OPINION

Skin-care supplements: do the claims stack up?

By Judy Buttriss

- Last updated on GMT

Buttriss: ‘Claims on oral skin care supplements must comply with European regulations’
Buttriss: ‘Claims on oral skin care supplements must comply with European regulations’

Related tags: Nutrition

Skin appearance is often viewed as an indicator of health, vitality and youthfulness.

Skin care products are big business in the cosmetics world, but more recently, the market for orally-ingested supplements hinting at beautiful, youthful skin has been blossoming.

A paper in Nutrition Bulletin​, online this month, explores the evidence for such claims.

Like all nutritional and health claims made on foods, drinks and dietary supplements in the UK, claims on oral skin care supplements must comply with European regulations, meaning that they are supported by rigorous scientific evidence and must not mislead the consumer.

The only approved skin-related claims

Currently, the only skin-related claims on the approved European list concern the contribution of some vitamins (A, C and some B vitamins), iodine and zinc to the maintenance of normal skin.

These nutrients are often used alongside a range of other trendy plant extracts and ingredients, as diverse as seed oils, green tea extracts, plant polyphenols and probiotics.

To date, applications for skin health claims for these non-nutrients have been unsuccessful.

The paper provides insight about the authorisation requirements and the shortcomings of the current evidence base, and throws a spotlight on some areas of promise.

  • Professor Judy Buttriss is director general of the British Nutrition Foundation

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