It can be incredibly challenging to make sense of the advice, marketing and commentary on collagen. I find my patients are often left confused concerning their initial steps into collagen supplementation. Albeit daunting, there are a few fundamentals, which can help narrow your approach and ensure you are responding adequately and effectively to your skin's needs.
Collagen as an oral supplement
First and foremost, a popular measure is oral consumption or ingestion of collagen through animal products such as bone broth and gelatine. Collagen being a formative component to the connective tissues found in animals means that invariably, products derived from animals are naturally high in this protein.
A key caveat here is that there’s less evidence to suggest that oral consumption can ostensibly ‘restock’ your collagen stores, particularly when it comes to skin. A more measured and proven approach would be to stimulate your body’s natural production with specific physical, topical and oral practices that can non-invasively induce collagen production.
Studies suggest there is some benefit to having daily animal derived collagen supplements, but more for other aspects of health (gut and joints for example) than purely for skin. Nonetheless, I encourage looking for organic, grass fed options where possible (for bovine derived products) and investigating the source of fish derived products to ensure minimal exposure to heavy metal toxins (which can be a contaminant in some fish derived collagen supplements). Making your own bone broth from a grass fed source is probably the best form of supplementation. After that, there is good evidence for liposomal vitamin C supplements, as Vitamin C is a precursor for collagen production.
Investing in quality skin care products with Vitamin C and Vitamin A will also serve as an effective and proactive first step in your journey towards collagen stimulation, as vitamin C in particular is one of the key precursors for collagen production in the body, both orally and topically. Both vitamins C and A play a very important role in the healing and preservation of connective tissue, encouraging the natural production of collagen in the skin.
There is extensive evidence for the use of both vitamin C and vitamin A in topical skincare products to enhance collagen production in the skin.
Collagen stimulating skincare
When creating the SkinW1 product range, I chose to work with a patented complex of key active ingredients Methylglucoside phosphate and Copper Lysinate/Prolinate, which I had used extensively in clinic for many years, with great results. However I couldn’t find suitable retail products with a high enough percentage of actives to recreate my in-clinic results. The SkinW1 products were born out of a desire to make these ingredients, and my approach, more accessible to everyone.
The active ingredients I have focused on in the Skin W1® product range work to induce the synthesis of key proteins in the dermis involved in the maintenance of collagen type I, collagen type III, tropoelastin and elastin. As we age, our skin's structure to support this collagen deteriorates. My products work to stimulate the protein synthesis with energy provided from the aforementioned key active ingredients. Working together on a molecular level, the Skin W1® range is a great foundation for supporting your collagen production and overall skin health.