More Than Skin Deep

When topical skincare products don't cut it, these ingestible capsules and drinks can help nourish our skin from inside out.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

While the skincare industry is focused on treating our skin from the outside in, there’s no disputing that what goes into our bodies – or doesn’t – also plays a part in how we look day-to-day.

You can consume all the smoothie bowls, bone broth and turmeric shots you like, but you still might be lacking the nutrients you need for boosting beautification. It’s what the makers of the new breed of nutritional supplements are betting on, blending the words of wellness and beauty into easily poppable pills and tasty drinks cased in hip packaging, and just as likely to be available at discerning cosmetics counters.

Aiming to deliver youthful, radiant and resilient skin, as well as lush locks, there are many supplements that have people raving about their effects – although it has to be said that there are few large-scale clinical trials to back up the appealing claims, and we all know a quick-fix miracle pill doesn’t exist as much as we might wish it did.

But if you’re willing to give them a go, many of these often tasty oral supplements may go some way towards making up for any nutritional shortfall in your diet that could be having an impact on the health of your skin or the growth of your hair. 

TIP: Be careful of herbs and botanicals in supplements as they may interact with other medications. 

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What are beauty supplements?

Supplements are made up of vitamins, minerals and high-quality extracts designed to improve your skin and/or hair, either directly or as an added bonus alongside other health and wellness benefits.


The main structural protein that supports our skin is kind of a big deal in supplements right now and can have bovine or marine origins. It doesn’t sound appetising, but it’s easily absorbed and has good bioavailability, meaning your body can readily use it.

According to Ema Harrison of Nutra Organics, taking a collagen supplement doesn’t mean you’re adding more to your stores – you’re providing your body with the tools to make more of its own.

“Our skin is made of over 75 per cent collagen, which starts to degenerate in our 20s. This is also accelerated by lifestyle factors, like sun exposure, poor diet, hormones, smoking and alcohol. When we take a collagen supplement, the body doesn’t assimilate the collagen we ingest, but rather it works as a signalling protein, increasing our own collagen production to promote youthful radiance, positively influence the skin’s structure, counteract ageing, reduce cellulite, improve the skin’s appearance and smooth it from within.” Another major wellness trend tips gut health as the crucial factor behind a myriad of issues – one of them being our skin’s appearance. The gut is largely where our immune system resides and is where over 70 per cent of our serotonin is made. Collagen provides the natural building blocks to restore and repair the gut lining, keeping our immune system strong and increasing our overall well-being. 

FACT: A miracle pill doesn’t exist, but some of the next-gen beauty supplements may go towards assisting nutritional shortfalls in your diet. 


We take a look at some of the most popular supplements on the market… 

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ASTALIFT White Shield Drink, $60 (7 x 50 ml).

This beauty drink from ASTALIFT is loaded with 1,200 mg of vitamin C and 4 mg of Nano Astaxanthin to perk up a dull and tired complexion. Enjoy its refreshing flavours of lemon and peach, while brightening your skin from the inside out. 

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Crystal Tomato, $175 (30 tablets).

Containing carotenoids – a type of potent antioxidant– derived from a unique breed of white tomatoes, this dietary supplement is scientifically tested to improve skin radiance, as well as texture and tone. 

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Swisse Ultiboost Golden Collagen Blood Orange Liquid, $39 (7 x 30 ml).

Reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and maintain healthy nails with the aid of this rich blood orange flavoured drink. Rich in vitamin C, this citrus-flavoured drink also contains hydrolysed collagen which has been clinically proven to support skin elasticity and sustain its appearance, helping you achieve radiant and healthy skin. 

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SOFINA iP Chlorogenic Acids Beauty Supplement, $60 (10 x 100 ml).

Rejuvenate yourself and your skin with this fruity-flavoured drink from Japan. Purified chlorogenic acids help to strengthen the skin and regulate blood flow to improve circulation. Best taken before your beauty sleep, so you wake up feeling refreshed with glowing skin. 

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Sulwhasoo Invigorating Ginseng Extract Ampoule, $198 (28 x 20 ml).

Overtime, constantly sitting in the office can lead to slower blood circulation and increase fatigue. Strengthen and replenish your body’s energy with this revitalising ginseng infused drink from Sulwhasoo. Formulated with red ginseng and ginseng berry extracts, this drink works to promote blood circulation and helps your skin achieve a healthy flush. 

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RE:ERTH Phytobright, $105, (90 capsules).

Environmental aggressors such as UV rays and airborne pollution can cause uneven skin tones and dark spots. These capsules help to reduce the formation of hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanin synthesis and surpressing cellular inflammation caused by UV rays. It also contains L-Cystine, which brightens the skin tone. 

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LANEIGE Youth Collagen Drink, $150 (30 x 25 ml).

This collagen drink contains naturally-occuring amino acid GABA, which encourages deep relaxation at night to boost the skin’s recovery process. Coupled with fish collagen peptides and fruit extracts, it also hydrates and enhances skin renewal. 

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ORBIS Collagen Re Force, $56, (10 x 50 ml).

This fruity beauty drink contains lemon balm extract which helps encourage the body to break down damaged collagen and stimulate the production of new collagen, increasing overall collagen supply. Long pepper extract in this drink also helps to protect blood vessels, ensuring smooth collagen delivery. 

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IDS Lyco White, $168 (90 capsules).

Strengthen the skin’s ability to defend against harmful UV radiation with this supplement. Containing the patented ingredient, phytofloral, these capsules also help to even out the skin tone to achieve a healthier, brighter complexion. 

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Kinohimitsu Collagen Diamond, $29.90 (3 x 50 ml).

Containing 5,300 mg of collagen peptide, this collagen drink helps replenish lost collagen throughout the day. The shorter molecular structure within the formula, absorbs quickly into the body to help reduce signs of ageing. 

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Heliocare Pure White Radiance, $148 (60 capsules).

From the brand that introduced the first oral sunblock, this beauty supplement contains the brand’s trademark Fernblock Technology, it encourages powerful anti-oxidant activity to aid in slowing the skin’s ageing process while stimulating collagen production.