Beauty: Vitamins & Supplements
Collagen: Are supplements the secret to more youthful-looking skin?
Beauty: Vitamins & Supplements
8 Nov 2018
Our bodies’ most abundant form of protein, collagen is the thing that gives our skin it’s youthful-looking bounce. But that’s not it’s only task. You’ll also find collagen in our muscles, bones, joints and even our blood vessels.
As we age, our body’s collagen production gradually slows down, leading to the formation of wrinkles and a loss of firmness in the skin. The latter is what causes it to thin and sag and, in women. Unfortunately this means more visible cellulite; knobby-looking knees, bonier hands and a crepey-looking chest for us ladies.
Health-wise, a loss of collagen results in more overall stiffness and possibly joint pain. Also common is a loss of bone and muscle mass and weaker arteries that may lead to atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries), a common cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Collagen to preserve and boost
Taking good care of our skin’s collagen supply is essential and there are lots of ways to do it. Topically, wearing a good sunscreen is essential because unprotected sun exposure is one of the fastest ways to degrade collagen. You can apply skin care products that contain collagen-encouraging, antioxidant ingredients like retinol and vitamin C. Interestingly, serums and creams containing collagen won’t have any effect other than to moisturise. The main reason being that the collagen molecule is too large to penetrate your skin. Invest rather in a series of collagen-encouraging in-office treatments like peels, skin needling and laser therapies. All of which are used in many of our treatment packages or Skin Tightening & Anti-Ageing Solutions.
As far as boosting the collagen in your body goes, you can do that by eating a healthy. A balanced diet that gives your body the building blocks it needs to make its own natural supply. Rich natural sources are the amino acids found in proteins like meat, fish, beans, eggs and dairy; vitamin C, zinc and copper.
Another great source of the nutrients your body needs for collagen-creation is bone broth. It contains bone marrow (depending on the bones used), collagen-building amino acids and minerals as well as cartilage.
Another of our favourite collagen-boosting drinks is iSkin Super Collagen +C. It’s got a great mixed berry taste. This supplement contains the vitamins and minerals that are essential for the formation of collagen as well as a star ingredient called Peptan.
What is Peptan?
A collagen peptide. Peptan is formed via a process that breaks down the collagen molecule, making it smaller and easier to digest. It’s also highly bioavailable, meaning they can readily act as building blocks to help renew the collagen in our skin, bones and joints. In fact, studies have shown that consuming peptan increases skin’s collagen density. It also decreases the fragmentation of collagen and reverses the structural damage that occurs during ageing.
Collagen-boosting ability aside, Peptan has also been proven to increase our production of hyaluronic acid. A fantastic natural moisturiser, hyaluronic acid has the ability to hold up to 100 times its weight in water so having more of it means increased hydration and a plumper-looking skin.
Another of our favourite collagen-preserving supplements is Lamelle Ovelle (skinonlineshop.co.za). It contains mega-antioxidant pycnogenol (a pine bark extract) and vitamin D3 and has the ability to bind to and protect your collagen supply as well as inhibit the two primary pathways of their breakdown. More plus points? It also stimulates your body’s hyaluronic acid production and boosts your skin’s natural resistance to damaging UV rays.
The bottom line
One of the most important things you can do for your skin as well as your overall health is to protect and boost your body’s natural collagen supply. This means making lifestyle changes like avoiding the sun and eating a healthy diet. Topically, collagen-encouraging products and in-office treatments will go a long way to increase the collagen in our skin while supplementation can do the same for our overall supply.
While our gradual decrease in production starts from as early as our 30s, it’s never too late to start doing whatever we can to preserve it. When it comes to creating a skin that looks more youthful in the future, the time to act is always right now.