Collagen is a buzz-word in beauty at the moment. Skincare products and drinks claiming to offer you a non-surgical anti-aging and collagen-boosting alternative are everywhere; but do they work? Can you replace that collagen you lose with age through topical or edible products? I have read so many conflicting reports and reviews of such products, so I decided it was time to do some proper research.
Medical News Today says that collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is found in bones, muscles, skin and tendons. Medical News Today explains that collagen gives your skin its strength and elasticity, is responsible for the replacement of dead skin
cells and that production of collagen naturally declines with age, causing skin to lose its elasticity, which results in sagging, lines and wrinkles. Up until the age of around 40, your body is constantly producing collagen; but levels then continue to decline. We can’t stop this intrinsic ageing but certain factors can accelerate collagen degradation; such as high sugar consumption, smoking, exposure to UV rays from sunlight and some autoimmune disorders.
Now that I understood collagen a bit better, I decided to try out, and research, a few products that claim to be collagen boosting- Balance Me’s new Collagen Boost range and Bella Berry‘s collagen juices.
I recently read a review by another blogger on the Balance Me Collagen Boost range, who said that it couldn’t possibly work as “collagen cells are too large to penetrate the epidermis”. I didn’t agree with this review, as that’s not how these products are designed to work. They contain a unique peptide complex that is designed to firm skin and boost collagen levels. Peptides are tiny protein fragments, or small chains of amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins, that increase cellular communication within the skin. They can be targeted, and the ones in these products have been engineered to increase collagen synthesis. These products contain a short chain of amino acids that can penetrate our epidermis and instruct cells to behave in a certain way. With modern technology being so advanced, each peptide complex can be designed to target specific cells. In this case, with the Balance Me Collagen Boost range, their unique peptide complex has been designed to enable the stimulation of the fibroblastic cells that produce collagen. They also contain vitamin C for collagen support.
I have been using the Balance Me Collagen Boost Restore & Replenish Cleanser (£18) and the Balance Me Collagen Boost Restore & Replenish Face Cream (£40) for over a month now, and I really like them. At 31, I am not at the stage yet where my collagen levels have started to diminish naturally, and I don’t smoke or expose myself unprotected to the sun; but these products have made my skin feel and look a lot firmer and smoother. The cleanser removes make-up very well, and both contain Blackberry Leaf to protect my skin against environmental damage. Both of these products are also instantly plumping and hydrating from their Hyaluronic Acid ingredient, and contain essential Amino Acids for healthy cell generation too. I think these are great anti-aging and skin protecting products for all ages.
In addition to the Balance Me products, I have also tried the collagen drink offerings from Bella Berry. Unfortunately, there is no way for consumers to tell whether these beauty drinks are doing what they say they are doing- increasing our collagen levels to benefit our skin. However, from my research I found that it is likely that the powerful digestive system in our bodies would break down the collagen in these drinks for energy use before it actually absorbed into the blood stream and reached the skin. So, I wouldn’t rely on these drinks for a skin collagen boost; but they are very tasty and semi-affordable (£19.99 for 6 at Bella Berry) for all natural, low-calorie drinks that have a host of other health benefits from a multitude of vitamins and antioxidants such as vitamin E for healthy skin and eyes.
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Image 1 Credit: Flickr- Orofacial via Creative Commons License