It’s a familiar scene: a girlfriend is glowing and you ask her to spill the secret. She says it’s just a clean diet, in-between bites of a massive cheeseburger. You smile and nod, all the while calling bullshit. There must be a derm and a needle behind that plump, glowing complexion right? Wrong.

Like the old saying goes, beauty comes from the inside — and so does great skin. Which is why both men and women are turning to collagen supplements to get that youthful glow without going under the knife. 

For the uninitiated collagen is the hero behind youthful skin. More specifically it’s a type of protein produced naturally by our bodies that keeps skin even, elastic, and wrinkle free. As we get older collagen production slows, causing signs of aging to rear its ugly head. And since collagen is found in the second layer of our skin, it’s too deep for lotions and potions to penetrate.

When taken orally, however, collagen is absorbed in the gut and then delivered to skin and joints through the bloodstream. Pretty cool huh? And while collagen can be found in a myriad of forms like bone broths and animal protein, the powder supplement provides a tasteless and bioavailable form.

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But this isn’t just our opinion; there’s some science to back up collagen’s effects. In 2014 a study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Nutrition and Nutraceuticals found that consuming collagen powder leads to “a significant improvement in wrinkle depth.” The study showed changes after just 8 weeks of daily use.

Kelly LeVeque, a holistic Nutritionist who works with Jessica Alba, agrees collagen is beneficial for skin maintenance. “To keep muscle and skin tone, protein is important,” she explained to Vogue last November, adding that collagen is chock-full of energy-boosting amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. And thus the building blocks of great skin. 

On top of that, studies have also shown collagen helps decrease joint pain, reduce cellulite, and reduce damage from UVA and UVB sunlight exposure.

Of course it’s not a miracle cure. “There are few placebo-controlled studies to prove ingestible collagen’s real benefits for skin” explained George Sun, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist, to Vogue last year.  He adds that other choices like not smoking, taking vitamins (specifically B and C), and using sunscreen are all proven methods for stimulating collagen production.  

That said, if you do want to try it out quality matters when it comes to choosing a collagen powder. Always go with pastured or grass-fed varieties. Our favorite powders are Bulletproof Collagen Powder and Vital Proteins.

And the good news is you can add collagen to just about anything – it dissolves in warm liquid and doesn’t have a taste. Add it to your morning coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, or your nightly wine for all we care. Then sit back, and prepare for a glowing complexion.

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