Treating your skin with love should be second nature. But for many women it’s become a project — do this, buy that, try this, follow the routine that’s in vogue right now. And sometimes caring for one’s skin is simply forgotten altogether in the hectic lifestyle many women live today.
Treating your skin with love
Now French women are known for their beauty, effortless skin care and style. From one generation to the next, French women follow the same skincare routines that were practiced by their mothers and grandmothers. They spend dedicated time on skin care though they keep their routines easy and uncomplicated.
Let’s face it, when you think of a French woman, don’t you picture someone whose beauty is both elegant and natural? And don’t you wish we could bottle up some of their je ne sais quoi gorgeousness and use it ourselves?
Ah, but you see, French women are committed to their routines and willing to invest in themselves in terms of future results. Oh, and by “invest,” I don’t mean buying every new product or following every new trend. No, no. French women use (quality) tried-and-true products and wear minimal makeup. Think simplicity.
Is it too late to bother about my skin?
Do you have a skincare routine?
My cousin, Kathy, for example, adopted her skincare routine later in life. She’s very protective of her skin. Part of her routine is to wear long sleeves, pants and hat (and of course, sunglasses) when out walking in the sun. In fact, she sometimes wears gloves in summer.
Kathy’s clothes are breathable, and she applies sunscreen consistently throughout the day. She spreads sunscreen on even when she gets into her car. This is because the sun’s rays can penetrate your windshield, side windows and can come through your sunroof (if you have one) when open.
It’s never too late to create your skincare wellness regimen. And if you think my cousin’s routine is too, too much for you, please remember that we can all benefit from treating our skin with love to keep it healthy. How you do it is up to you.
So where to begin?
In this post, let’s examine the topic of collagen. Collagen is now a buzzword in the wellness world, particularly when it comes to beauty, skin health and stopping the signs of aging in their tracks.
Skin health and beauty benefits of collagen
Today you find collagen in everything from beauty and skin products to food products, like bone broth and powdered hydrolyzed collagen supplements.
Do you notice that your favorite wellness influencers are adding powdered collagen to everything from morning lattes and green smoothies to baked goods?
What’s all the collagen hype about?
When it comes to aging, collagen is credited with helping to slow the visible signs of aging skin, like wrinkles, fine lines, dryness and loss of firmness. Extra dietary collagen may also help hair and nails grow faster and stronger.
Collagen is also thought to decrease joint pain and stiffness and help promote healthy digestion. According to some health practitioners, it can help heal and restore compromised gut lining associated with digestive disorders such as leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
What is collagen?
One of the most abundant proteins found throughout your body is collagen. It plays a major role in providing structure and support to skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and other tissues.
Collagen is in a cycle of breakdown and renewal. Things like sun exposure, smoking, pollution, poor diet and stress can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and make it harder for your body to replace it.
Your body makes collagen from amino acids — the building blocks of all proteins. The predominant amino acids found in collagen are glycine, proline and hydroxyproline.
Production of collagen naturally slows down with age. Some studies find increasing intake of collagen results in improvements in the visible signs of aging, like less wrinkles and increased elasticity and hydration.
Where does collagen come from, and how can I get some?
Collagen is also found in the bones and connective tissues of animals. Food sources include the skin and bones from chicken, pork, beef and fish — parts of animals that aren’t plentiful in today’s modern diets.
Bone broth and gelatin are rich in collagen and made from the bones of animals. You can find collagen readily available in many different forms in most grocery stores.
What is the benefit of taking collagen in supplement form?
The best and easiest way to increase your intake of collagen is with a supplement. Most supplements that are available today are hydrolyzed. This means the collagen has been broken down into smaller fragments that are easier for your body to digest and absorb.
Hydrolyzed collagen peptide supplements dissolve into cold or hot liquid. Thus they can be easily added to a variety of beverages and recipes to boost collagen content.
In contrast, gelatin supplements gel when heated and are best suited for recipes that require thickening, like soups, puddings and sauces.
Collagen supplements are typically sourced from bovine (for example, cattle skin) or marine (like fish scales) sources. But both essentially function the same in the body. There may be subtle differences in taste and smell depending on the source, so choose one that fits your tastes, diet and lifestyle.
Does taking a collagen supplement truly help with skin health?
It’s believed dietary collagen helps provide extra building blocks (those amino acids) that are needed to promote collagen synthesis in the body. However, other research suggests the body doesn’t distinguish between collagen and other protein sources, meaning the collagen you consume doesn’t necessarily end up directly deposited into your skin.
When treating your skin with love, keep in mind that decreased collagen production is only one piece of the puzzle in the development of aging skin. While increasing your intake of collagen may help ward off wrinkles, your overall skin health and beauty also depend on:
- Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
- Proper hydration
- Sun protection
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating a nutrient dense diet
- Managing stress
Nevertheless, there are no known side effects to using hydrolyzed collagen supplements. In general, increasing your collagen intake can be a safe element in your skincare routine, if you choose to take it. If you are allergic to shellfish, fish and/or eggs, for example, avoid supplements made with these ingredients. This will help to prevent allergic reactions.
And remember: please consult with a qualified physician before engaging in any significant diet, fitness, or lifestyle change or making any changes with regard to supplements, herbs, vitamins or prescription drugs.
A resource for treating your skin with love
Hopefully, you’re inspired to treat your skin with love. Be sure to read my blog post, Hair, Skin, Nails: Health Signals. And I’ve got a great resource for you to check out as a starting point in your investigation of pursuing a skincare wellness regiment of your own.
Here’s the link to a “sought-after skincare expert and esthetician loved by celebrities, editors, bloggers and skincare obsessives everywhere.” She’s of French heritage, naturellement.
You can find my delicious and creamy Collagen Cocoa hot drink recipe at the end of this post. It’s one way you can easily incorporate this promising supplement into your day.
Growing old gracefully
Collagen supplements are often thought of as help for “anti-aging.” Some women simply want to “grow old gracefully.” Of course, that expression can have a different meaning for each of us. There are women who want to look “beautiful” (read: a younger, wrinkle-less version of themselves) while growing old gracefully. And for some that may mean an obsession with obtaining a younger appearance.
Or, for others, it may mean being more like a French woman, who believes in looking natural and who is confident about being herself. Still there are women who may feel that growing old gracefully means having a skincare routine that protects their skin from cancer.
What does “growing old gracefully” mean to you? How do you feel about using a collagen supplement? Do you have a skincare routine, and if so, what is it? Whatever you do, treating your skin with love is a healthy move. We’d love to hear from you; please comment below.
And a recipe
Recipe: Collagen Cocoa
2 cups dairy-free milk
2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 scoops hydrolyzed collagen powder
2 tsp. natural sweetener such as honey or maple syrup (or more to taste)
⅛ tsp. sea salt (optional but really adds to the taste!)
Heat non-dairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Be careful not to scald the milk!
Stir in cacao and collagen powders, sweetener and salt until dissolved.
Pour cocoa mixture into 2 mugs and enjoy immediately.