Edible Beauty Routines: Do Collagen Supplements Really Work?

I love a good beauty trend as much as the next person and nothing spikes my interest more than a trend that’s backed by science. Couple that with the concept of inside out beauty routines and I’m sold.

We’ve seen collagen supplementation become hugely popular over the past few years as we’re all beginning to realise that there’s only so much a fancy face cream can do to fight aging. The science is still evolving however it’s been clearly shown that this popular trend is likely here to stay as more and more people experience real results.

If you’re thinking of trying them and want a little more info first, keep reading…

Let’s ask the obvious question first: what is collagen?

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins found in our bodies and is the main structural protein that forms connective tissue. It makes up our skin, nails, muscles, ligaments and even our bones. It makes up around 75% of our skin and alongside elastin contributes to a plump, tight and youthful looking complexion.

Unfortunately, when we hit our mid-twenties, collagen production slows down and decreases by about 2% each year. Our bodies aren’t able to replenish it as quickly as it’s breaking down leading to an eventual loss of volume and elasticity in the skin. And it’s not just our age that contributes to the breakdown of collagen.

Environmental factors like pollution and the enemy of great skin itself, the sun, both cause collagen to breakdown faster than usual. Our lifestyles are another big factor and things like smoking, alcohol consumption and a diet high in sugar are all quick ways to see your collagen pack it’s back and move on from your plump and taut cheeks.

Luckily, making healthier lifestyle choices and using skin and sun care to protect our complexions from environmental factors can help to slow down our loss of collagen. Even better, are collagen supplements that are quickly becoming a mainstream staple in many diets and beauty routines.

So, what are collagen supplements?

Collagen supplements are made from hydrolysed collagen peptides, usually from an animal source such as fish (marine collagen) or beef (bovine collagen). They’re made from the same amino acids as those naturally occurring throughout our bodies however have much shorter chains, which basically means they’re far easier for our body to digest and absorb into our bloodstream.

What do collagen supplements do?

Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements can help to improve the elasticity of our skin and the appearance of wrinkles and sagging as a result. They’ve also been shown to increase bone density as well as overall hydration.

From a strictly beauty point of view, collagen supplements are used to slow down the signs of aging, create a plump and smooth complexion and help with the strength and growth rate of your hair and nails.

How do you know the good supplements from the bad?

My first rule is that the best supplement is going to be the one you actually use. So, if you’ve picked up a powder that you can’t stand the taste of or a packet of pills that you can never manage to swallow, you’re wasting your money. Getting results from collagen supplements is all about consistency and it can take at least a few weeks to see any sign of results. Choosing a product you enjoy incorporating into your routine and will actually use with some consistency is where you should start.

That said, some are superior to others. The weight of the molecule is an important factor in collagen supplements as the smaller the molecule size, the more readily it will be absorbed by your body to do its job. While that may sound overly sciencey, an easy indicator is the serving size. If you have to shovel one heaped scoop after another into your drink, you might want to rethink your choice. A serving size of around 1-2 teaspoons is what you should be aiming for.

Now that you’ve got all the info you need, here are out picks for the best collagen supplements to try…

Cangro Beauty Bod Collagen

Cangro Beauty Bod Collagen powder is formulated using Bioactive Collagen Peptides which are 100% natural and easily absorbed by the body. What I like best about this one is that it’s completely tasteless. In Winter I often don’t want to have to incorporate a fruity flavoured supplement into a smoothie when I have no desire to have a smoothie at all. This collagen supplement can be added to a cup of herbal tea ( my favourite way to take it), a soup, cereal, yoghurt- anything at all, and it doesn’t effect the taste. Cangro offers two varieties of collagen powder one uses bovine collagen peptides (from cows) and one uses all marine collagen  (derived from sustainably caught fish).

Vida Glow Marine Collagen

Vida Glow is probably one of the most popular collagen supplement brands in Australia. Their marine collagen supplements are backed by an array of clinical studies and come in handy single serve sachets so you can easily incorporate them into life on the run. Their flavour range is impressive with ingredients carefully chosen for their health benefits including vitamin C rich blueberries, cranberries and cacao used in their mocha flavour. Speaking from experience, the blueberry flavour is a must-try and tastes great on its own with water (all while being sugar-free, I should add). If you’re looking for something a bit simpler, the Original flavour is virtually tasteless in coffee, juices, smoothies and can even be used in oats or chia puddings.

Mukti Organics Bioactive Collagen Booster

This marine collagen blend from Mukti Organics is made from 45% hydrolysed marine collagen peptides with a heavy-hitting line up of superfoods and skin loving ingredients blended in. Jerusalem Artichoke, Australian Kakadu Plum, Acai, Goji Berries and more all feature in the formula. Each ingredient has been carefully chosen to support healthy skin with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, resveratrol, antioxidants as well as pre and probiotics all present. It stirs smoothly into water with a tasty wild berry flavour and has just a hint of a marine aftertaste that’s actually quite refreshing. And I’d be remiss not to mention the gorgeous glass packaging that makes you want to display this one on your kitchen counter.

The Beauty Shake 100% Pure Marine Collagen

The name says it all really. This collagen supplement from The Beauty Shake is made entirely from hydrolysed marine collagen that contains the type I fish collagen peptides. Its high bioavailability has been tested to ensure its readily absorbed by the body so you can actually enjoy its benefits. You can also see the results from their clinical studies yourself on their website. It’s a flavourless powder and from experience I can say you absolutely cannot taste it in your morning coffee or juice and it’s also really good for whipping up some collagen loaded sweet treats.

Main Image via @vidaglow feat. @saritaholland

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