Ok gals, let's talk collagen.
What makes it so important and why does it seem like every company out there is trying to come up with a product that contains it? Well, do you want to keep your skin wrinkle-free for as long as you naturally can? YES! Do you want to have lustrous hair and strong nails for years to come? Of course you do! And do you want to reduce the appearance of cellulite and tighten that fascia? DUH! So, keep on reading!
What is collagen exactly?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and it’s found in skin, bones, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, and digestive system where it forms a scaffold to provide strength and structure. It’s that magic compound that gives our skin elasticity and strength while at the same time renewing the skin cells. Unfortunately, the slow down in the production of collagen happens as we age, and although there are some factors which can speed up the depletion (such as smoking, increased sun exposure, eating a high-sugar diet, alcohol, autoimmune diseases), it’s a natural process and simply a sign of aging.
If you’re reading this and thinking, ‘Oh, but I am 26, I don’t have to think about that yet’...THINK AGAIN! The decrease in collagen production starts in our 20s! We just don’t really see it until we’re in our late 30s or 40s, and our skin starts sagging (yuck!), our hair gets thinner (because the flow of the nutrients diminishes as well), and our bone density gets lower (as calcium binds to collagen in order to become part of the bones).
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels
So what can we do about it?
Since we can’t really rely on our diet to be the only source of collagen, no matter how clean or healthy we eat, smart supplementation is key. There are 16 different types of collagen in the human body, although around 90% of it consists of Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3.
There are also numerous sources of collagen, primarily animal products high in protein (bovine, chicken, fish, egg shell membrane), but also a plant-based option - wheat germ (like Sakara’s Beauty Chocolates contain), therefore making it suitable for vegans as well. It’s also important to note that there are many other factors that support and boost the formation and use of collagen in the body (vitamin C & E, copper, manganese, retinol, genistein, lycopenes, proline and foods high in anthocyanidins - such as blueberries, cherries and blackberries).
From topical to oral, there are sooo many collagen enhancing products on the market, it can be hard to choose which one to try, so I’ve created a list of my favorite ones just for you!
Hum Nutrition Collagen Love
I’ve discovered Hum Nutrition on the Almost30 Podcast and I’ve been loving it ever since! This unique blend of Collagen I, II and III, hyaluronic acid, grape seed extract, resveratrol (red wine extract) and Vit C is the perfect formula for skin repair and protection! And, to top it all off, a 12-week clinical study showed significant reduction of facial lines and wrinkles, skin dryness and scaling, and increases of collagen content in the skin dermis. Definitely a good reason to give it a try!
This family-run company owns 2 amazing labs in Dallas and Salt Lake City, where a team of biochemists, nutritional chemists, researchers and technicians are breaking new scientific ground by creating their signature "Beauty From The Inside Out" systems! Their Super Beauty Elixir is a combination of a patented bioactive collagen peptide called Verisol™, biotin, hyaluronic acid and powerful antioxidants, and it works wonders in increasing skin moisture, firmness and elasticity. I love adding a sachet to my smoothies or acai bowls :) Such an easy way to get my collagen in - and it tastes Real Good!
They also have an Age-Defying Topical Serum, which has incredible testimonials, and works wonders when paired with the peptide drink mix!
Sakara Beauty Chocolates
First of all...let’s look at that packaging. I mean, how sexy and feminine is that?? Makes me want to carry it around in my purse and just casually take it out whenever I’m having coffee with my friends so they can all be like “What is that??”, and I’ll proudly say - the sexiest chocolate ever! And I wouldn’t even be exaggerating, because last year, they won the Cosmetic Executive Women Award for the best Edible Beauty Product!
These incredible little pyramides are made with 70mg of plant-based, collagen-boosting phytoceramides in each chocolate! They are extracted from wheat germ, which is completely gluten free,and they rebuild the lipid layer in the skin, helping to boost collagen, retain moisture, and plump up fine lines. A clinical study proved visibly improved skin elasticity, hydration and texture in only two weeks! Oh and if that’s not enough, with only 1g of sugar (coconut sugar) per piece, there is literally no reason for not including them as a part of your daily meals. See how awesome is this? Now you can eat chocolate everyday!
Dr. Axe’s Collagen Products
This amazing guy can literally be called ‘The Guru of Collagen’. He states that many creams and powders which claim to revitalize skin by adding collagen have molecules which are usually too large for our skin to actually absorb, so he swears by his signature bone broths and supplements to improve your body from the inside out.
My personal favorite is the multi-collagen, as it contains collagen types I, II, III, V and X from 4 different food sources (beef, chicken, fish and eggshell membrane), so you get the best combination of all! The powder is completely odorless and tasteless so you can add it to any dish without even realizing it’s there. I love adding it to my vegetable stews and meatless chilies :)
La Bella Figura Day Cream
I received this incredible Crema Supernova Day Cream as a perk of being an Instagram influencer, and although I receive many products this way, I only post and promote ones I really love and use. After applying it to my skin for a week or so, I honestly started noticing smoother and firmer looking skin!
I know I may be too young for deep wrinkles and creases, but I work out a lot and my skin gets dehydrated from all that hot yoga. This little magic potion is super packed with vitamin C and as both, a treatment and a cream, it serves up the world’s most potent form of Vitamin C. Bring it on!
Collagen can be our worst enemy or our best friend; you choose :)