However, if you’re popping pills to support the health of your integumentary system, you may be doing it wrong. Let’s talk prenatal vitamins, for starters. You’ve probably heard the rumors that taking these supplements, even when you’re not pregnant or trying to conceive, can do wonders for your mane, make your skin glow and strengthen your nails. Perhaps, thinking back to how great your pregnancy hair looked, you’ve invested in a bottle. However, before you buy into this beauty myth, beware what the experts have to say on the matter.
Furthermore, according to the Mayo Clinic, "During pregnancy, the recommended intake of iron is 27 milligrams a day. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 who aren't pregnant need only 18 mg a day, and women age 51 and older and all adult men need only 8 mg a day." The average prenatal vitamin contains far more iron than the average woman needs. A surplus of iron can be toxic to the body, causing constipation, nausea, vomiting, and in very extreme cases, death.
To top it off, biotin occurs naturally in many foods. Our bodies automatically recycle the biotin we’ve already processed. Actual biotin deficiency is very, very rare. Biotin overdose (which is also rather uncommon) can result in “slower release of insulin, skin rashes, lower vitamin C and B6 levels and high blood sugar levels,” according to Stuart. Long story short, the biotin you intake naturally (if you follow a healthy diet) is more than sufficient, so don’t waste your hard-earned cash on pills.
The smartest way to nourish your hair, skin and nails is to follow a diet full of vitamins E, A, C and B, minerals like zinc and iron, and more.
Sure, everything changes once you become a mom, but that doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Elizabeth Street, an international collective of mothers who understand what it’s like to do everything one-handed, is here to help you discover everything from the newest green-friendly beauty products to the chicest home decor ideas — whether you’re raising a little one or not.