Let me introduce you to Collagen - one of the most common health & beauty topics around today.
Best known for its role in keeping our skin plump & youthful, collagen is an important 'scaffolding' protein made naturally in our bodies and thought to make up around 75% of our skin's dry weight. It is a major building block of bones, skin, hair, muscles and tendons and although it plays such a critical role our collagen stores get depleted as we age.
From an ageing perspective, collagen is critical to our skin's youthful appearance as well as the health & vitality of our bodies. Addition of collagen to skincare products and nutritional supplements is common but not all those can be absorbed into the body. With all this confusion how do we know where to turn to maintain our collagen stores and keep ageing at bay?
Let's strip back the confusion and bust some of the myths around how to 'boost' our available collagen.
Myth 1 - Collagen becomes an issue when we're 'old'.
Most people assume this starts to occur as we 'get old' but in truth collagen production starts to decline as early as our mid-twenties, and we start to age and sag as a result. Giving attention to boosting our collagen should not wait until our 'later years'. In fact the earlier we focus on maintaining our collagen levels, the more we can delay the ageing process. This is in our hands.
Myth 2 - The decline is out of our control.
The truth is, getting older is only one reason for loss of collagen. Lifestyle factors and influences such as smoking, pollution, sun exposure and poor diet can speed up the rate of collagen loss. These factors are within our circle of control to some degree.
Myth 3 - Collagen is collagen is collagen.
In fact there are 4 main types of collagen (plus several others) that the body needs for various functions - one for skin, one for cartilage, one for muscle, one for interstitial tissues and so on. So how do we know which supplement or ingredient is the one that will go to our skin...and not our ear cartilage? Our body is smarter at producing what it needs - we simply need to provide the right building blocks and leave the rest to the body.
Myth 4 - You can't get collagen from your diet.
Recent evidence shows that some meat products can be a concentrated source of collagen itself (note the bone broth movement). The 'main' sources of collagen come from the proteins (amino acids) in meat, fish, dairy, eggs. There are also very viable vegan sources of collagen if we look to sources such as nuts, seeds, pulses and legumes. Vegetarians and vegans can find protein rich foods which help the body build collagen.
Myth 5 - Collagen in skincare formulations or vitamin supplements is a great way to boost stores.
Collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed by the skin. They are also too large to be absorbed into the bloodstream. It is almost impossible to build our collagen stores by adding collagen topically or in supplement forms.
There is no dispute, collagen plays an incredibly important role in the prevention of premature ageing and the maintenance of health & vitality. Whether it is food, supplements or skincare, we are bombarded with a whole raft of new products and 'super-claims' around the benefits of collagen, and a whole lot of misinformation too. So how do we make sense of all the claims out there and effectively boost our collagen levels?
In the interests of making it really simple, the science behind how the body produces collagen is this - the body gathers the right balance of amino acids from protein-rich foods, and adds a healthy dose of Vit C, zinc and copper (from other nutrient rich foods) to build its collagen stores and distribute it throughout the body to where it is needed.
As far as skin health is concerned it is now scientifically proven that the skin's hydration and wrinkle depth are both improved by boosting collagen. The answer is not in pretending we can add collagen to the body, but in providing the ingredients that power up collagen synthesis. The body then distributes it where it needs to go.
One of our best kept secrets at Rubifresh is that our Collagen + Rosehip Creme contains 7 ingredients that boost the body's collagen synthesis. These range from aloe vera, to hyaluronic acid, to pomegranate, citrus and Vit E. All work together to help the body create more collagen and hence provide a powerful anti-ageing effect.
Discover more about Rubifresh Collagen + Rosehip Creme here.