There are hundreds of skin creams, oils and treatments that claim to make us all look younger, some of them even costing hundreds or thousands of dollars, but according to the co-founder of Beauty Food, Libby Babet, the best beauty hack for looking (and feeling) younger is actually consuming collagen.
Libby, could you tell us a little bit about what collagen actually is?
“Sure! Technically collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It's found in your hair, your skin, your nails, and is the main protein in your connective tissue, which basically connects your whole body. The way collagen work is that it helps the connective tissue function properly. An easy way to explain it is to think of your connective tissue as a wet sponge. You can stretch it, you can pull it… it's pretty elastic. But when it's not in good health, it's kind of like a dry sponge that's been sitting on the windowsill for a week; it's not as hydrated, it's not as bouncy, it's not as full. And as a result, it doesn’t function as well and you appear older.”
So, how does collagen affect how we look?
“Well, as you get older, your collagen production reduces, which is why young people have bouncy, full skin and as you get older your skin seems less elastic. This is the same with the collagen that helps your hair, skin and nails stay healthy. So, the more you can boost your collagen levels, the younger you will look and feel. That’s why collagen supplementation is great as you get older because it actually provides a daily source of what your body is creating less of and it makes you look fresher and younger.”
What’s the best way to boost our collagen levels?
“There are lots of skin creams, oils and topical treatments out there, but the best way to boost your collagen levels is by eating it! That’s because your body can start to use it immediately, whereas if you apply it topically (via, say, skin cream) the amount your body absorbs is reduced and it takes longer for your body to be able to use it. Beauty Food cookies, for example, are made with hydrolysed collagen, which has been proven to be the most easily absorbed and friendliest to human gut health.”
Are there any tricks for consuming collagen?
“Yes, there are! One thing that is really important when you're consuming collagen is combining it with Vitamin C as it will actually help your body’s absorption rate. So, eating it with oranges, lemons, limes, but also berries (which are really high in Vitamin C and antioxidants) and pomegranates will help the collagen be absorbed better into your body. That’s why some of our Beauty Food cookies will be infused with Vitamin C. But you could also have one with a hand-full of berries because they are designed to be a perfect energy producing, skin boosting, brain-focusing snack. I've even eaten them for breakfast, because they're low sugar and high protein, with a little bit healthy fat, too! Delicious!”