Can Collagen Really Improve Your Skin And Prevent Wrinkles?
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“I feel like I’ve tried everything to make my skin glow like the internet says. Creams, cleansers, facials, plenty of shine primers and glitter highlight sticks. Recently I fell into a beauty hole while reading about celebrities who drink collagen. Difficult to discuss their appearance. Is there something to this? “ —Curious about ingestibles (not cannabis!)
Ah, nutraceuticals! Beauty to ingest! Every fashion and beauty writer and editor has a bunch of bells and alarms going off when these topics are brought up. But, as you point out, Curious, every guy in Hollywood seems to be doing it: Gwyneth Paltrow talked early on about collagen supplements and tonics of all kinds (she loves marine collagen). His stories about it are carefully worded “What Collagen Could Do for Your Skin”. The title of Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh lifestyle website is less cautious, if not more vague. It reads: “Collagen is a vibration” that Kourtney enjoys mixed with lukewarm water after saying a morning prayer. Jennifer Aniston became the Creative Director of Vital Proteins Collagen Supplement last year. And Khloe Kardashian is the global spokesperson for Dose & Co. collagen supplements. Collagen is the big winner in the supplement industry: Fast Company, citing numerous studies, estimates that the global collagen market will reach over 8 billion dollars by 2025. Of course, celebrities are in the game; it is the bitcoin of beauty.
You might think I’m dismissive here, crushing American wellness celebrities. The point is, I’m as intrigued as you are and was disappointed to learn that Goop (Paltrow’s beauty brand) collagen products are not available here. This is because Health Canada has strict testing requirements for beauty ingredients and supplements and claims of efficacy. More on this regulatory bump later; let’s get to what the heck of collagen is even part of.
Collagen is a buzzword, used so often in the beauty world that I had to go back and get back to basics. I called my naturopath, who completely renovated my gut, to my undying gratitude. Dr John Dempster is a naturopathic doctor with advanced scholarships in functional, regenerative and anti-aging medicine.
“There is indeed a lot of talk about collagen,” says Dempster. Collagen, he says, “is the most abundant protein in our body.” There are six identified types of collagen in the body, “type 1 is primarily used by our bodies to produce a number of different tissues: muscle, bone, skin, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue. “. As we age, he says, collagen production slows down.
So does it make sense to take it as a supplement? Like most NDs, Dempster says to look at your diet first: collagen is mostly derived from bovine or marine sources, although some plants (berries and vegetables) have traces. He favors making his own bone broth.
Taking supplements is something he discusses with individual patients, “cutting the noise and filtering out the things they read from sources that are largely entertaining, but light on the facts.” When trying to slow down aging from the inside, there is some weight in this department, some science can slow down the visible signs on the skin, hair and nails. “But I’m not claiming that taking collagen will prevent wrinkles on the skin.”
Collagen, he says, “does wonderful things all over the body.” But remember, he adds, our ability to extract and absorb nutrients also slows down with age. And since “collagen is so widely used in the body that if you eat it (or take a supplement) it will go where you need it most first. “It might not be your beaming face, at least not at first.”
But as any good healthcare provider will warn, Dempster ends his lesson by saying, “Always consult your family doctor before starting any new supplements. “
So to get more backup on the safety of this unmanageable collagen thing, I contacted dermatologist Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, to check out the medical research on this topic. She returned to me a recent review of the literature on collagen supplementation in randomized controlled trials in humans, which she accompanied with this summary statement: “In studies of anti-aging, patients received 3 grams of collagen tripeptide for 4 to 12 weeks. . The results showed promising short and long term results with increased skin elasticity, hydration and dermal collagen density. It was safe and no adverse events were reported.
And because we wanted to have some good Cancon here alongside all the American lifestyle gurus in the burgeoning collagen field, I had a conversation with Calgary-based Avalon Lukacs, CEO of Inner beauty aura, a collection of liquid collagen, omega drops and restorative powders, vitamins and bioactives.
Lukacs spoke at length about the supplement research, testing and approval process in this country. She cites the unique Natural Health Product Ingredient Database, maintained by Health Canada, which provides consumers with access to benefits, warnings and clinical studies. “This is something the FDA doesn’t have [in the U.S.],” she says.
Aura Marine Collagen is wild caught in Canada (cod, haddock and pollock – love that level of detail!). It comes in flavors of coconut, wild berry hibiscus and passion fruit. It is combined with palmless glycerin and potassium sorbate (from rowan berries) and contains vitamin C.
I haven’t used it for a long time, so I can’t give a testimonial here, but I’m happy to give a fully tested natural product a boost from a Canadian entrepreneur; it tastes sophisticated, subtle and pleasant to add to a morning smoothie (or just mixed in lukewarm water, when I feel the need to channel the Kourtney K ‘vibe’).
So at the end of the day that’s kind of what Gwyneth said: it can help. Remember what Dr. Dempster said: There are also natural sources to get your collagen. I knew there was a reason I was happy with the mild fall chill in the air last weekend: it’s time to put some (organic) chicken bones and some veg in the pot ( or fish bones, if that’s your food preference). Simmering broth all day will always be comfortable, and hey, that can – help – keep wrinkles away too!
Buy the tips
As always, consult your doctor before starting any new supplement routine. Here are some fun, Canadian options for ingestible collagen in powder, liquid and infused formulas, from bovine and marine sources.
This Canadian brand of collagen is a liquid elixir food supplement made from wild-caught marine collagen (in Canada).
This is the company for which Jen Aniston signed on as CCO. Single ingredient powders can be added to hot or cold drinks and shakes. It is the bovine; marine is also available.
Landish is another Canadian collagen startup. Its supplements are sustainably sourced from wild caught fish in the North Atlantic off Nova Scotia and made only from the skin and scales (by-products).
Okay, so it takes a while to digest the concept of beef bone broth and chocolate, but it’s a respected company and apparently this combo is very popular! Also available in Keto formats and pure collagen powders.