Should You Be Taking a Collagen Supplement for Your Skin?

I felt compelled to write this post after scrolling through Instagram and coming across the first, as the kids say, collab on Kourtney Kardashian’s health and wellness account. I guess you could say I was pooshed into looking into whether I should incorporate a collagen peptide powder into my diet. Full disclosure, regardless of the information provided below, I will probably end up buying at least one of these out of sheer curiosity. Blueberry and lemon sounds like a divine, refreshing pairing as we are on the cusp of summer. Pink moon milk? What is that? Is it as delectable as it sounds? The marketing team definitely deserves a bonus.

I started this blog with the intention of being candid in order to gain the trust of my readership (45 and counting, HOLLA!) and felt this collaboration in particular was important to address. I think Kourtney’s relatability will allow Poosh to succeed where goop has failed. I have been inspired by her work with the Environmental Working Group and relieved that she has used her platform to bring awareness to the amount of undesireable ingredients in personal care products. I just hope she doesn’t end up selling out in the name of pseudoscience. Time will tell if integrity will triumph over whatever is monetarily expedient.

If you don’t know what collagen is, then let’s do a quick recap. It is the main component of connective tissue. Collagen is composed of amino acids that form the biological materials that are found in fibrous tissues like muscles, skin, tendons, and ligaments. Essentially, it is the glue that holds us all together. As we age, there are structural changes in the dermis that cause cells, that responsible for things like collagen, to break down. Collagen peptides occur when collagen is hydrolized.

In today’s beautysphere, collagen is synonymous with skin. The loss of collagen sparks fear in losing our youthful glow. I can already see some hints of sagging and like many women, will try anything to keep my skin high and tight. But do they really work? Adding just a couple spoonfuls of powder into a glass of water sounds like an extremely easy way to incorporate something that’s good for my skin into my diet.

I have read a few studies touting the benefits of ingesting collagen. However, many are small studies that would require much larger controls, bigger sample sizes as well as longer periods of time in order to collect enough data to determine whether these claims are legitimate. There currently isn’t any data that has been peer-reviewed to prove that taking an oral collagen supplements directly benefits one’s skin. A lot of these products also contain antioxidants and nutrients with their own favorable properties. Therefore, it is difficult to discern whether it’s the collagen or another ingredient that is providing these worthwhile results. Side note, take a pass on any collagen ‘creams’ as well. The molecular composition of collagen is too big to be absorbed into your skin. It is too large to be absorbed topically and it is also unlikely that by the time collagen is ingested and broken down through your digestive system that your skin would see any direct benefit. The Blueberry & Lemon Collagen Vibes also contains ingredient du jour hyaluronic acid. I should note that I came across this study that looked at increased HA levels in the body of breast cancer patients and whether these heightened levels of HA can cause growth of cancer stem cells. This link has been disputed and it goes without saying that more research is required.

This powder is not going to turn your glass of water into a magical elixir. By all means, try it if you are interested and can afford it! If you are genuinely interested in nourishing your body from “the inside out” then I think it’s important to eat foods that are rich in protein. These include lean meats, cod, salmon, eggs, quinoa and nuts to just name a few. Fueling your body with these nutrient-rich foods that are broken down into amino acids will allow your dermis to naturally produce collagen. If you want to increase hyaluronic acid production then you should eat more citrus fruits, kale, almonds, and bone broth. You already know this but not smoking, not eating processed crap, and allowing your body to rest properly will aid in this endeavor as well.

The best way to protect the collagen you already have is to invest in products that can promote its cellular growth as well as keep it from breaking down. You also already know this but wearing a sunscreen every (clapping emoji) single (clapping emoji) day (clapping emoji) will work as a barrier in order to protect your skin from the sun, which accelerates the breakdown of collagen. Vitamin C helps treat inflammation which is harmful to collagen production. Although, Vitamin C may cause skin to become more sensitive to sunlight so again, WEAR SUNSCREEN! Deratives of Vitamin-A, commonly referred to as retinoids and retinol, encourage cells that are aging to mimic newer, healthier cells. The use of retinol over time can improve skin elasticity as well as the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I have sensitive skin and have always steered clear of retinol due to developing redness but it is possible for skin to become tolerant of this effect with prolonged use.

Have you tried any collagen peptide powders? What did you think?

Feel free to send me a DM on IG @reinesoleillesoin

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