10 Things You Should Know About Those Instagram-Famous Vitamins You're Seeing Everywhere

Photo Credits: Ritual

The vitamin world can be incredibly intimidating. Whether you're at a pharmacy, Target or shopping online, the options are endless and the labels are confusing. Then when you finally get the one (or five) your doctor recommended, they smell terrible, they're tough to swallow or they don't actually make you feel any different. It's about time someone figured out a better way.

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Enter Ritual Essential for Women, a "reinvention of the multivitamin" that lives up to the hype. You may have seen them on Instagram and thought, "They look cool, but do they actually work?" Well I put them to the test for 30 days, and I'm happy to report, they do. Here are 10 reasons why they're better than any other multivitamin I've tried:

1. Before you even open the bottle, you'll notice the vitamins are transparent, so you can see the tiny beadlets and oil inside them, which is a cool concept in and of itself, but there's a scientific reason behind it. After speaking to Dr. Luke Bucci, head of R&D at Ritual, I learned that "beadlets in oil" is a totally new delivery system for multivitamins, and works to keep the dry ingredients (minerals) separated from the oily ingredients (omega-3s and vitamin D), so they are absorbed better and "don't beat up on each other in the pill itself."

Image/Ritual

2. The brand has created a subscription service so a new supply comes each month. How many times have you run out of a vitamin and then don't have time to get to the store to replenish it? Every time you do this (I'm totally guilty of this, too), it means your body goes without those nutrients for however many days and breaks its cycle.

3. In your first monthly shipment, you also receive a small, 21-day chart (Ritual believes it takes 21 days to build a habit) and cute stickers—put a sticker on each day—so you can keep track of all the days you took your vitamins. I kept mine on my fridge, and when I made my tea at night, it reminded me to take my vitamins. Now it's just part of my routine.

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4. There's no extra junk hiding in them, such as artificial colors, titanium dioxide or plastics. Dr. Bucci also taught me about an ingredient called bug doot (shellac) that's used in some vitamin formulations to make the capsules shiny. What? Ritual isn't made with anything like that.

5. They don't upset my stomach. Ritual's delayed-release capsules don't release in your stomach, but rather in the absorptive part of your gut for maximum absorption without nausea. It's convenient because you can take them (two a day) with or without food, and in the morning or at night.

6. They taste like mint, which is one of my favorite things about them. Open the bottle and it smells so minty fresh—I like breathing in the scent from the bottle when I take my vitamins each day—and the minty flavor lingers in your mouth for a few minutes after taking them. The reason? There's a clear, food-grade insert in the bottle that's infused with peppermint to give the vitamins a minty scent instead of a fishy one, which would normally result from the algae oil that's included in the formula.

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7. The ingredients are smart and minimal. After thorough research, the brand settled on nine essential nutrients it thought women didn't get enough of, or often got the wrong kind of. Other popular multivitamins contain more than 40 ingredients, but Ritual believes many of those are unnecessary and usually added in such small amounts that they don't actually have an effect. According to Dr. Bucci, each ingredient—iron, boron, magnesium, omega-3, MTHF (folate), and vitamins B12, D3, E and K2—is in its food-identical, bioidentical, cell-identical, nature identical form. Plus, you can see detailed information about each ingredient, including where it was sourced and manufactured, on the brand's website.

8. They give me a noticeable energy boost. Between the two- and three-week mark, I felt an increase in energy without changing anything else in my routine. I typically begin to drag around 4 p.m. each day, and I haven't experienced this nearly as often since beginning this regimen.

9. They're easy to swallow. A plus for any vitamin!

10. They make my skin look healthier. No they haven't made my fine lines or melasma disappear (I wish!), but the dullness I usually experience a few times a month isn't as visible to me.

Although they aren't necessarily cheap compared to other multivitamins—a one-month supply costs $30—they take the guesswork out of a wellness category that's typically difficult to decipher and combine everything you need into one pretty little pill. To me, that's well worth it.

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