Why investing in a collagen supplement optimised for skin benefits now, is right for me.
by Lauren Teader-Pye
It may seem a little early to be investing in collagen supplements in my mid-twenties but I’m genuinely phobic of needles – so botox will remain well and truly out! And despite being careful with my skin care routine I am getting a few wrinkles – it’s inevitable! I love my party nights out and weekends away and so I began to read about supplements to boost skin health. Collagen was one of the main topics of conversation, not just the topical creams, but how ingesting it helps build your own natural collagen levels, whilst increasing skin elasticity and helps reducing wrinkles.
With so many collagen supplement products out there in lots of different forms I wanted one that was easy to take, offered quality clinical data and was specifically designed to improve and enhance skin. I invested the same level of research and consideration into exploring the options as I have always done for all the skin care creams I use on my face. This is what I found out and what ultimately helped me choose Ellactiva’s collagen& chews – the collagen supplement that has proved the best for me.
Why take collagen for skin
Collagen is a protein that sustains the body’s structure and gives skin its look of firmness. Skin with an abundance of collagen is skin that looks smooth, firm and wrinkle-free – simple. However, our natural collagen levels begin to decline in our twenties. JOY! That’s why taking preventative steps in your twenties to build and preserve collagen levels is said to yield remarkable beautiful results as you age. Makes sense.
But can we help prevent Collagen loss?
There are some ways we can help maintain some balance of collagen in our bodies, but we can’t stop the ageing process and decline of collagen altogether.
Sun Damage Destroys Collagen.
This can lead to wrinkling, sagging skin and dark/sun spots. It is so important to use sun protection every day. It may seem like an unnecessary chore on cloudy days, but it really does make a difference because sun damage is cumulative. If you do crave a subtle warm glow to your skin, fake tan is the safest alternative (my favourite is Bondi Sands). Sun damage not only causes premature ageing, but it also carries skin cancer risks. With so many self-tanning options to choose from, you will find one that works with your skin tone to give you the most natural colour for you.
You may be sabotaging your collagen and causing wrinkles unknowingly if you have a sweet tooth (which I do!). Sugar makes collagen brittle, and when collagen becomes brittle, wrinkles form. It may be challenging to cut back on your sweet treats but it really makes a difference in how you feel, plus the long-term benefits for your skin are worth it.
What collagen is best for delivering skin benefits?
Firstly, collagen is an animal protein and so no collagen supplement is suitable for vegetarians or vegans! Surprisingly I know a number of vegetarians who didn’t know this. You can get porcine, bovine and marine sourced collagen, but with so much information and ‘mis’information out there, I simply focussed on which products were specifically designed and optimised for maximum skin benefits. This immediately took me away from powders and tablets to collagen products that mostly came in liquid shots.
So, why did I choose Ellactiva collagen& soft chews over collagen shots?
Firstly, it may help if I explain what optimised and un-optimised peptides are to help you choose more wisely!
The molecular weight distributions and amino acid composition of peptides can differ significantly dependant upon production conditions. Typically used, in most liquid collagen shots, are un-optimised collagen peptides, which may contain a substantially smaller proportion of low-molecular weight peptides and/or not contain the optimal amino acid composition for skin effects. The Bioactive Collagen Peptides® used in Ellactiva Collagen& are a highly bioactive form of collagen optimised for skin effects: they are high in specific amino acids, specifically hydroxyproline, alanine, leucine and isoleucine, and contain a high proportion of low-molecular peptides. The Bioactive Collagen Peptides® used in Ellactiva Collagen& are manufactured via a patent protected process that selects these four characteristic peptides in a low molecular weight to maximise their bioactivity in skin.
I found that most liquid collagen shots delivered 5-7g of unoptimised collagen peptides in a daily dose, but I couldn’t find many with clinical data to support the effectiveness of these peptides. The published data I did find for unoptimised collagen peptides stated that in fact 10g or more was actually needed in a daily dose to deliver skin benefits. The data was contradictory and as liquid shots are expensive, about £3-£4 a daily dose, I needed more assurance that I was getting value for money. Plus, I wasn’t mad keen on the consistency and taste of the few shots that I tried. This, of course, is subjective.
Ellactiva Collagen& soft chews:
I came across this brand whilst in London and visiting Harrods (window shopping). It interested me because it was collagen in a chew format (with no added sugar) claiming fast results for visible skin benefits, alongside wellness benefits too. I didn’t buy it there and then as I wanted to check it out on the website. It was a brand specialising in beauty and wellness supplements and specifically their new range of Collagen& soft chews (3 products in the range). The brand was founded by a scientist that had previously worked in R&D (research and development) in the wellness and beauty field for both Boots and P&G. This sparked my interest even more and I was especially keen to understand why they claimed to offer the best value amongst high quality collagen products specifically designed for skin benefits – exactly what I was looking for. Also I wanted to see the scientific proof to be convinced of the claims and to understand why it could offer greater efficacy than liquid collagen shots?
The Clinical studies and data results..
…on Ellactiva’s website did support the brands claims; that in a short period of time the optimised Bioactive Collagen Peptides® (note not unoptimised peptides) used in their chews would increase skin elasticity, significantly reduce wrinkles and increase procollagen levels by 65% – in women taking the recommended daily dose of 2500mg (3 chews) compared to the placebo group. I was impressed with the data but even more so that this data was all cited on their website and had been published in peer reviewed journals (so proper scientific claims that you can rely on).
The main claim that Ellactiva now promotes following all the trials is
‘the scientifically proven necessary dose of optimised Bioactive Collagen Peptides® (3 daily chews) delivers visible skin benefits in as little as 4 weeks’.
Just what I was looking for to boost my own natural collagen levels, keep my skin firm and enjoy in an easy to take, tasty chew. And with no added sugar – even better!
Additional wellness benefits:
So with skin sorted, what did they mean by inner health benefits too?
So all 3 products in the Collagen& soft chew range, Collagen& Immunity, Collagen& Energy and Collagen& Healthy Bones, contain exactly the same quality and quantity of optimised bioactive collagen peptides, plus Vitamin C (essential for maximum collagen synthesis). The Collagen& Energy is orange flavoured and also contains added vitamins and minerals to give you an energy boost. Collagen& Immunity is blackcurrant flavoured with added multi-nutrients to support your immune health (this is my personal favourite) and Collagen& Healthy Bones comes in creamy caramel flavour and contains calcium to support normal bone health.
Ellactiva Collagen& soft chews are the best collagen supplement for my needs.
I determined that it made no sense to pay £3-£4 for a daily collagen shot when Ellactiva’s collagen chews cost £1.50 a daily dose and have clear and credible data to support the efficacy of the optimised bioactive collagen peptides they use in their chews, specifically designed for skin benefits. The fact that they also contain unique blends of multi-nutrients for health benefits was a massive bonus. But for me personally, I also love the fact that they come in handy packed sticks of chews that I can throw in my bag or case and they taste great. It’s nice being able to use a supplement that is a pleasure to take. 4 months into taking them and I’m still loving them. My skin, which could look drawn and tired after weekends out or away, has definitely improved. My nails are much stronger and I feel happy knowing that I am boosting my collagen levels every day, whilst giving my body lots of vitamins and minerals too.
These are perfect for me in so many ways and are definitely worth the investment for now and the years to come!