In this article we discuss what is better than taking hydrolysed collagen; how you can optimise the actual water you ingest; and why most skincare products on the market containing glycolic acid don’t lead to a significant difference in skin.
1) Why Taking Collagen/Hydrolysed Collagen to ‘improve skin’ is a waste of money.
Despite what so many supplement companies claim, there is very little robust evidence so far that shows hydrolysed collagen supplements make any difference to the skin structures or for even the peptides to reach the skin. It is a protein after all so the peptides just go into your ‘amino acid pool’ for growth and repair in the body and are directed at areas of the body that need it the most first, such as wound repair. The peptides will therefore be diluted down by the time they reach the skin. Many manufacturers fund the research being done so it is in their best interests to make such claims that they make a significant difference to the appearance of skin.
Having a diet high in protein helps you build more collagen in the body but also it’s good to ensure you have a high intake of vitamin C to produce more collagen in the skin and connective tissues.
Why I would prefer supplementing vitamin C as opposed to collagen
Vitamin C is found in highest amounts in the epidermis (very first layers of the skin), compared to the dermis (deeper layers of skin) and protects the skin against free radical damage from UV light. Vitamin C regulates the synthesis of the structural protein collagen and is involved in the hydroxylation of collagen which supports the structures of the epidermis. Vitamin C has been shown to stabilise collagen mRNA, therefore increasing synthesis of collagen proteins to repair damaged skin.
Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid is best and in liposomal form for >90% direct absorption into the bloodstream.
2) Replace your water intake with green juice..
I drink 3-4 litres of water a day but recently I have got into the habit of making a large volume (2 litres) of green juice to hydrate myself with. It’s easy to make, detoxifying, gives you brighter skin and is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s a great way to get plenty of greens in too. I blend cucumber, celery, kale, cavelo nero, broccoli, spinach, 1 lime, mint, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of turmeric with 1.2 litres of water which makes up about 2 litres of green juice, and fill a large water bottle up with it and drink it throughout the day.
3) Simple agents can make a difference
There’s so many skincare products on the market and it can be difficult to know what to choose and what is going to work. It’s been talked about a lot already, but I swear by glycolic acid peels. They are safe to do at home (as long as you choose a reputable manufacturer) and you can notice instant brightening. I mention this as you can get a good effect from using a slightly stronger peel compared to what a lot of beauticians use for their clients and also what is available in most skincare products on the market. Using 50% glycolic acid peels at home cleared up a lot of my adult onset acne and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation scars within, I am not joking, a month. I found it to be good for cystic acne.
Why does acne occur?
The skin overproduces sebum and builds up over dead skin cells, clogging pores and trapping bacteria which leads to inflammatory pustules and cysts, blackheads and whiteheads.
Glycolic acid is so much better than using a normal exfoliating scrub (which can often just scratch the surface of the skin) or masks, because it sheds several layers of all the dead skin taking the bacteria with it. Glycolic acid calms down the inflammation over time. You can also see results very quickly and instant brightening and pore refinement after the first peel. Your skin might appear dry for up to 1 week but use a good moisturiser and avoid extreme UV light exposure for a few weeks post peel to avoid any hyperpigmentation. Skin will tingle and may appear red too after use. If you have sensitive skin I would try the 30% strength first which is the gentlest and see how you tolerate it. If a very uncomfortable burning sensation develops, wash it off immediately with cold water.
It can be hard to source a good quality peel online for the right strength.
I would only recommend Perfect Image 30-50% glycolic acid peel which is not expensive if you get it directly from them (they ship worldwide) and is safe to use. This is the brand I have used on my own skin so I know that it also has easy to follow instructions. It is only left on the skin for 2 mins at a time before being washed off for a maximum of 5 times in any one sitting at least 3 weeks apart if needed.