Sunday, 9 October 2011

Blackmores Nails, Hair and Skin supplements – a review

When I was offered the chance to trial Blackmores Nails, Hair and Skin supplements, I was pretty keen to say yes. I keep my skin care routine simple, and while I love make up and lotions and potions, I don't expect that much from most of them. I think good skin, hair and nails comes so much from what you eat, and not just what you put on them.

I eat pretty well (and I am a great believer in a little of what you fancy doing you good, too!) and, after a recent doctor's check up, I know my vitamin levels are good. I sometimes take iron and Vitamin D tablets to keep things tickety boo, but I am also wary of going too far; I think getting carried away on vitamins just gives you expensive pee.

That said, I have always wanted to try this kind of vitamin supplement, but I’ve always hesitated and then put the bottle back on the shelf. It's quite a lot of money for something not instantly fun, or tangible… such as shoes, for example! There are no guarantees they'll work. And twice a day for, well, it can take "... up to 12 weeks" to see any difference… that’s a long time to wait. What if I don’t even remember to take them..?!

But the one reason – the only reason, really – I’ve been wanting to try a skin, hair and nails (let’s save my fingers and call it an shn!) supplement, for some time now, is simple. I know two women, both of whom, like me, have celebrated their 30th birthday, who have the most beautiful skin. Great hair and nails, too. But it’s their great skin that really sticks in my mind. They both take an shn supplement.

And while I know that good skin has a lot to do with good genetics, anything that helps is a good thing!

My skin is not too bad, but it’s far from perfect. My hair is pretty good, despite its constant mistreatment. It’s my nails that need all the help they can get.

I naturally have very thin, brittle nails. I look after them (and my hands) and use a good hand cream several times a day, but while they grow pretty quickly, they break very easily. My mum had amazingly strong nails. So much for genetics, then! Over the past few months my nails have taken an absolute battering – sanding, painting, and general diy is not good for hands! – and winter always wrecks them, anyway.

So it was my nails where I was really hoping to see results.

I decided the best way to do this trial justice was to photograph the progress once a week – give or take a day or two! – for six weeks, and then show you!

nails w1

So, week one: this is the first day I start taking the tablets. Look at my poor nails. Dreadful. Dry and splitting and short. Sanding floorboards does not help matters. Halp!

nails w2

Week two: Masking tape application and removal, more sanding, painting. I’ve taken two tablets a day, and my nails are the same as before.

nails w3

Week three: same same. I keep filing them down to get rid of the splits. No point in longer nails if they aren’t perfect. Still no improvement. I know it’s meant to take a while, but I’m getting over it. Remind myself to be patient.

nails w4

Week four: staining the floorboards. My nails are still short, but they are in much better condition. It’s only now I start to think there may be a change happening, but I can’t be sure. Maybe I am just paying them more attention?

nails w5

Week five: for the first time, I think there is a definite improvement. My nails are less dry, and aren’t breaking so easily. Really pleased! It’s good for motivating me to keep up with the tablets, which I only sometimes forget to take..! Fig jam in a pretty jar gives me a good opportunity to take a picture.

nails w6

Week six: my nails are actually nice. Even after some digging in the herb garden and replanting some mint! I haven’t worn much nail varnish at all over the last six weeks, to really give my nails a chance to improve. They are now longer, healthy, and harder to bend. Yay!

nails z

Week seven: after six weeks of tablet taking, my nails were looking great… and I went and jammed my hand in a door and broke off the middle one! Ha! Bad timing, bad language... But, reduced middle nail aside, there is a huge improvement. My nails have never been this good. Even my loved one, who was very skeptical to begin with, is super impressed.

So, now what?
I can honestly say I found these tablets have made a HUGE difference to my nails, and I am going to keep taking them. Apparently it can take around 3 months to really see results, and I want to see how good they will be! I am genuinely surprised at the difference so far, though.

***It should go without saying, but any review I do on here will ALWAYS be completely honest.***


Sarah said...

Hmm... this seems promising, my nails too have been going through a hectic winter cycle. However I'm a bit concerned that the improvement you're seeing is not because of the tablets but because you've been also taking a break from the polish (which alone could be responsible for the difference).
I'd really like to believe there's some difference, because I'd adore glowing skin. Did you find a difference with your hair or skin?

Esz said...

Ooh thank you for the honest review - and for taking the time to do a good, lengthy trial.

