As a beauty professional, it’s up to you to stay in the know about the best skin care products for your clients. While natural and botanical product lines have their place in the full spectrum of offerings, the industry seems to be trending back toward “tru” science, seeking the value of evidence-based expertise, not just influence.
Important strides are being made in bringing more of these evidence-based, science-backed products to market, introducing us to new terminology and ingredients that might sound familiar in different contexts. One such compound is nitric oxide (N-O), and you can find sports supplements that promote nitric oxide production to improve exercise performance. It’s promoted in high-performance supplements for good reason; it’s absolutely critical for our body’s overall health and wellness.
Now, nitric oxide is making its way into the world of nutricosmetics, science-based nutritional supplements designed to deliver beauty and healthy aging benefits. The fact that nitric oxide’s discovery as a “miracle molecule” won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1998 — plus the fact that our bodies’ nitric oxide production declines as we age — should make our ears perk up in interest.
What exactly is nitric oxide?
Nitric oxide is a key messenger molecule in the cardiovascular system that works as a vasodilator, signaling blood vessels to relax and expand, while increasing blood flow and oxygenation. Numerous PubMed studies reveal that without the proper levels of nitric oxide in the body, it does not heal properly.
Why does nitric oxide work?
Nitric oxide works because as a vasodilator, it helps widen blood vessels and increase the delivery of nutrients to our hair, nails, and skin — our bodies’ largest organ. As a beauty professional, you know that blood flow is vital to achieving healthier skin and greater nutrient uptake, and increased blood circulation helps you look and feel better.
What are the benefits of nitric oxide in the body?
It might be better to consider what nitric oxide can’t do. Nitric oxide gives our bodies a big bang for its buck with some of the below benefits. We’ll examine the benefits to hair and skin further in this article.
- Increases energy production
- Reverses aging effects
- Enhances memory and cognitive function
- Increases nutrient uptake
- Aids in wound healing and cellular repair
- Increases performance and endurance
- Enhances oxygen flow
- Increases blood flow to organs
With so many positive attributes, it’s natural to wonder if there are any negative side effects to nitric oxide production and supplementation. Nitric oxide supplements are generally safe when taken in the recommended amounts. Some studies have shown that L-arginine, an amino acid that can boost nitric oxide production, can cause upset stomach and diarrhea when taken in high doses.
How do we obtain nitric oxide?
With all the benefits our bodies get from nitric oxide, we’re sure you’re wondering how we can obtain it and put it to work for us. The good news is that our bodies naturally produce nitric oxide. The bad news is, as we mentioned earlier, nitric oxide production declines as we age. By the time we reach 40 years of age, studies have shown that we only produce about half or less of the nitric oxide we did at age 20. There’s also a difference when it comes to gender: By 40, men produce about 50% of the nitric oxide they did in their teens and 20s. Women, however, at age 50 only produce about 35% of what they did in their 20s.
Yet, our ability to produce and generate nitric oxide within the body is a key element of a healthy body. This means we must have an effective strategy to maintain optimal levels of nitric oxide as we age.
Our bodies generate nitric oxide in three ways:
- Plant-based diet. The easiest and best way to increase nitric oxide production is through a healthy nitrate-rich plant-based eating plan. Foods entering the GI tract are naturally converted into nitric oxide during the digestion process.
- Exercise. Physical exercise is the most potent stimulator of nitric oxide production and is considered one of the top strategies for supporting overall cardiovascular health.
- Nitric oxide supplementation. An enzyme known as nitric oxide synthase (NOS) synthesizes nitric oxide by combining oxygen with the amino acid L-arginine.
How does nitric oxide benefit our hair?
When you think about how nitric oxide dilates delivery pathways, it stands to reason that it can deliver needed nutrients to the parts of our bodies furthest from the heart — including our hair. As we might expect, nitric oxide has been shown to promote faster hair growth and reduce hair loss.
Preclinical studies showed nitric oxide (N-O) significantly promoted hair follicle formation and growth, and induced changes in the skin to increase the number of hair follicles. It also stimulated follicle stem cell development and regeneration — as well as hair shaft elongation and accelerated hair growth rate.
What about nitric oxide benefits to the skin?
As a vasodilator, nitric oxide has been shown to enhance skin quality, including fine lines, wrinkles, pores, and pigmentation. It can also assist in the reduction of active acne and aid in the appearance of mild to moderate scarring.
This is an exciting prospect because utilized consistently, nitric oxide supplementation combined with a skincare routine can dramatically improve skin vasculature (blood supply). It can also assist with your skin’s dermal microcirculation, found in the skin’s dermis and hypodermis layers. Both play a significant role in the skin’s homeostasis. It can also increase proteins and amino acids — the molecular building blocks for skin repair and collagen.
Nitric oxide can also help reduce inflammation and increase moisture and barrier functions of the skin. One topical nitric oxide serum treatment was shown to aid in minimizing scar formation.
What is the best nitric oxide supplementation?
We think one of the best nitric oxide supplementation offerings on the market today is our nitric oxide supplement line: TruBeauty Science for licensed professionals, and Ultimate Beauty for retail customers.
Our supplements utilize the body’s nitric-oxide pathway to deliver a uniquely synergistic combination of natural ingredients. And, these ingredients help support the body’s ability to produce nitric oxide and absorb essential nutrients that help stimulate beauty from within.
Our supplement line includes:
REJUVENATION, a powerful daily nitric oxide-boosting multivitamin that helps you feel better, younger, or more vital from the inside out. It supports healthy aging, blood flow, vitality, skin, hair, and nails.
RECOVERY, a “collagen activator” that boosts the activation of natural collagen from the inside out. It also supports healthy skin, connective tissue, post-workout and post-surgery support, bone and eye health.
And rest assured — our plant-powered products are non-chemical, non-toxic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and non-synthetic. They are also filled in vegan capsules.