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Supplements and Skin

By: BettyLou McIntosh and Flo McRae
Posted: May 30, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Contraindications. Generally, there are no contraindications for supplements designed for the skin, although certain vitamin A supplements can be contraindicated for some clients. Recommended skin care professionals should be trained in how to detect and deal with contraindications. Pregnancy and lactation are two contraindications that most training programs will name. Also, as always in the treatment room, when recommending any nutritional supplements and topical skin care products, a client under a physician’s care must inform their physician and gain approval for the products’ use. A thorough new client sheet and client health alerts on their records should aid a skin care professional in gathering important information, as well as asking the ongoing question, “Has anything changed with your health since I last saw you?”


Estheticians using the combination therapy approach are excited about the results. Josh Maniscalco, lead medical esthetician at the office of Gervais Fechette, MD,
New York, says he will never go back to the old way of treating clients. “It’s changed the way I perceive skin care,” says Maniscalco. Supplements fly off the shelves because of the physician’s endorsement of their benefits, as well as the education Maniscalco provides. But, best of all, with this topical, professional and nutritional synergy of care, the results are obvious, says Maniscalco.

Urszula Targonski, esthetician, Ici Paris, Peachtree City, Georgia, says supplements improve skin conditions noticeably for her clients. “As soon as they try them, they see the improvement and come back for more,” she says.

“Every client is a potential purchaser of supplements and we must take the time to recommend to them, to aid them in healing and health. Our society doesn’t eat correctly due to the abundance of available processed food. This diet produces acidity in the body that leads to disease, and the supplements change that,” says Lena Zaliukaite, esthetician, Abramson Facial Plastic Surgery, Atlanta.

Benefits of supplementation

Taking skin-specific supplements can result in many positive skin changes, such as:

  • Supplementation can stimulate circulation and prevent blotchiness.
  • Antioxidants combat free radical cell damage, soothe the skin and calm irritation.
  • Supplementation can diminish wrinkles, and promote tone and firmness.
  • Improve the glow and appearance of healthy skin, hair and nails.