Edible ELASTICITY
Fairlady|January/February 2022
THE SCIENCE AROUND SOME EDIBLE SKINCARE SUPPLEMENTS CAN BE MURKY – SOMEHOW A SERUM JUST FEELS MORE TARGETED AND EFFECTIVE. AT LEAST, THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT UNTIL I TRIED OUT COLLAGEN POWDER…
ELLA MCCARTHY-PAGE

I got some collagen powder to take home in a jam jar as a gift from a collagen convert. Every morning, I took one spoonful of the powder in my cup of Earl Grey, and within weeks I was getting comments about my glow. It made my skin feel great – not just on my face but also all over my body.

Collagen is a buzzword in the beauty biz, and I was beginning to see why. My interest piqued, I started to delve into the research. There’s a lot of it, so buckle up!

WHAT IS IT?

Originally focused solely on the healthcare benefits of collagen, researchers started to investigate the possible skincare benefits too. One of the most abundant, naturally occurring proteins in our bodies, collagen is found in our joints, ligaments, bones, eyes, skin, tendons and more. It’s a long, fibrous molecule that basically acts as tissue scaffolding; think of it as the springs in a mattress. In the context of skincare, collagen is found in the dermis, the middle layer of skin. It’s what gives your skin its under­ lying structure, helps it retain moisture, and increases elasticity – the golden trio when it comes to youthful radiance.

As we get older, our bodies become less efficient at producing collagen, especially during and after menopause. Coupled with other compounding factors such as UV radiation, pollution and a poor diet, we’re just fighting a losing battle to keep up collagen production. So the real question is, is a collagen supplement an effective way of helping our bodies fight the good fight? I say yes.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Collagen supplements are made up of collagen sourced from animals (usually bovine, but you will also come across chicken and marine collagen) and flavourings.

When we ingest it in the form of food or drink, our gut absorbs the collagen, which then travels to the areas in the body that need renewed structural support. But, as always, it’s a little more complex than that: the gut can only absorb smaller molecules, so it is very important that the collagen you’re taking is hydrolysed (just a fancy way of saying it’s broken down).

Once in your blood-stream, those smaller molecules are broken down even more, providing your body with the amino acids (essentially the body’s building blocks) to go and make its own strands of collagen. In essence, it’s giving your tired old mattress new bounce.

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