Since childhood, it has been stressed to us all that what we put into our bodies is what we get out and the same runs true for our skincare. From the inside out, your diet and health has a huge impact on the condition of your skin so why not give it the proteins, nutrients and minerals that it could be lacking?
Supplements are often met with cynicism but in the beauty world, there is one buzz ingredient that almost indisputably reigns supreme. Collagen is found naturally in the body and plays a crucial role in skin’s elasticity and firmness. It has been proven that from our mid-twenties, our bodies begin to produce less of the powerhouse protein where according to the brand Revive Collagen, the “decline starts at a rate of 1.5 per cent a year and by the age of 60, most women have lost 80 per cent of their collagen levels”.
This explains why the demand for collagen supplements has grown by 401 per cent in the past year and by a whopping 96,088 per cent at Boots alone. We, as a collective nation, are wising up about the specificities of our beauty routines.
So let us break it down for you.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein found naturally that accounts for 25 to 30 per cent of the total proteins in our bodies. It maintains the skin’s health and protects, smooths and hydrates.
Lola Biggs, Dietitian at Together Health explains, “Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our body, acting as our in-house scaffolding and playing a critical structural role in all our body’s building blocks, including our skin and bones.”
“The body can create its necessary collagen from different amino acids broken down from the protein-rich foods that we eat. However, studies show that our in-house collagen production line declines with age, and may benefit from adding readily formed sources to our diets.”
With insufficient collagen, our skin can lose its elasticity, firmness, plumpness and radiance, appearing dull and lacklustre.
What do collagen supplements do?
With a celebrity fan base that includes Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Anniston, and Victoria Beckham, collagen works to keep the skin smooth, supple, healthy, nourished and wrinkles at bay.
Through a process of hydrolysis, the collagen protein is combined with water. Alone, they cannot enter the bloodstream but in liquid form, they are easily and more effectively absorbed and can circulate around the body, stimulating elastin and hyaluronic acid molecules. What you ingest is bioidentical to the proteins in the body so it recognises it as its own and accepts it.
It’s all very clever actually.
What ingredients should you look out for?
It is rare that you’ll find a supplement with just collagen alone. Brands take the opportunity to pair the protein with a whole host of other helpful nutrients and vitamins.
“Boosting your intake of collagen via supplements often means choosing between or a mixture of marine, bovine or chicken-based sources. While there are many different types of collagens, these are the most common ones you’ll find in supplements. Having a mixture of all three will maximise the potential benefits to the body.” Lola reveals.
“Collagen is one kind of building block, but like all parts of the body, a team of nutrients usually work together to complete a role. To support the body’s natural production of collagen, you need adequate levels of other nutrients. Vitamin C has been shown to help our cells use this protein, so when supplementing collagen look to top up this nutrient too. Minerals such as zinc and copper are also influential in the efficiency of natural collagen. Co-nutrients such as hyaluronic acid and silica from bamboo have also been shown to optimise the results.”
Are there any side effects?
“Adding any supplements to your current diet has the potential to disrupt or cause some reactions, however as this is a protein that the body is used to making, breaking down and absorbing so most people don’t have any problems.”
See the best collagen supplements below to improve your hair, skin and nails.
Revive Collagen Enhanced Plus - Hydrolysed Marine Collagen Drink
If, over the years, you’ve noticed your skin looks dull and lacklustre, it may be due to the depletion in your natural collagen levels. Enter Revive Collagen and its daily supplements that will give you the radiance boost you’re looking for. With an upgraded formula from the hugely popular original, Enhanced Plus contains 10,000 MG of hydrolysed marine collagen, as well as hydrolysed keratin, retinol, vitamin B6, B12, C and D to leave both your complexion and hair renewed, nourished, hydrated and strengthened. They come in sachet form so are super easy for on the go. Mix with water or your morning juice where it adds a surprisingly tasty tropical flavour. The product is free from dairy, soy, lactose, gluten, and artificial flavours, colours and additional sugar.
