Work stress, family life and getting older can all have an impact on our complexion and I was keen to see if I could do something more than just skincare to plump up my skin and reduce the look of fine lines around my eyes. Boosting the health of my hair and nails which can flake from so much time at the computer would also be a welcome bonus.
I chose to trial Vida Glow marine collagen supplements, not just because it promises added skin radiance and stronger hair and nails, but because Vida Glow is an Australian-founded and operated brand which has grown to be the number one collagen brand in Australia and China. To give you an idea of how popular this brand is, one canister of its collagen supplements is sold globally every four seconds.
So what is collagen?
We hear a lot about ingestible beauty and collagen supplements, but I was keen to find out what collagen can do for our skin, hair and nails. I did a bit of research and it turns out, ingestible collagen can boost the health of our skin, hair and nails in very real ways.
To give you the 101 science lesson on collagen, it is a hard, insoluble and fibrous protein, which occurs naturally in the body. It's also one of most abundant substances in our body, second only to water. Collagen’s main role is to act as building blocks in the body. This natural substance is not only crucial for keeping our skin, hair and nails strong and healthy, it’s also responsible for the internal structure, stability and strength of most of our body (think tendons, ligaments and teeth).
In short, we need to keep the collagen in our bodies in very good supply and I was keen to give collagen supplements a go in order to boost my own collagen count.
Why take an internal supplement?
What confronted me about collagen and our internal supply of it, is the very real fact that we lose collagen as we age. Production starts to decline by 2 per cent per year, particularly after we hit the age of 30. By the time we get to our 50s, we’ve potentially lost over half of our collagen reserves and (worryingly) natural collagen production can come to a complete halt.
Even more frightening is that a slow-down in collagen production can happen much earlier. Lifestyle factors such as UV exposure, smoking, pollution, poor diet and even our genetic makeup can all have an effect on our collagen reserves and how much we’re producing. At surface level, this decline can lead to fine lines, wrinkles, dullness and sagging in the skin. It can also lead to hair thinning and nail breakage.
Living in an urban environment, working in a high-pressure job and being well past the age of 30, I am the perfect candidate to start taking a collagen supplement in order to kickstart my own collagen production and turn around the decline.
I ordered my Vida Glow Marine Collagen supplements and as soon as they came in the mail at work, I took my first dose. I thought it was best to get started right away as changes in my skin, hair and nails would take four weeks to show themselves.
Why marine collagen?
Derived from either fish skin or scales, ingestible marine collagen is the best way to get collagen directly into our system because, once ingested, marine collagen is able to supply the deeper layers of the skin, where creams and serums can’t reach. The process involves the collagen peptides entering the body where they are broken down into amino acids; these amino acids are then able to ramp up collagen production internally and help maintain and strengthen our hair, skin, nails and even joints from within.
Here’s what happened when I took marine collagen supplements.
I started taking Vida Glow’s original (flavourless) supplement by stirring one sachet into my water, both morning and night. After a minute or two, the collagen dissolves completely into the water so that you can hardly tell there is anything in there. You can also put it into your yogurt, juice or smoothie, or even your tea and coffee so this supplement is super easy to take. If you do want a hit of flavour there are several blends such as blueberry, mango, pineapple, cranberry and lime and mocha you can opt for. I also found that I was drinking more water, especially in the morning, which was a bonus for my skin.
Depending on your skin concerns as well as your age and the environment you live in, Vida Glow suggests taking between one and three sachets per day. In a study of collagen supplementation, 2.5g of collagen, equivalent to one Vida Glow sachet, was scientifically proven to help reduce wrinkles and increase skin facial firmness within eight weeks. Bonus: respondents in the study also found they had increased forearm and belly skin firmness.
I was keen to boost my skin hydration and tackle early signs of lines and wrinkles so I went for two sachets a day after reading that, in that same study, participants noticed a significant improvement to skin plumpness tone and texture. After four weeks of taking Vida Glow twice a day, I really saw a difference in my skin. My complexion felt more hydrated and plump and I felt the fine lines around my eyes were less noticeable. I also found that my hair appeared shinier and healthier and those bashed-up nails of mine seemed much, much stronger.
It’s now been six weeks of using Vida Glow and I’m definitely a convert to internal collagen supplements. Vida Glow is really easy to work into your daily routine and I found it perfect adjunct to my pretty diligent skincare routine. Drink up!
*A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical study conducted by CPCAD