To all the women that have bought enough bottles of acne creams, anti-aging serums and wrinkle reducing facial creams to open up your own skincare store, take note: your skincare routine (and your bank balance) is about to take a turn for the better.
Aaaah the quest for beautiful skin. It’s a lifelong struggle most of us face as the beauty industry feeds its community a tonne of pseudoscience nonsense about how they’ve found the miracle to solve all your skincare woes so they can sell you their new topical treatment.
However, skincare isn’t a one size fits all kinda thing. Your skin is beautifully unique, so to see real long-term results that will work for you, you need to take the inside track to customise your skincare to your own specific needs.
Now unless you’re planning to take a crash course in cosmetic chemistry (it’s a headache I wouldn’t recommend), the best way to get a tailor-made solution for your skin is to get to the root of the cause through your body. The human body is a marvellous piece of machinery that can help direct the nutrients you need, in the correct volumes, to the parts of your skin that require it (it’s like being born with a tailor-made factory for your needs and yet most of us prefer to run to the pharmacy when things go wrong - bonkers). The only thing you have to do is feed your body a combination of powerful, wholefood sourced nutrients so it can rebuild your foundation for beautiful skin from within, instead of having these ingredients just sit on the surface - and this is where beauty supplements come in.
Why Beauty Supplements?
You are what you eat and this could not be more true for your face. The gut skin axis is a direct connection between your digestive system (and everything that goes wrong with it) and the skin on your face. A lack of water shows up as dull dry skin of your face; a lack of fibre shows up as a new pimple waving back at you, on your face; a lack of antioxidant filled fruits and veggies shows up as fine lines and wrinkles on (yup you guessed it) your face!
And yet despite our gut having such a huge impact on your skin, the beauty industry remains adamant that topical skincare was the golden ticket to bidding adieu to your fine lines with their brand-new miracle serum! Topical skincare has several limitations in its efficacy, especially when it’s being used to combat the fine lines and wrinkles associated with aging skin and this is probably why you aren’t seeing the results you want!
5 Ways Topical Skincare Is Stopping You Having the Skin of Your Dreams
1. Topical skincare can only penetrate the uppermost layer of your skin
As the first line of defence, your skin is made up of several layers that are designed to be difficult to penetrate (usually by dirt or pathogens). So, when applying anti-aging serums and elixirs to the skin, they are limited to how far they can penetrate. Now, seeing that collagen production occurs in the deeper dermal layers of the skin, getting ingredients such as vitamin C to the dermis from the surface of you r skin will be incredibly difficult and won’t be able to deliver these ingredients where they are required to help you produce collagen.
2. Your Skin Can Only Absorb a Certain Number of Products
Building on my point above, you can only add on a certain number of skincare layers on your skin before they start becoming obsolete. Your skin is porous but just like how adding more and more washing up liquid onto a sponge will end up with you having a pool of unused liquid sitting on its surface, applying multiple active ingredients on your skin will cause them to just sit on top of your skin instead of actually being absorbed into it. By limiting the number of actives you use, you can ensure that those serums that you are putting on your skin are actually being absorbed by your skin and having some effect.
3. You Can’t Mix and Match Different Ingredients
Another huge problem with topical skincare is that you can’t use multiple ingredients at the same time. As I mentioned above, having too many products on your skin will stop effective absorption. However, skincare is essentially a mixture of chemicals, and when certain chemicals are mixed, they react. For example, you can’t use retinol and alpha hydroxy acids as it’s too harsh for the skin; you can’t use retinol and vitamin c together either because of the change in pH vitamin C causes on the skin.
You also can’t use copper peptides and vitamin c together as although both copper and vitamin C are essential nutrients required for collagen production, when they are used together topically, copper peptides cause the degradation of vitamin C.
Additionally, most of the time we can’t use actives during the day as they would make our skin more sensitive to the sun which could actually increase collagen degradation and damage. When you add all this up, most topical skincare is severely limited in its collagen producing and skin regenerating abilities.
4. Topical Skincare Is Time Consuming and Expensive
While committing to the health of your skin is a concept I would always promote, being smart about the time you commit is also important. We could all do with a couple more hours in the day to get things done, but instead of spending hours on skincare and not getting the results you want, approaching your skincare issues from the inside out can ensure you get the most effective results, with less effort and end up with more money in the bank – what do you have to lose?
5. Topical Skincare Isn’t the Most Environmentally Friendly
While the ribbons, glittery tissue paper and super cute packaging may help you get a double tap worthy post on the gram, having multiple bottles of skincare – which aren’t actually effective – can be quite wasteful. In comparison, a single supplement pack that provides you all the ingredients you need for your skin in a single pack is economically and environmentally much more efficient. Look out specifically for companies that have supplements that are packed to use over a week or a month instead of daily single use plastic packs that aren’t doing the environment any favours.
Which Beauty Supplement Is Right for Me?
It’s not news that almost all the rave about ingestible skincare is associated with collagen, and with good reason. Collagen makes up 70-80% of your skin and is the most abundant protein in your skin, hair and nails making it a beauty supplement must have to get visible long lasting results. However, most collagen supplements are made up of discarded marine and bovine parts – discarded – i.e. deemed un-ingestible by the food industry. So, to make said animal parts palatable, they’d mix in a medley of fillers, sweeteners and food additives to make these supplements more palatable, which wouldn’t be doing your skin or your gut any favours, more on that here.
