Palmitate – a type of Vitamin C from Life Extension. Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C that can reach tissue areas in which ascorbic acid cannot. It has also been shown to circulate in your body longer than regular ascorbic acid. This is a synthetic form of Vitamin C, but remember that synthetic is not always bad! I take this supplement, but I also try to get fresh Vitamin C from my diet.
Probiotics and Phages for Gut Health, Immunity, Mood and Skin Health
Everyone knows probiotics are good for you. But as a society, we are just starting to understand HOW important they are. They do much more than just keep you regular! They can have an impact on so many different aspects of health including immunity, mood, nutrient uptake, skin health, weight, and of course, digestion.
I love Florassist GI with Phage Technology from Life Extension because, in addition to the good bacteria in the formula, there are phages that actually seek out and kill some of the bad bacteria! Phages are really cool. They are actually viruses that kill particular bad bacteria while leaving healthy human cells alone. I think of them as my little warriors! The capsule-within-a-capsule is pretty neat-looking, so I took a close-up macro shot to show you what they look like.
As an aside, I am an avid biohacker and so I’m interested in learning more about which specific probiotics my body actually needs, and which foods will feed those good bacteria, so I recently did a Viome test. I will let you know how that goes once I get the results back. My mom and dad did the Viome test and are doing really well on their new diets.
Prebiotics for a Healthy Microbiome
Taking probiotics is great and all, but you need to feed them to keep them alive and happy. A prebiotic is a type of fiber that feeds the good bugs. If you’re eating a varied diet with lots of fruits and veggies, you’re probably getting a lot of prebiotics already. But, it can’t hurt to have insurance! Before you start taking prebiotics, you may want to go on a gut cleansing diet to weed out some of the bad guys, so you don’t inadvertently feed them. Miracle Grow works on weeds as well as flowers!
I’ve been taking Florassist Prebiotic Chewables. They are strawberry flavored and easy to remember to take every day. This prebiotic is made with xylooligosaccharides, which are apparently quite delicious if you’re a bacterium!
Calcium D-Glucarate – Detoxification for Hormone Balance, Heart Health and Healthy Skin
Calcium D-glucarate is another supplement that I take to help promote skin health. It’s a substance that humans make naturally in small doses. It’s also found in several fruits and cruciferous veggies. It helps your body to eliminate toxins, including excess estrogen and steroids. It also helps to support healthy inflammatory responses and can even maintain healthy levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. The way it works is slightly complicated. I recommend reading this article for an easy-to-understand overview. There are certain medications that are broken down by the liver, which may mean that taking calcium d-glucarate can decrease their effectiveness, so check with your doctor. Side note: if you’re taking calcium d-glucarate for acne, you may also want to look into a supplement derived from cruciferous vegetables called DIM.
If you made it this far, congrats! You may be a biohacker! These are a few of the supplements I take for beautiful skin, anti-aging, and overall health. What have you guys tried? I’m always open to trying new things!