As we age and our hormone levels fluctuate, the sebaceous glands in our skin and scalp start producing less sebum oil. This results in our skin, follicles and hair drying out and becoming flaky and brittle. Biotin can improve your skin and hair—and help offset these issues, among other
benefits—by functioning as a growth factor and catalyst in carboxylation reactions.
Though a biotin deficiency is more uncommon than other nutritional deficiencies, it can occur. Studies have shown that biotin metabolism in the body can be affected by smoking and eating raw egg whites. However, deficiencies can also be caused by aging, genetics, medications, intravenous (IV) feeding and intestinal problems.
Biotin is present in all living cells, and it plays a significant role in maintaining skin and hair health. Because the B vitamin aids in fatty acid formation to nourish your skin, some studies have shown that taking biotin-rich supplements can help alleviate itchy, flaky rashes and other skin conditions. It does this by activating an acetyl Co-A carboxylase enzyme, which brings together the building blocks for producing fat.
Fats are required for maintaining healthy cell function throughout your body, especially your skin. Skin cells rely on the body’s fat production because they are exposed to the environment. Skin cells don’t survive long, and therefore they need to be replaced at a consistent rate. Often, the earliest biotin deficiency symptoms are detected in the skin.
Although there are limited studies by researchers suggesting that taking biotin can promote hair growth, two studies by the same researcher, one in 2012 and one in 2015, produced positive results for women with thinning hair. In the 2015 study, researchers supplied women with thinning hair marine protein in a dietary supplement containing other ingredients in addition to biotin. Or they were given a placebo two times a day for 90 days.
The researchers discovered that the women who took a marine supplement with biotin had notable hair growth, making an appearance on their thin spots. They also reported that they had less shedding. The 2012 study generated similar results for women with thinning hair, with patients detecting improved hair quality and growth after three and six months of taking the supplements.
Biotin is an essential nutrient that helps turn your food into energy and maintains your body’s overall function. Like all vitamins and minerals, your skin and hair require biotin to stay hydrated and healthy.