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Love Your Skin: My Top 3 Supplements for Skin Health

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and love is in the air! At this time of year, we (especially women!)  often start to look at our skin and wonder how we can help our skin be healthier.  While there are a whole host of topical products aimed at healthy skin, supporting skin cells from the inside out is equally, if not more important.  This post is going to be quick but if you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. I have quite the to-do list with my upcoming teaching at Cedarville, and I wanted to get this to you while it is on my mind. Also, I finally feel like my probiotic post series is at a good place and I will be starting to put out that content in the next few weeks during my busy season of the year.  I am very thankful for awesome pharmacy student researchers that have helped me prep those. The data on probiotics is massive! In the midst of my busy teaching season comes 2 work-trips and 3 birthdays in this house to celebrate in March! It’s pretty much Christmas Round 2 here! Stay warm wherever you are, in Ohio we are dreaming of spring!

Dr. Hartzler

Here we go.. My top 3 supplements for glowing skin!

  1. Collagen: Collagen peptides (CPs) are the broken down product of collagen or gelatin and they are used as important active components because of their various biological activities, good absorption, and low side effects.1
    1. One study of women aged 40-60 found 1,000 mg (1 Gram) of collagen peptides to improve hydration, elasticity and appearance of wrinkles in 12 weeks. Hydration differences were seen after just six weeks.2
    2. Another study of women aged 35-55 found 2.5 to 5 grams of collagen daily significantly improved skin elasticity compared to placebo. There was improved skin moisture and skin evaporation, however those did not reach statistical significance.3
    3. Bonus: Collagen has also been shown to improve Brittle Nails4 and shown improvement in bone building!5

My favorite Collagen Product is Vital Proteins.  There have options for marine based products as well as products from animal sources. In addition there are other various options you can find in my FullScript Store.

  1. Lyciumbarbarum (also known as Goji Berry and wolfberries): This fruit has long been recognized in traditional Chinese medicine for various therapeutic properties based on its antioxidant and immune-modulating effects. Lycium barbarum polysaccharide (LBP), the most biologically active fraction of wolfberry, possesses significant antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects on multiple tissues.6
    1. A study on human cells showed that the antioxidant LBP could partially protect against UVB irradiation-induced photodamage through activation of specific pathways and reducing DNA damage.6
    2. In a study in mice, antioxidant activity in the skin was demonstrated by the significant protection of 5% goji juice against lipid peroxidation (AKA damage) induced by UVA radiation.
    3. Bonus: the antioxidant properties of this plant extend way beyond the skin.8

Many of you know one of my favorite places to get Wolfberries.  You can find products with this compound over at Young Living in various products.  If you haven’t started your journey with YL yet, I’d love to help you get started. My team has a host of resources to set your wellness journey up for success.

  1. Vitamin C: Last but not least is Vitamin C. Who doesn’t love Vitamin C. For one it’s cheap! Secondly, it is a powerhouse antioxidant. Normal skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C, which supports important and well-known functions, stimulating collagen synthesis and assisting in antioxidant protection against UV-induced photo damage.9
    1. Vitamin C promotes collagen formation, and we already know how good collagen is!9
    2. “Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize and remove oxidants, such as those found in environmental pollutants and after exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This activity appears to be of particular importance in the epidermis, where vitamin C is concentrated in the skin.”9
    3. One study with men aged 30–45 given oral supplement of 54 mg or 22 mg of vit. C, 28 mg tomato extract, 27 mg grape seed extract, 210 mg of marine complex, 4 mg zinc gluconate for 180 days showed improvement in redness, hydration, radiance, and overall appearance. The treatment group decreased intensity of general skin spots, UV spots, and brown spots, improved skin texture and appearance of pores. Biopsies showed increased collagen (43%–57%) and elastin (20%–31%). This study was a mix of antioxidants, unfortunately there haven’t been a large # of human clinical trials with vitamin C alone. So mix it in with your regimen! 10

That’s a wrap.. treat yourself to good-nutrition to support your skin this valentine’s day, I would love to help you find products that fit not only your skin needs but optimize your health and wellbeing too! If you are shopping for these or any supplements please check out my limks on the blog and know that 10% of revenue on this blog goes to support amazing ministries! You know where to find me on Facebook and Instagram if you have questions.

Also know that you are Loved by your Creator this Valentines Day.. if you want to know about this more too.. I’d love to chat over coffee or virtual coffee. 🙂

As always, the information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge and education only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Head over to this page if you have further questions about that.


  1. Song H, Zhang S, Zhang L, Li B. Effect of Orally Administered Collagen Peptides from Bovine Bone on Skin Aging in Chronologically Aged Mice.Nutrients. 2017;9(11). doi:10.3390/nu9111209.
  2. Kim D-U, Chung H-C, Choi J, Sakai Y, Lee B-Y. Oral Intake of Low-Molecular-Weight Collagen Peptide Improves Hydration, Elasticity, and Wrinkling in Human Skin: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Nutrients. 2018;10(7). doi:10.3390/nu10070826.
  3. Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin Pharmacology And Physiology. 2014;27(1):47-55. doi:10.1159/000351376.
  4. Hexsel D, Zague V, Schunck M, Siega C, Camozzato FO, Oesser S. Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails.Journal Of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2017;16(4):520-526. doi:10.1111/jocd.12393.
  5. König D, Oesser S, Scharla S, Zdzieblik D, Gollhofer A. Specific Collagen Peptides Improve Bone Mineral Density and Bone Markers in Postmenopausal Women-A Randomized Controlled Study.Nutrients. 2018;10(1). doi:10.3390/nu10010097.
  6. Li H, Li Z, Peng L, et al. Lycium barbarum polysaccharide protects human keratinocytes against UVB-induced photo-damage.Free Radical Research. 2017;51(2):200-210. doi:10.1080/10715762.2017.1294755.
  7. Reeve VE, Allanson M, Arun SJ, Domanski D, Painter N. Mice drinking goji berry juice (Lycium barbarum) are protected from UV radiation-induced skin damage via antioxidant pathways.Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences: Official Journal Of The European Photochemistry Association And The European Society For Photobiology. 2010;9(4):601-607. doi:10.1039/b9pp00177h.
  8. Gao Y, Wei Y, Wang Y, Gao F, Chen Z. Lycium Barbarum: A Traditional Chinese Herb and A Promising Anti-Aging Agent.Aging And Disease. 2017;8(6):778-791. doi:10.14336/AD.2017.0725.
  9. Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.Nutrients. 2017;9(8). doi:10.3390/nu9080866
  10. Costa A, Pegas Pereira ES, Assumpção EC, Calixto Dos Santos FB, Ota FS, de Oliveira Pereira M, Fidelis MC, Fávaro R, Barros Langen SS, Favaro de Arruda LH, Abildgaard EN. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015; 8():319-28.


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