JSHealth Vitality X + Collagen Powder
Using sustainably-sourced Marine Collagen peptides, add just a spoonful of this powder to your morning beverage to maximise the youth-inducing effects. The collagen is activated through a hydrolysation process to ensure maximum absorption and efficacy. Derived from wild cod skin, this type 1 collagen is said to be 1.5 times more effective than bovine or porcine and will encourage cell repair to minimise the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Paired with nutrients and botanicals including Vitamin C, silica, aloe vera, turmeric, and vitamin E, it also gives skin a hit of hydration and will support digestive health as well as that of your hair. You’ll notice a brighter complexion in just a month. It also has a tasty citrus flavour.
Maxine Laceby Marine Liquid Collagen Drink For Women
Now a cult product for those in the know, Machine Laceby is an expert in the collagen game. The entirely natural products are made up of hydrolysed marine collagen - with an impressive 8000mg. It travels into your bloodstream and stimulates your body’s natural production, while giving an extra dose of protein and essential amino acids.
The formula comes in sachet form so you can take it no matter whether you are working from home, back to the office or heading abroad where you simply mix it with any hot or cold drink. There are three flavours; the original lemon, raspberry and mango and mandarin. The brand collates the feedback from its customers with impressive results - softer skin, reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and skin firmness being among the many.
Myvitamins Coconut & Collagen Capsules
For this supplement from Myvitamins, you are treating your body to an extra, much-welcomed dose of collagen, coconut oil and vitamin C. The accompaniments work in tandem to ensure that the collagen itself is more easily and effectively absorbed. For both skin and hair health, the combination works to give you a bright complexion as well as shinier locks.
Dose & Co Pure Collagen Peptides
Given the Kardashian seal of approval by Khloe herself, Dose & Co has come across the pond to take UK shores by storm. There is now one of the brand’s Pure Collagen Peptides sold every two minutes. Using bovine collagen, it has an unflavoured taste so can be easily incorporated into your food and drink routine. Each serve offers up 10 grams of type one and three collagen that you can add to bakes as well as beverages - hot or cold alike. It improves the appearance of skin, making it look brighter, clearer and strengthens your nails at the same time. It is also available with a chocolate, vanilla or caramel flavour.
The Nue Co Skin Hydrator
The Nue Co is changing up our approach to health, putting it at the forefront of our agenda with supplements that are easy to incorporate into our daily lives with results-driven formulations. Skin Hydrator is designed to support our lipids - the oil that make up the top layer of skin. It contains a mix of PhytoCeramides to strengthen the barrier and better protect against external aggressors that may cause skin ageing as well as water loss. Hydrating hyaluronic acid, soothing aloe vera and hydrolysed bovine collagen all work to lock in moisture and leave you with a strong, supple and bright complexion. Just take one capsule each day.
HUM Nutrition Collagen Love
Combining the expertise of leading nutritionists, Collagen Love was borne out of a desire to give skin the TLC that it deserves with ingredients that are naturally delivered but have clinically proven quality too. Combining potency and purity, Hum formulates this product with grass-fed and pasture-raised bovine collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C that will not only counteract signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles but has a preventative, protective edge and bring firmness and elasticity. Take three capsules every day.
Starpowa Vegan Collagen Support 60 Gummies
Incorporating collagen boosters into your routine could not be easier thanks to Starpowa who offer the powerhouse in gummy form. Not only can they be swallowed solo but there’s a lovely lemonade flavour. The vitamin-packed formulation includes bamboo with natural silica and L-Lysine to encourage collagen production and increase skin’s elasticity. You’ll notice your complexion looks clearer and revitalised with that fresh-from-holiday or 10 hour sleep glow.
Kiki Health Pure Marine Collagen Powder
Taking a no-fuss, no-frills approach to your collagen intake, Kiki Health offers this powder containing 100 per cent high-quality marine collagen that has been purified and hydrolysed for better absorption. The collagen is sourced from wild fish off the coast of France with the peptides maintained for that all important skin elasticity, brightness and firmness that the protein provides.
One Ocean Beauty Marine Collagen
One Ocean is leaning on nature and in particular the ocean to craft its wellbeing boosters. The brand uses a lab-controlled process of Blue Biotechnology to offer a collagen supplement while also preserving marine life as it removes the need for harvesting. The cruelty-free product combines fish collagen with the likes of evening primrose oil to encourage skin renewal, reduce inflammation and brighten your complexion. The capsules are housed in recyclable packaging. Take one a day.