Biotin and beauty
13th March 2019
Most women dream of long, luscious hair, long, strong nails and clear, young-looking skin. Blame it on women’s magazines if you will, but this desire has had women trying lots of crazy remedies over the years to try and achieve the look they’re after. From swapping their pillow cases to eating lots of jelly, there are endless self-help websites that claim they can guarantee over an inch of hair growth per week, or that you’ll have salon-worthy nails within days.
When it comes to things like this though, you can’t argue with actual science and the answer when you begin to look there is actually a simple one; biotin. Also known as vitamin B7, this water-soluble vitamin works to metabolise carbohydrates and fats and is therefore essential for digestive function. It also contributes to a healthy metabolism, nerve function and heart health, so it’s an important vitamin to get enough of.
Not only is it essential for general health though, but its specific power comes in relation to beauty as it can strengthen hair, thicken nails and encourage both to grow.
The majority of our hair is made up of a substance called keratin, which is produced by amino acids. B vitamins (like vitamin B7 AKA Biotin) helps to create these amino acids, so it would make sense that more biotin means more keratin which means more hair. Hence why biotin is such an important vitamin in regards to hair growth, and it also results in less hair loss too.
Another reason that it’s good for our hair is because biotin produces fatty acids. These fatty acids help to nourish our hair and make it look shiny and full of volume.
In the same way that biotin can make your hair look full and glossy, it also has the same power over your skin. The fatty acids that biotin produces, help to keep your skin plump and hydrated. Without these fatty acids, the outer layer of your skin can become dehydrated and dry in appearance, enhancing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
By ensuring your body has all the biotin that it needs, it helps it to produce new cells, meaning that your complexion looks fresh and healthy. Because it also helps oil glands to function properly, biotin ensures that your skin is hydrated, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The reason that so many people now turn to gel or acrylic nail enhancements is because they find that their own nails are brittle and break easily. Again, biotin can come to the rescue on that. If you find that your nails are weak, then taking in enough biotin on a daily basis can thicken your nails by up to 25 percent. This makes them stronger and less likely to break, meaning that you can forego the falsies and flaunt your natural nails instead.
And, like we already know from looking at biotin’s role in hair growth, this B vitamin helps to produce keratin, which our nails are also made of. So ensuring you get enough biotin can not only make your nails stronger, but longer too.
How to get enough biotin
There are some biotin-rich foods that you can try to incorporate into your diet, such as eggs, avocado, salmon, nuts and banana. However, the easiest way to make sure you get enough is to take biotin supplements.
The recommended daily intake of biotin is 30 micrograms per day and while the benefits are clear when hitting this target, it doesn’t then translate that double the biotin means double the benefits. If you continually exceed this limit then the excess amount of the vitamin in your body can decrease the amount of vitamin B5 in your intestines, leading to skin problems such as acne.
While it’s important to make sure your body gets all the vitamins that it needs, remember that recommendations on daily intakes are there for a reason and if you manage to hit that 30 micrograms a day then you should notice healthier hair, skin and nails without the need to exceed it.