Do Inner Beauty Powders Actually Work?

And what are they, exactly?

Would you take a tablespoon a day?
Would you take a teaspoon a day?

Inner beauty powders have been making the rounds lately, boasting ingredients you’ve never heard of, all while promising glowing skin and a healthy gut. GLOW, an inner beauty powder made by The Beauty Chef and sold on Net-a-Porter, possesses naturally fermented superfoods and probiotics. The ingredients read like an incredibly healthy salad, including chickpeas, lentils and mung beans, with a few more mysterious contents, like dunaliella salina, alfalfa seed and Queen garnet plum. In the quest for beauty, people are willing to try anything, including a powder full of confusing ingredients that promises to make you more beautiful, from the inside out.

Carla Oates a naturalist who founded The Beauty Chef, and she believes the secret to better skin is in the digestive tract, not in expensive face washes. “Before you think about buying the latest miracle cream or speed dialing your facialist, why not invest your time and money into improving your digestive health?” Oates asked.

The Beauty Chef
The Beauty Chef’s products.

If you’re considering trying GLOW, know that it comes in a chic, sleek white container, so it’s safe to leave it at your desk without your coworkers wondering if you’ve taken up competitive bodybuilding. However, it might make a bit of a mess when you start blending it into your water bottle. The powder doesn’t exactly look delicious, falling somewhere on the color wheel between dirt brown and nature green. Once it’s mixed into a glass of water, thought, it tastes perfectly lovely.

The mixture dissolves quickly and smells delightfully like Goji berries. While it might not make you instantly beautiful, and in fact, you might not notice any changes at all, it will force you to drink more water. In fact, it can help you consume your recommended daily water intake (with a quarter of a teaspoon of GLOW mixed in).

All of The Beauty Chef’s formulas are lacto-fermented, which is a good thing. “When we eat conventional food, we digest between 12 to 25 percent of it, when fermented, we digest up to 85 percent of it,” Oates explained. “It may take a few weeks for your tummy to settle as you load it with goodness,” she warned. “You will find that your tummy is flatter, bowel habits more regular and you may feel more content.”

Carla Oates, the actual "Beauty Chef."
Carla Oates, the actual “Beauty Chef.”

Skin specialist Maddison Osburn and Nutritionist Kristina Temelkovski are co-founders of another chic beauty powder brand, Raw Complexion. The Australian label promises radiant skin and a natural glow within weeks, as long as you remember to ingest their powders daily. Most New Yorkers have noted the prevalence of Australian citizens in recent years, whether it involves bringing avocado toast stateside, inventing athleisure, or modeling for Victoria’s Secret; and now, it has arrived in the form of a powder Skintox and Skin Balance.

When Osburn and Temelkovski are talking to someone who’s skeptical about the products, they start by listing all of the natural ingredients, including ashwaganda, beetroot, kelp and slippery elm. They recommend first timers start with the Skintox, promising that it’s “rich in superfoods and Chinese herbs that aid in detoxifying, purifying and cleansing the liver.”

Aloha is another powder that promises to improve your nutrition. Users simply add the powder to water or yogurt. “We use an assortment of powerful superfoods such as moringa, wild organic blueberries and mushrooms as well as additional greens and vegetables that allow your body to fuel up 100 percent,” founder Constantin Bisanz said about their Greens.

The Skintox.
The Skintox. Raw Complexions

The Observer asked Kimberly Snyder, C.N. a nutritionist who has worked with Drew Barrymore, Channing Tatum and Reese Witherspoon to explain how these powders actually work. “Your liver plays a role in protein metabolism, including processing amino acids, converting them into glucose for energy, and removing ammonia, a natural waste product of protein metabolism, from the bloodstream,” she said.

Snyder explained that the efficacy of beauty powder depends on the sourcing and processing of the product, and that not all powders are created equal. “Powdered Ayurvedic herbs, such as ashwaganda and shatavari, taken over time can have subtle rejuvenative effects. In general, I’m a bigger fan of taking probiotics in a capsule form and having superfoods like açai flash frozen at their peak of ripeness, which you can source in smoothie packets…the Sambazon unsweetened ones are my favorite,” Snyder said. She believes that certain supplements do help with digestion, including probiotics.

If you’re not quite sure you’re ready to invest in beauty powders, consider DNAEGF. The brand makes NOX Blend, an inner beauty powder that doubles as a sleeping pill. If you’ve ever taken melatonin before a long flight, that’s one of the main ingredients, knocking you out within minutes. The blend was created by dermatologist Dr. Ronald Moy and is meant to help you fall asleep immediately, thanks to ingredients such as valerian root (an herb that helps with stress and anxiety) and lemon balm extract (used for sleep problems). You might not recognize all of the ingredients, but after 10 hours of uninterrupted slumber, you’ll certainly appreciate them. After all, even with all of the facials and beauty powders in the world, it’s impossible to erase tired eyes.

Do Inner Beauty Powders Actually Work?