What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant form of protein found in the body, and makes up 25 to 35% of all protein in humans. It acts as structural support for the skin, so it only makes sense that as collagen levels decrease, the skin is more prone to wrinkles and fine lines. In terms of how your body actually produces collagen, it's all to do with diet.
When we eat protein-rich foods, the body uses amino acids from the protein to synthesis collagen. But ensuring that you're eating enough protein isn't quite enough. This process also requires iron and vitamin C, so a diet lacking in either can impair collagen synthesis.
What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Collagen?
Working a collagen powder into your diet is a great way to support your body's natural production if your food intake isn't up to scratch.
Collagen powders can be used if dietary protein intake is low, or if an added boost to collagen is required due to low protein and/or nutrient intake.
Taking a collagen supplement can be particularly handy to take when you travel, you're stressed, you have poor gut health, or when you're on a restrictive diet.
Do Collagen Powders Actually Work?
As mentioned above, taking a collagen supplement is beneficial if your body is lacking in certain nutrients, but some experts recommend it as a good way to give yourself a little boost.
"The body makes its own supply of collagen so making sure your diet supports this process is key," she says. "If you want an added boost, then taking a collagen powder may be of benefit."
This kind of supplement becomes more beneficial as you start getting older, as your body's natural collagen production begins to decrease.
What About Collagen Masks And Creams?
In terms of boosting your collagen production topically through creams and masks, look out for products that contain retinol. This is because retinol promotes skin renewal and enhances collagen production, which starts to decline in your 30s.
What About Collagen-Boostinng Foods?
- Adequate hydration
- Reduced exposure to heat via air conditioning, hot showers, etc.
- Adequate calcium in your diet
- Reduce sun exposure
- Reduced stress
- Zero smoking
- Zero binge drinking
- Eat less refined sugar
- Diet rich in healthy fats
- Adequate protein in your diet.
- Plenty of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods in your diet.
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Regular exercise
Which Are The Best Collagen Powders To Buy?
The Beauty Chef 'Glow' Inner Beauty Powder, $65 at Adore Beauty
Arguably one of the pioneers in the collagen supplement game, Beauty Chef's Inner Glow Beauty Powder boasts 24 carefully selected skin-loving ingredients that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, prebiotics and probiotics for a power-packed nutrient hit in every 5g spoonful. The powder itself has a berry-flavour and can be easily mixed with water or a smoothie for easy digestion.
Skin Physics Collagen Beauty Elixir, $49.95 at Skin Physics
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, from $25 Vital Proteins
Vital Proteins' Collagen Peptides formula is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine for superior quality. It's available in a variety of sizes and has another formula featuring added hyaluronic acid with vitamin C.
Vida Glow Marine Collagen Original, $59.95 at Adore Beauty
WelleCo Super Booster Aquatic Collagen Skin Hair Nails 14 Day Pack, $90 at Adore Beauty
Boasting a simple yet power-packed ingredients list, WelleCo's aquatic collagen formula is specially combined to improve hair, skin and nails. Hydrolysed marine collagen forms the base, while silica aids in collagen production and improves connective tissue within the skin, to boost hair and nail strength. Acerola cherry extract and goji berry powder round it out with a solid hit of antioxidants.
Adour & Kin CSERA Complete Restore, $110 at Adour & Kin
Formulated to rejuvenate your hair, nails and skin from within, Adour & Kin's CSERA Complete Restore formula features freshwater collagen peptides from France alongside a complex chord of imported ingredients from Italy, Sweden and Japan. These include Nerina strawberry extract for concentrated levels of vitamin C, freshwater micro algae to combat oxidative stress and Japanese cherry blossom extract, which have been shown to possess an anti-glycation affect (reverse ageing) on tissue damage and inflammation.