Girl, you’ll be a woman soon

About a month ago, I answered a call from MyVitamins for bloggers to review their products.

MyVitamins is an extension of MyProtein, and offer a wide range of products at – as far as I can tell – the cheapest prices available. I have used MyProtein a lot in the past and have always been impressed with prices and turnaround times – the only reason I don’t use them so much anymore is that I have decided to spend a little bit more money and time investing in smaller, vegan and/or ethical businesses – and that’s just a personal choice I have made.

Anyway, I have had issues with MyProtein before in that a lot of the supplements they offer are confined to a gelatine capsule. I was right to fear that the same would be the case with MyVitamins – any product which is sold in capsule format is unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans, so I had to keep my eyes peeled for tablets instead. Luckily, they do clearly mark which products are vegan on the website, with a dark green icon containing a “V” appearing clearly on the list of items so you don’t even need to click through to each item. So that is helpful, at least.

Out of the list of options I was given, I wanted to pick a more sports-related product to review so that it would be more relevant to this blog. The CLA would have been perfect, and is a product I have wanted to try for a while, but true to form the softgel capsules are not animal-free.

So I opted for True Woman Hair, Skin & Nails. God knows my hair, skin and nails can all do with a little help, what with all the hair-pulling sweaty close-contact grappling and the nail-biting.

True Woman Hair, Skin & Nails

I know this is irrelevant to the product’s efficacy, but it would simply not be like me not to comment on the name of the product. What is a true woman? Is is somebody who has flawless hair, skin and nails? I think I have made my point here. Moving on.

From the MyVitamins site:

Each 1 tablet serving provides:

Vitamin D3: 5mcg (100% RDA*)
Vitamin E: 40mg αTE (333% RDA*)
Vitamin C: 60mg (75% RDA*)
Vitamin B1: 8mg (727% RDA*)
Vitamin B2: 4mg (286% RDA*)
Niacin: 18mg NE (112% RDA*)
Vitamin B6: 10mg (715% RDA*)
Folic Acid: 400mcg (200% RDA*)
Vitamin B12: 9mcg (360% RDA*)
Biotin: 45mcg (90% RDA*)
Pantothenic Acid: 40mg (666% RDA*)
Magnesium: 75mg (20% RDA*)
Iron: 12mg (85% RDA*)
Zinc: 15mg (150% RDA*)
Copper: 1mg (100% RDA*)
Manganese: 0.5mg (25% RDA*)
Selenium: 100mcg (181% RDA*)
Chromium: 50mcg (125% RDA*)
Iodine: 200mcg (133% RDA*)
Grape Seed Extract: 15mg
L Cysteine: 10mg
Mixed Carotenoids: 150mcg

Like MyProtein powders, the tablets came in a small pouch, more environmentally-friendly and easier to dispose of once it’s empty. So that’s cool. I have to say, I really like the packaging – clean and fresh, far away from the medicinal-looking bottles and capsules that adorn health-food shop shelves.

My one concern is the Vitamin D3. To my knowledge, unless it is being specifically sold and marketed as vegan, like Vitashine, Vitamin D3 is not vegan. The package only says, “Suitable for vegetarians”. However, the product is marked as vegan on the website. I took the tablets anyway as I can only take the website’s word for it and already had the product by the time I noticed it, but I will request some more clarity on this.

What about the product itself? Let’s take it one thing at a time:

Hair: I can’t really expect this product to work miracles. I scrunch my hair up as tight as it can go most days, proceed to sweat into it, get it pulled out of its elastic band and have to tie it back up again multiple times in a session, wash it far too seldom and when I do, it’s at the gym in hard water using cheap shampoo and conditioner, and usually blow-dried. On the other hand, it had been a couple of months now since I last had it cut, and I might just be imagining it – or it might just be that I haven’t grappled nearly as much in the past couple of months – but I do feel like my hair is less dry, with fewer split ends than I normally would have by now. When it is washed and allowed to enjoy some freedom, it does look and feel shiny and healthy, if a little unkempt.

Skin: I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my skin is much, much better at the moment than it has been in a couple of years. However – it is summer, I have been grappling less, I have been getting some sun which normally helps, I have been getting much more sleep of a much better quality since leaving my full-time job, and I have occasionally started using a facial scrub over the past couple of weeks. All of these things have definitely played a part but it is hard to say how much.

Nails: After having gone the longest stint without biting my nails ever since I can remember (I remember trying to stop biting my nails when I was 9 years old, or about 14 years ago), I started going at them again with a vengeance about 10 days ago. So looking at them now, they’re not looking great. Before that, though, I do think they had been stronger than they had been the last few times they ever managed to grow, and I was surprised at how fast they grew. My toenails always grow way too fast anyway, but again I do feel like they are looking a little healthier – though again, that could be due to being able to walk around barefoot a lot more thanks to the pleasant weather, giving them a bit more air and sunlight.

While it is hard to tell how effective this product was, especially in targeting specific aspects of a healthy body, I am sure the above list of ingredients could not have done any harm. In particular it is nice to have a source of minerals like zinc, manganese, magnesium and selenium, which I don’t normally take and don’t pay much attention to in my diet (although I do believe that my diet is varied enough that I should be getting at least close to everything I need).

Long story short? If I had paid for this I wouldn’t feel like I needed my money back, and I might well order it again if I was placing an order for something else (assuming it turned out to be vegan). At £5 for a month’s supply, offering a little more than your average multivitamin, there are worse products out there.

Disclaimer: MyVitamins did provide me with a free sample of the product to test and review, but I received no monetary reward or other compensation, nor was I under any obligation to write a favourable review.