Thyroid Beauty Tips
Mary Shomon | June 11, 2018
When you have a thyroid condition, your top priority is to optimize your treatment to feel well. At the same time, we all want to look great too! The challenge, however, is that your thyroid problem can cause beauty concerns including dry skin, hair loss, puffiness, and problematic nails. Here are some thyroid beauty tips, including some of my overall go-to recommendations, personal favorites, and approaches for specific hair, skin, and nail challenges.
Take a great vitamin for hair, skin, and nails
My first overall recommendation is to take a vitamin for hair, skin, and nails. Some key nutrients to look for include biotin, iron, and Vitamin A. (Remember to take vitamins that contain iron at least four hours apart from your thyroid drugs.)
There are decent drugstore brands, including Nature’s Bounty Hair Skin & Nails and BioSil. My favorite is Dermatologic Health Skin Hair and Nails from Cooper Complete. I had a noticeable improvement in nails, skin, and hair in two months!
Try collagen peptides
My second overall recommendation is to try collagen peptides — amino acids similar to proteins found in your skin, nails, and hair. They help with skin elasticity, as well as hair and nail strength. There are many brands; most are in powder form that dissolves in liquids. My favorite is Health Direct USA’s All-Around Beauty AminoSculpt Liquid Collagen Peptides. (I get the sugar-free mango flavor.) Just one daily dose helps keep my hair, skin, and nails strong.
Fish oil fights dryness
My third general recommendation is supplement with fish oil. Rich in essential fatty acids, fish oil is anti-inflammatory and very helpful for dry skin, dry/coarse hair, and dry eyes.
Note that low-quality fish oil can be contaminated with mercury and other toxins, so it’s best to choose a vetted brand to ensure purity. My favorites are Carlson Labs Fish Oil, Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega, and Barlean’s Omega Swirl. (An extra benefit: These brands don’t cause “fish burp!”)
My fourth general recommendation is to stay well-hydrated. The adage about drinking eight glasses of water per day is actually a smart beauty tip for thyroid patients as well. Hydration helps combat dry skin and puffiness and helps with detoxification, which has benefits not only for your skin but your overall health.
If plain water isn’t your speed, try adding fruit slices to your water, or drink carbonated seltzers or herbal teas to keep it interesting.
My last general recommendation is to incorporate skin brushing — also known as dry brushing — into your beauty regimen. Skin brushing is an easy technique that helps improves your skin’s firmness and elasticity. All you need is a skin brush, and a few minutes before your bath or shower to dry brush.
You can learn more about the benefits of dry brushing, and effective dry brushing techniques, in this YouTube video featuring exercise physiologist Teresa Tapp.
Dry skin tips
If you have dry skin, your moisturizer should be free of chemical fragrances, dyes, parabens, and chemicals. One product I love is Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream. Allure Magazine also has a helpful list of the best moisturizers under $20.
Also, don’t dry out your face when washing. Using a cream, oil, or soap-free facial cleanser can help. A shout out to my favorite product, DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, which includes pure olive oil.
Solutions for callused feet
Tough, hard-to-remove calluses are a problem I’ve battled, making sandal season a challenge! Using a callus file or pumice stone barely makes a dent for me. I’ve had better results with a PedEgg (like a little cheese grater for calluses.) Even better: regular use of a battery-powered callus roller, along with my favorite foot cream, Soap & Glory’s Heel Genius.
Note: If you’re not squeamish, use Baby Foot Peel. Within a week of applying, layers of dry skin peel off in sheets!
How to keep nails from breaking
The combination of collagen peptides and a great hair/skin/nail vitamin do more for my nails than any external products. There’s also evidence that regularly eating plain, unflavored gelatin can help strengthen your nails. Protecting your nails, however, is also a way to help keep them strong and long. Some of my favorite products: OPI Nail Envy, OPI Natural Nail Strengthener, the Nailtiques line of strengtheners, Sally Hansen Hard as Nails, and Sally Hansen Diamond Strength.
Dealing with dry eyes
Dry eyes feel scratchy and sore, and puffy, red, tired-looking eyes are not a beauty asset. In addition to staying hydrated and taking a fish oil supplement, I recommend two products. For overnight use, I like Genteal Gel. (I use it at night before I go to sleep because the gel can make your vision a bit blurry.) During the day, I love Bion Tears. Each application comes in a small single-use plastic dropper, to avoid contamination.
Reduce eye puffiness
Puffiness around the eyes is an issue for many people with hypothyroidism. Some quick fix solutions include cold compresses, a frozen gel eye mask, or chilled used chamomile tea bags applied to your eyes. My personal favorite: put a few spoons in the freezer and apply cold spoons around the eyes to reduce puffiness. Some thyroid patients swear by the pricey Talika Eye therapy patches. I’ve also had some good results with lymphatic face massage for the eye area. Here’s a helpful YouTube video showing you how.
Reducing hair loss, dryness, and breakage
If you are struggling with hair loss, make sure your thyroid is optimized, and test and treat low ferritin levels. You can also use prescription or over-the-counter minoxidil (Rogaine) to keep hair on your hand. To protect and strengthen hair, I love the Monat Replenish line of products, as well as the Zenagen Revolve system of haircare products for hair loss.
For a comprehensive look at thyroid-related hair loss, you may want to read my book, “Hair Loss Master Plan.”
Help for thinning eyebrows
Hypothyroidism can cause thin, patchy eyebrows. (Add in years of overplucking, and you have a beauty disaster!) For sparse brows, consider Minoxidil (Rogaine), which is available in prescription and over-the-counter strengths.
One of my favorite products is RapidLash, available at drug and beauty supply stores, to help grow thicker brows and lashes. Another go-to product: Benefit Gimme Brow + Volumizing Eyebrow Gel. You brush it on like mascara, and voila — eyebrows!