I Gave My Skin-Care Routine a Total Overhaul Without Touching a Beauty Product—Here’s How I Did It

I'm all for living that #nofilter life, but considering the number of searches for "better skin" Google gets in a day, I don't think I'm alone in wanting to improve my IRL complexion.

For me, step one was getting rid of my acne, which I did thanks to improved gut health and jane iredale's Skin Accumax® supplements. Step two? Giving my now-clear skin a smoother, glowier appearance.

In my quest to turn my complexion into a real-life Snapchat filter, the one thing I wanted to avoid was adding a hundred products to my skin-care routine. (It's well-documented that I'm a less-is-more kind of gal.) So instead of loading my medicine cabinet with new moisturizers and masks, I decided to try Advanced Nutrition Programme's Skin Ultimate—one of the newest skin-care supplements from jane iredale.

Before I started taking it (the skeptical journalist in me means I always do my homework), I got the lowdown from Hannah Hatcher, global educator and supplements education manager at jane iredale. She shared that Skin Ultimate was designed to hydrate and plump skin, even skin tone, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and increase hair and nail growth—in a way that topical products can't deliver.

"Topically, our skin can absorb about 60 percent of what is applied on its surface," Hatcher explains. "By taking oral skin-care supplements, highly active skin-care ingredients will travel through the bloodstream and feed the deep layers, therefore truly reinforcing or 'power boosting' your topical skin-care regimen."

So what's in this power-boosted stuff? The jane iredale team identified five essential elements for the ultimate (hence the name) skin-care supplement routine: vitamin A, antioxidants, CoQ10, omegas, and a combo of biotin and astaxanthin. But would it actually beat out the 12-step beauty routines the other editors in my office swear by? I decided to try it to find out.

Keep reading to find out how the skin-care supplements worked for my complexion—plus learn the benefits of each one.

Skin Vitamin A

I'm turning 26 soon, so I've just started taking more care to add youth-boosting ingredients to my skin-care routine. Hatcher says that's exactly what Skin Vitamin A is designed to do. But unlike topical retinols (which usually dry out my skin and make me break out), the combo of vitamins A and D gently improve skin cell growth to get that just-left-the-spa effect without any harsh side effects.

As a bonus, the formula also helps with oily scalp (a hair concern that's annoyed me since grade school). I didn't notice a drastic difference after my 28-day trial period, but anything that can help me cut down on my dry shampoo consumption over time, I'm totally here for.

Skin Antioxidant

Antioxidants are the ticket to that naturally airbrushed skin I'm after, and this formula uses loads of natural ingredients to deliver them. Beta-carotene, bilberry fruit, turmeric, grapeseed extract, green tea extract, lutein, and lycopene work together to protect against free radicals—which are skin-health enemy number one, but can also be damaging to color-treated hair. Who knew my blond highlights were suffering more abuse than just me raking my brush through them?

Skin Omegas

If free radicals are the nemesis of healthy skin, inflammation and dryness are their evil sidekicks—and that's what omega-3 and omega-6 battle against by delivering mega doses of hydration.

Hatcher told me I may start seeing improved hydration, specifically in my hands, in as little as 10 days, and she was right. Normally I reach for the bottle of hand cream stashed in my desk drawer at least five times a day, but I noticed by the end of the month that I was only lotioning up once per day, if at all. Soft hands and preserved manicures, FTW.

Skin Asta-Boost

Speaking of manicures, the algae-derived astaxanthin and biotin in Skin Asta-Boost help improve keratin infrastructure in the body, reportedly leading to stronger nails, thicker hair, and smoother skin.

To put those nail-strengthening properties to the test, I refrained from cutting my nails for the whole 28-day trial. To my surprise, not one of them broke, despite taking a beating during weight-lifting sessions, horseback riding, and swimming.

Skin CoQ10

CoEnzyme Q10 is another terrific antioxidant, Hatcher explains, but it's special because it encourages collagen production, which is responsible for the plumped-up look of a dewy complexion.

"Collagen needs to be bio-identical, meaning it needs to be your collagen to replace lost collagen," Hatcher explains. Since collagen naturally starts to break down with age, you're better off encouraging your body to produce more of it, rather than supplementing with plant- or animal-based collagen (which does not immediately replace or regrow your own personal stash, Hatcher says).

I'm a firm believer (no pun intended) in the benefits of collagen production, and could see the glow-boosted difference in my skin after just a few weeks. Now I'm ready for my closeup—sans filter.

In partnership with jane iredale - THE SKINCARE MAKEUP

Photos: jane iredale

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