Collagen is a word that is bandied around the beauty industry with abandon. And with good reason: it constitutes around 30 per cent of the body and functions as the connective tissue for muscles and joints as well as organs and arteries. It’s also a critical structural component of the skin, the very thing that prevents the sagging and wrinkling associated with the ageing process.
The integrity of an individual’s collagen is a reliable indicator for the way in which that person will age, both internally and externally. But even those with enviable genetics and a dedicated skincare routine will be at the mercy of collagen degradation at a somewhat alarming rate of 1.5 per cent per year from the age of 20. Over time this means thinner, looser, drier and less resilient skin, as well as fine lines and wrinkles.
And so “topping up” your own supply is a sensible and seemingly simple measure. The studies bear out this logic, many of them demonstrating that a treatment plan can stimulate new, non-fragmented collagen, and improve the appearance and function of skin. “Most skin supplements on the market are based upon collagen delivery mechanisms which trigger the body’s own collagen production – fibroblast stimulation – as part of a natural feedback system,” says Dr Paul Banwell of The Banwell Clinic.
Choosing a collagen supplement isn’t quite as straightforward, however. Like anti-ageing creams, not all collagen-infused “nutricosmetics” are created equal. There are several variables at play that will determine whether a supplement will be effective. Bioavailability, dosage, molecular weight and the synergistic relationship between ingredients all play a part in whether a nutricosmetic will have the desired effect.
We trialed Skinade with our patients and have had some astounding results in terms of improved skin appearance and patient satisfaction
Skinade is 100 per cent in solution making it a highly bioavailable collagen drink that is pre-engineered for 95 per cent absorption. Formulated with the assistance of nutritional pharmacologists, the next-generation nutricosmetic employs class-leading 2kDal patented type 1 and type 3 collagen peptides from freshwater fish, the same collagen type that makes up the skin. Hydrolysed marine collagen is so effective that a study in Japan recently revealed that an impressive 91 per cent of its participants saw an average increase of 28 per cent in skin hydration and resilience.
But collagen alone is not enough to guarantee any kind of noticeable result, least of all the plumper, younger skin that is so often promised by brands. There’s a whole supporting cast of ingredients required so that collagen synthesis will actually take place in the body. Skinade’s formulation contains five other key ingredients to ensure maximum efficacy. Most important is vitamin C as calcium ascorbate, which is integral to normal collagen formation.
“Vitamin B and MSM [methylsulfonylmethane] have a detoxifying effect on the skin, and can help release congestion and toxin build-up,” says Dr Banwell. “MSM and omega 3 and 6, meanwhile, have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which help soothe breakouts while encouraging skin to release impurities.
“Strong antioxidants, such as vitamin B, C and L-lysine together with collagen help increase the production of ceramides, natural lipids that serve as part of the ‘glue’ which holds surface skin cells together.
“An optimal skin drink should contain a number of these co-factors and nutrients to really help treat skin conditions from the inside, while improving the elasticity and density of the collagen structure.”
With a wealth of technology and research behind it, the inside-out approach becomes not only plausible, but also logical. “I was sceptical at first,” says Dr Banwell. “However, we trialed Skinade with our patients and have had some astounding results in terms of improved skin appearance and patient satisfaction.”
The co-factors and nutrients have also had an impact on troublesome dertmatological conditions, says Dr Kathryn Taylor-Barnes, a GP and aesthetic professional, at the Real You Clinic. “Acne, eczema and psoriasis are all conditions that incur some degree of inflammation to the skin. Skinade’s ingredients help the skin cope and manage inflammation allowing it to be stronger and heal faster,” she says.
Earlier this year, Santi Skin Lab in London’s South Kensington conducted a 90-day Skinade trial. Changes in collagen structure were measured by state-of-the-art technology employed in pioneering dermatological research. Unlike standard imaging machines, which effectively take a picture of superficial levels of damage, Cortex technology from Denmark scans seven key parameters from sebum levels to elasticity and trans-epidermal water loss. Changes in collagen structure are immediately noticeable in the form of densely packed yellow areas (pictured).
All participants were taken off their usual skincare routine of active topicals for the duration of the trial and results were compared to a placebo. The trial group saw an average 25.5 per cent increase in collagen density, a 34 per cent increase in skin hydration and a 28 per cent improvement in skin elasticity versus the control group or placebo. The most impressive revelation, however, was one subject registering a 73 per cent increase in collagen density over the three-month trial.
It is this calibre of data that has earned Skinade the approval of leading dermatologists and clinicians, as well as strong customer feedback via trust pilot. With some 600 professional clinics stocking Skinade around the country, the inside-out approach to skincare is becoming an increasingly appealing and effective way to achieve visible results.
Technology and data aside, a revolutionary supplement isn’t of much use unless you’re inclined to take it. The fact that Skinade is a pleasantly and naturally flavoured drink makes committing to the minimum course of 30 days far easier than popping a handful of pills. In fact, you’d need at least 20 large tablets to get the same level of actives. Moreover, the 35-calorie mangosteen and peach-flavoured drink doesn’t contain meat (pork or bovine), hormones, genetically modified organisms, alcohol, soy, artificial flavours or artificial colours. It’s also lactose, gluten and dairy free, making it compliant with even the most restrictive of diets.