Updated: Mar 4

By Annelise Hagen

What’s the 411 on collagen and hylauronic acid “skincare"?

Scan any beauty website, fashion magazine, or vitamin aisle and you will be besieged by a

plethora of “skinceutical” treatments gleaming seductively your way. Pseudo -scientific and

crazy expensive, these “magic potions” promise big results and cost bigger bucks.

Ingestible ingredients such as collagen powders laced with partner peptides and hylauronic acid chasers practically chacha in front of your face when you peruse the Whole Foods supplements section. These cute little packages and powders promise youth in a packet.

Some of these little charmers come brightly dressed in bright colors and sexy fonts, decorated by watermelon graphics. Cheerful packages promise the moon, or at least a fuller moon of a face, and voluptuous, pillowy lips. You may find yourself getting sucked into picking up the container, taking out your readers to name check the ingredients, toggling between your intense desire to believe this will work versus the astronomical price tag attached to the


Scan a little more thoroughly. Most collagen powders contain animal ingredients, the

predominant ones sourced from chicken sternums and “bovine materials”. The vegan

alternatives aren’t really that promising, either. Collagen is the most abundant protein in

animals’ bodies and is more cheaply sourced from animals than through the vegetable

alternative, seaweed. If you are like me, you want your supplements to deliver on their

promises without causing harm to other living beings. Cruelty isn’t beautiful.

If you go for the vegan alternative that promises to boost your body’s own collagen production (brand name, Bio SIl, though there are generic versions), tread carefully. The primary ingredient in these doppelgangers is silica, and the scientific study jury is out on whether this ingredient actually does anything at all to boost your body’s own collagen production.

So, what to do? Eat tons of seaweed and hope for the best?

I asked my aesthetician and beauty guru, Monica Watters, of Sacred Touch Beauty, her thoughts on the subject.

“Monica, I want to get back my facial fullness and smoothness that my body’s once ample

collagen once delivered,” I lamented as she lavished my cheeks with a beautiful smelling mask, “But I don’t want to hurt animals, and anyway those supplements are really expensive!”

Monica is always my go -to for the inside track on what the latest ,most hyped skincare treatments actually deliver. She is Irish, and was trained in the U.K., where aestheticians must

really know the science to be certified. Plus, she is a yogi and Reiki energy healer, as well as a

certified nutritionist When she finishes a treatment, she rings fairy bells over your blissed out


“Collagen is just protein”, she said in her beautiful Irish lilt. “If you eat enough protein, you will

get enough collagen,” she continued. “Eat a plate of rice and beans and you’re set,” she concluded, thus neatly ending my obsession to find the perfect collagen supplement. Then she clang her fairy bells over my feet.


Hyaluronic Acid is another buzzy skin supplement that is thought to boost the skin cells’

moisture and restore facial fullness. Babies make a ton, thus explaining their pillowy cheeks. As we age, hyaluronic acid production also slows down in our skin cells. Taking 200 mg of

hyaluronic acid daily has been shown in studies to be somewhat effective in boosting skin’s

plumpness, and restoring fullness, but perhaps not to the cosmetic degree one would hope.

Still, taking hyaluronic acid with pantothenic vitamin supplements can help the face’s smoothness, and won’t hurt any animals. I have been taking a regimen of Hylauronic acid,

Pantothenic, and Niagen. (Niagen is a form of Vitamin B3 that restores NAD levels. NAD boosts cellular functions from cognition to skin growth and repair, according to Dr. Charles Brenner).


The makers of Collagen- containing creams and topical treatments boast their products’

rejuvenating powers. These products are expensive and wasteful, however, as they don’t really change the appearance or health of the skin. Your skin is an organ that derives more benefit from nutrition than topical treatments .Your skin’s pores are smaller than the molecules in the ingredients that comprise most topical treatments. Those large molecules thus sit poolingon the surface of the skin, creating expensive oil slicks and messing up your makeup. Eating the ingredients you wish to target for skin care trumps topical application every time. Holistic, systemic health radiates beauty from the inside out, and adds the benefit of spreading the love to all the areas of the body, including hair and nails.

If you want to use nature’s best topical treatment, invest in essential oils such as Jojoba or

avocado. oil These oils, smaller in molecular structure, penetrate beneath the top layer of the

skin via the pores and won’t infuse your internal organs with preservatives or harmful ingredients. Better yet, use a traditional face sculpting tool such as a Gua Shua blade or roller to distribute the oil while you promote skin circulation and lymphatic drainage!

Check out our new line of face tools to get started. We include a complimentary starter oil

composed of organic, expeller pressed jojoba carrier which is safe for all skin types, in all


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