However, animals aren’t the only source of collagen. Like I mentioned earlier, the human body is a truly remarkable feat and we are more than capable of producing our own collagen – most of us spend the first 25ish years of our life producing said protein so why eat the innards of a fish or a cow when you can make it yourself?
Vegan collagen supplements work by providing your body with all the plant-based ingredients such as vitamins A, C and E and a range of phytonutrients required for your body to produce collagen. As collagen is found in the deeper dermal layers of your skin, ingesting these ingredients allows them to use the inside track to travel directly to the dermis and produce collagen exactly where you need it.
As all the ingredients are coming from wholefood sources like fruits and veggies, there’s no need to add any fillers or sweeteners to make it taste good (I mean who doesn’t like raspberries?), they are absorbed incredibly effectively by your gut directly into your blood stream, and you can use multiple antioxidant and vitamin ingredients simultaneously to build collagen (vitamin C, E and copper), promote cell turnover (vitamin A/retinol), reduce inflammation and control sebum production (vitamin B/niacinamide) and fight free radicals (plant based antioxidants) all at the same time from a single scoop of vegan collagen – I know it sounds to good to be true but it works!
Should I Be Tossing All My Topical Skincare Out?
Absolutely not. Topical moisturisers and serums should still have a space reserved in your vanity. While the benefits of ingestible skincare supplements (far) outweigh the benefits of topical skincare, their one setback is that they take a little longer to work their magic and this is where topical skincare has its moment of glory.
Ingestible supplements are taken orally and therefore take longer to travel to the deepest layers of your skin and work their magic. While this may be beneficial for deep rooted issues such as collagen production, fine lines and scarring, the surface of your skin can dry out quite quickly as the cells here are pretty much dead and therefore don’t have a proper oxygen or water supply. This is where a deeply nourishing moisturiser can be beneficial as it prevents your skin feeling tight and dry by hydrating those cells on the surface. However, topical skincare can also help to build up your skin’s moisture barrier and prevent water loss from your skin to the outside environment – especially if you’re lucky enough to experience London’s dry and polluted air!
The moisturiser will effectively work like a sealant and lock in the water in your skin so that your cells remain plump and hydrated with enough water that is essential for making up 60% of your collagen molecule (thirsty much!)
How Do I Build an Effective Anti-Aging Skincare Routine That Actually Works?
1. Minimise Your Approach – More Is Not Better
Like I mentioned above, more doesn’t always mean better when it comes to skincare. The uppermost layers of your skin are limited to how much they can absorb at a time and unless you intend to have a 2-hour gap between applications of each step in your skincare routine (kudos if you do – I admire your commitment to your skin), having 2-3 products will get the job done.
For the majority of us, it’s a 5-minute process at the start and end of each day and keeping your skincare routine simple will save you time and money. A cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen are really all you need – adding a single exfoliating or hydrating treatment (based on your specific skin concerns) is helpful, but I’d typically leave it there. Instead of spending hours slathering bottle after bottle of skincare, add in a collagen supplement into your routine so you can still get the benefits of using potent ingredients on your skin, from within.
2. Stay Consistent
Overnight skin treatments don’t exist (yep, I said it). Any treatment to your skin will take time to show results, be it using topical or ingestible skincare – but the most important thing to see results is to stay consistent. Just as you eat to feed your body every day, your skin also needs to ‘eat’ the ingredients on a daily basis to be able to continue producing collagen.
While ingestible skincare will take at least a couple of weeks to show noticeable improvements in your skin, they will last a lot longer in the days to come! Your results are hugely dependent on your skin cycle which is dependent on your age – as a general rule, your skin cycle is about 28 days in your early twenties, extending up to 70 days as you approach your 50’s. New, plump collagen filled cells will take a full cycle to reach the surface of your skin and this is when you will see the most noticeable difference.
3. Approach Skincare Holistically
Your skin is your largest organ and therefore is affected by so many of your daily activities. While a collagen supplement can help you produce collagen, seeing effective results that will last does require bit more of a holistic approach. Ensuring you are (trying to) get an adequate 7hrs of shut eye a night, eating a clean wholefood rich diet (I like to go with the 80/20 rule – eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge a little more 20% of the time), and trying to keep your stress levels at a minimum are incredibly important factors to help your skin age gracefully. Not only will a holistic approach to skincare improve your results, you’ll also improve your quality of life and who doesn’t want that?
I hope this brief(ish) article has helped shed some light on the power of ingestible skincare and has (hopefully) won them a place in your skincare routine.
Aging is a privilege not everyone is fortunate enough to experience. While our collagen supplement can give you a helping hand to help you look and feel your best, owning your age is an empowering, beautiful feeling that we are all for!
Do you use beauty supplements in your skincare? What are your thoughts on their effectiveness compared to topical skincare? Share your thoughts in the comments below or join our Facebook group of lovely ladies all on their anti-aging journey where you can continue the conversation!