Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
A strong, healthy nail is always on-trend—think white tips with a smooth, flesh-toned nail plate, and nary a spot, ridge, or fray in sight But the road to optimal nail health is quite the winding one.
Experts agree: "Your nails are made of proteins and naturally need a lot of vitamins," Amy Lin, the founder of sundays, a nail care brand focused on wellness, once told us about how to strengthen nails.
In fact, they're made mostly of keratin. So while you can massage in a cuticle oil (as you should!) or commit to monthly maintenance, sometimes the best method for shiny, smooth nails is to go internal.
That's where we come in: Below, find the best vitamins for nails—including common ingredients to look for, as well as a curated list of supplements to choose from.* You know, in case you find yourself browsing the vitamin aisle.
- Best supplement for nails: beauty & gut collagen+, mindbodygreen
- Best gummy: balanced beauty, TULA Skincare
- Best powder with marine collagen: holi(mane), Agent Nateur
- Best capsule: Hair, Skin & Nails Veg Capsules, NOW Foods
- Best vegan collagen support: Collagen Precursor, Zuma Nutrition
- Best organic: mykind Organics Organic Plant Collagen Builder, Garden of Life
- Best prenatal with omega-3's: Prenatal Multivitamin + 200 mg DHA Softgels, Nature Made
- Best keratin: Keratin Hair Supplement, NAOMI
Best vitamins for nails
Before we dive into supplement recommendations, let's highlight a few star players when it comes to vitamins for strong, healthy nails.*
Ah, the beloved B vitamin (vitamin B7, to be exact). While biotin has a number of important functions, the body cannot create its own1 levels of biotin, so it must be obtained through what you ingest (i.e., food or supplements) daily. That's where vitamins and supplements come in.
In supplements, it's often paired with collagen to further support the skin and hair benefits.*
Collagen supplements contain hydrolyzed collagen peptides, which are short chains of amino acids, or compounds that the body uses to build protein, among other things.
These amino acids are the building blocks of nails—so if you provide your body with those nutrients, it will be better equipped to grow healthy, strong nails.*
Again, your nails are structurally made of keratin—and while you can get your fill of keratin-building amino acids from food and vitamins, you can also find supplements that contain soluble forms of keratin itself.
In a way, it takes the middleman out of the equation—although, many options will still include keratin-building ingredients, like biotin and collagen, just to encourage your body's natural production of the protein.*
Fatty acids help maintain your skin barrier, sealing in moisture and keeping your skin supple and smooth—to that end, omega-3s can also can help lubricate your nails.*
Finally, let's not forget nail-strengthening antioxidants. Vitamin C is a popular one in nail supplements, as the antioxidant is essential in collagen synthesis.*
You might also reach for botanical antioxidants (like horsetail or fruit extracts) to protect the collagen you have from oxidative stress.*
If you're looking for specific supplements to add to your routine, consider one of the below. Each high-quality vitamin blend is formulated to target your hair, skin, and nail health.*
How we picked
Some people prefer powders; others opt for gummies. We made sure to include a variety of formats in this list.
The following selects were guided by mindbodygreen’s vice president of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN. In addition, they come tested by the mindbodygreen beauty team & staffers or other beauty experts.
Consider these your all-star formulas—no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, gluten, GMOs, gluten, and known allergens.
We made sure to seek out plenty of ingredients known for their positive effects on nail health, so you can support strong tips from all angles.
Best supplement for nails
Our collagen powder targets nail (and skin and hair) health from multiple angles: There's 17.7 grams of pasture-raised, grass-fed bovine collagen peptides (delivering types I and III collagen); vitamins C and E for enhanced collagen production and antioxidant support; hyaluronic acid for hydration; biotin to strengthen nails; and the protein building block L-glutamine. Plus, you can trust that each ingredient is rooted in science, and the excipients (aka, the "other" ingredients on the label) are clean and of the highest quality. A star supplement, we'd say.*
beauty & gut collagen+, mindbodygreen ($59)
What our reviewers say
This tasty gummy features biotin, vitamin C, and folic acid for strong nails, as well as pre- and probiotics to support gut health (a welcome added benefit, don't you think?). As you chew on the candy-like gummy (serving size equals two gummies), take note of the tart flavor—it's all thanks to a berry antioxidant blend of cranberry, raspberry, cherry, strawberry, blueberry, and elderberry extracts.*
balanced beauty, TULA Skincare ($30)
Best powder with marine collagen
While bovine collagen peptides tend to be the most researched and potent, marine collagen is a great option for those who follow a pescatarian diet. The other main ingredient is the brand's signature crushed pearl powder (come on, that just sounds luxurious), which is chock-full of minerals like calcium.*
holi(mane), Agent Nateur ($92)
These capsules contain Cynatine®, a clinically tested and bioavailable form of solubilized keratin, to help strengthen your hair and nails. Other star players in this multi-ingredient formula include biotin, MSM, hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, and horsetail extract (to name a few)—which research shows can help enhance nail health6.*
Hair, Skin & Nails Veg Capsules, NOW Foods ($29.99)
Best vegan collagen support
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: There is no such thing as vegan collagen. There are vegan ingredients that support collagen health—like vitamins C and E for collagen synthesis or botanical antioxidants to protect the collagen you have from oxidative damage—but the actual collagen itself cannot be sourced from plants. That said, this supplement contains ingredients to bolster your body's natural production of collagen, like vitamin C, as well as a B complex and key amino acids. We should note that each packet contains eight capsules—something to keep in mind in case you're looking for single-capsule doses.*
Collagen Precursor, Zuma Nutrition ($99.95)
These USDA-certified organic tablets contain 2,500 mcg of biotin, along with antioxidants from pomegranate, turmeric, amla (a berry that is rich in vitamin C), and green and rooibos teas. It's marketed as a collagen builder, so know that while there are no collagen peptides inside the formula, the ingredients are meant to support and protect your body's natural source.*
mykind Organics Organic Plant Collagen Builder, Garden of Life ($34.99)
Best prenatal with omega-3s
To support a smooth, moisturized nail plate, look for a supplement with fatty acids—specifically, these softgels contain DHA and EPA, along with biotin, calcium, and vitamins C and E to strengthen and hydrate the nails, along with other essential prenatal micronutrients like iron, vitamin D3, and much more.*
Prenatal Multivitamin + 200 mg DHA Softgels, Nature Made ($15.35)
Soluble keratin is the star ingredient here (500 mg!), but the formula is enhanced with biotin and resveratrol (a potent polyphenol) to support and protect healthy nail beds. Not only are you replenishing your body's keratin with this supplement, but it also helps encourage your body's natural production of the protein—so this is a formula with multiple avenues for nail health.*
Keratin Hair Supplement, NAOMI ($34.99)
How can you prevent your nails from breaking?
In addition to taking vitamins, experts recommend applying cuticle oil daily, keeping your nails protected from the elements, wearing gloves while doing dishes and other household chores, skipping the gels and acrylics, and being mindful of your polish choices. For more tips to strengthen brittle nails, check out our guide.
What foods can help strengthen and grow your nails?
"Nails are made of mainly hardened proteins," explains Amy Lin, the founder of sundays. (Namely, a protein called keratin). "When we're low in protein, calcium, or other vitamins, that can sometimes show up on your fingernails with vertical lines." Keep those tips healthy and strong by eating foods rich in calcium, antioxidants, and keratin-building amino acids—think nuts and seeds (especially chia seeds), leafy greens, and collagen-rich staples (like bone broth and egg whites).
Does biotin work for nail growth?
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.