I've always been a bit hesitant about supplements for the same reason as you. But to know they actually work is awesome.
My nails are pretty good by themselves - but nailpolish kills them so I rarely paint them. And lately the sewing has been hard on my hands - you wouldn't think it's such a dangerous hobby! But I'm constantly steaming my hands with the iron and all that touching fabric makes them dry. Not to mention the frequent painful stabbing of pins (often UNDER my nails - ow!)....these tablets could help out I think.

I know you weren't testing for it, but did you notice any improvement in hair and skin too?

esme and the lane way said...

Sarah: you're right, they could have imprved because I wasn't painting my nails, but I have been painting them up a storm and am still taking the tablets, and I can do a review in about a month (making it 6 weeks of tablets and nail polish!) and see where they're at? My hair is already super shiny (even under all that dye!) and I guess it's only grown a cm or so since I started taking it, and I personally don't believe that tablets can help existing hair – but I could be wrong! My skin is better on my upper arms – I even had a line in my post about it but took it out, because I get a bit embarrassed about my dodgy arm skin sometimes!

Esz: oh I know just what you mean about fabric being drying when you are always in contact with it! And irons and needles... ouch! As I said above, my hair is already pretty good (albeit dyed, ha!) but my skin has seen some improvements, that might or might not be to do with the tablets... I should mention my skin in hair in the final review :)

Blithely Unaware said...

I am so skeptical of things like this. Back in the day I sold supplements that did the aforementioned in the pharmacy I worked in.... never have I ever tried them myself.

Please let us know how you go once you start wearing the polish again.

I guess it doesn't hurt to give them a go! Maybe I'll do an experiment too!!


esme and the lane way said...

Blithely Unaware: hehe me too, and I didn't want to overstate my optimism and then turn around and be overly enthusiastic because that would be so cheesy. But yep, two skeptics have been converted here. I will definitely review again after much nail varnish wearing. At the moment I have a red and purple mani-pedi! x

Louise, Raspberries In Winter said...

These sound great! I've never had any problems with my nails but my mother's have always been terribly weak, I'll have to recommend this to her.

Emma Robertson said...

Ohh, I actually have horrid nails and this is quite interesting. I'll have to look into more. Thanks for the review.


Mara said...

I might start taking an shn suppliment, because my skin and nails are in dire need of help. And even when I'm eating well and exercising and taking good care of my skin, it breaks out. And then there's my nails, which are like yours were!
It's nice to see someone actually do something like this for six weeks and see those results so that I'm not just taking tablets and waiting without any idea whether they'll work or not!

The Mint Palace said...

Fantastic review!! I've been keen to try these out for a while now so I think I might give myself a vitamin present next payday... ;)

Miss Tallulah Porkchop said...


I've looked at this brand and this type of supplement a million times, yet never purchased. I've just needed someone I know to try them and tell me what they think. Thank you for your honesty. I have a few (and a few more) years on you and I need all the help I can get!

esme and the lane way said...

‪Louise, Raspberries In Winter‬: Cool. I'd like to know if they make a difference to other people too!

‪Emma Robertson‬ : hope it helps a bit. I will do another review after a few weeks of nail varnish wearing, we'll see how the currently good nails fare :)

‪Mara‬ : let me know how you go! I can't say the skin on my face is perfect yet (not by a long way!) but I think skin and hair must take even longer than nails..?! Good luck! x

‪The Mint Palace‬ : thanks! It is a lot of money, isn't it. I do wish they were cheaper!

bespokehome said...

Flaxseed oil, taking orally, is also really good for hair. Elevit (pre-natal vitamins) are also excellent for hair and nails, as you can imagine. Almost worth taking even without any intention of becoming pregnant!

witch hare said...

Looks interesting. I have a nightmare trying to maintain my nails at a similar length, so this might be worth trying.

Kerry said...

Thanks so much for this Esme.
I have hideously bad iron levels so regularly take Blackmores iron supplements which I find to help to keep my energy levels up - when I remember to take them!

I've hovered over shn supplements a million times, but more because of my hair. It's incredibly thin, breaks easily and grows painfully slowly. So if you do return to this review I too would love to know if you've noticed any improvement - although it's hard to improve upon gorgeous, shiny locks like yours!

esme and the lane way said...

bespokehome: oh I have heard that about pre-natal vitamins before. I might have to try them if they work out to be cheaper! x

witch hare: yeah, my nails are often different lengths too! I'll see how they go over the next month or so :) Good luck with yours! x

Kerry: will do – but my hair is stupidly healthy already. In fact, I am quite sure it leaches the goodness out of my skin and nails, haha! :D Good luck with your hair x

Anonymous said...

Hello! Just wondering if you've continued using the tablets. I've been taking them for three weeks now. Can't say I've seen a difference yet...

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