With so many nutritional supplements on the market today, it can be difficult to choose the best delivery vehicle. For some, a pill or capsule can provide a quick and easy way to get results while others prefer adding a scoop of powder to their morning smoothies. Wallace Nelson, ND, CEO of M’lis, recommends choosing products that focus on digestibility.
“Many nutritionals are packaged in tough to digest forms like tablets, which oftentimes don’t break down in the body," says Nelson. "Seeking out products made with high-quality ingredients that are delivered as powders, non-gelatin V Caps, or soft gels produce the best results"
Here, our experts share some things to keep in mind when choosing a supplement:
- “It isn’t that easy to tell from reading labels, unfortunately. If you’re really curious, do your research online with independent parties that test efficacy and cleanliness of supplements, or ask a functional medicine doctor for brands they recommend.”—Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder and CEO, Moon Juice
- “Supplements are not regulated in the same way as foods. It’s not until there is an adverse event that the ‘red flag’ is raised and a product is formally tested or a factory is inspected. The responsibility is very much with the consumer to police their products for safety and their brands for reputability. As a baseline, I recommend products that are third-party tested and certified for purity and potency and developed in facilities recognized for upholding good manufacturing practices. From there, I often encourage products that are free of synthetic additives and unnecessary excipients, such as preservatives, colorings, fillers, and more; organic and non-GMO whenever possible or to the greatest degree possible; and ethically and sustainably sourced and produced.”—Eve Persak, resident dietitian, Como Shambhala (multiple locations)
- “The development research and ingredient potency are much higher in a professional line than with a consumer-level product, which results in a much more effective outcome. Spa professionals know that a professional skincare line is the only choice for use in-spa and would never use a retail or direct marketing brand on their clients. Supplements are the same, and possibly of even more importance, because they are ingested.”—Wallace Nelson, ND, CEO, M’lis
- “Look for total transparency. Where are the supplements manufactured? Is the supplier readily available to answer questions? Has the spa been educated in efficacy and usage? Looking at a list of ingredients doesn’t always tell you very much, but reading reviews and asking questions can tell you a lot.”—Jane Iredale, founder and president, Jane Iredale
- “Look for innovation. Skin vitamins and probiotics aren’t doing much to address the imbalances we face from environmental pollutants that age us. Search for products that target the specific causes, and you can then get measurable results. We need to move away from taking products that reportedly are beneficial, but you never know because the results are nebulous.”—Ben Johnson, M.D., founder and formulator, Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare