beauty

The Overwhelmed Woman's Guide to ingestible beauty.

Vida Glow
Thanks to our brand partner, Vida Glow

Lately, as I stand in the bathroom doing my skincare routine, I’ve been feeling completely overwhelmed by the growing number of products I apparently need, but which don’t seem to be doing what they promise.   

Standing on the doorstep of my 35th birthday, I’m panicking a little having just discovered that the body’s natural collagen production begins to decline from around 25, putting me a good decade behind when I should have started to care about these things.

I’ve also discovered that collagen isn’t only good for a pretty face. The most abundant protein in the body, collagen is the building block of skin, hair, nails and joints. 

Hearing this was a real “ah-ha!” moment for me, because I had never connected my slightly-sagging cheeks with my much weaker nails and growing need for more frequent hair trims.

More importantly, I didn’t connect any of these things with the worsening pains in my knees, hips, and hands — something I’ve seen the doctor about several times this year. It’s all related to, shall we say, my less-than-abundant levels of collagen. 

About a year ago, I took the fairly extreme measure of dabbling in injectable fillers to try to bring a little of that youthful plumpness and lift back into my cheeks. I’m obviously not anti-injectables, but if there are other less invasive — and less expensive — options out there, I’m on a quest to find them. This is how I came to land at the feet of Vida Glow and its range of ingestible beauty products. 

We all know that what you put inside your body affects how it looks on the outside which is why we do our best to drink water and eat fresh fruit and veggies (and also why we look dreadful after a big night out). 

Enter, ingestible beauty. If this concept is as foreign to you as it was to me before falling down this rabbit hole, let me give you a crash course in what I discovered on my search for plump skin, strong hair and nails (and knees that don’t audibly creak when I stand up).

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What is ingestible beauty?

Good question! Obviously, you swallow it. But like every other segment of the beauty industry, there is an overwhelming amount of information, complicated-sounding ingredients and a lot of different products. Additionally, no one wants to put something into their body without really knowing what it is. 

Vida Glow specialises in marine collagen supplements to enhance beauty from within, including its marine collagen powder, which is made with activated collagen peptides to stimulate natural collagen production. 

They also have a range of other beauty supplements to assist with everything from evening out skin tone (something I’m in dire need of with my active, outdoor lifestyle!), promoting skin regeneration, reducing inflammation and even assisting with sugar metabolism (can they see the family-size bag of Smarties I’m currently munching through?). 

And if you’re like me and struggle to absorb enough nutrients through your diet, Vida Glow’s hydrolysed marine collagen has been activated to boost absorption (so your body can actually use it to stimulate collagen production). 

How does it work?

There are a lot of beauty products out there that make a lot of bold claims, so knowing the science behind how these products actually work is really important, and Vida Glow has, thankfully, put the research in. 

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Vida Glow founder Anna Lahey actually created the brand after personally experiencing the visible results of taking marine collagen daily, saying she saw changes in the plumpness of her skin, the strength of her nails and hair. In fact, she says her hairdresser even noticed the difference in the thickness of her hair over time. 

Anna explains that while our bodies produce collagen naturally, that production starts to decline around the age of 25. 

“This is when we see the early signs of ageing, for example fine lines,” she says.

“And on top of that natural decline, collagen production is also impacted by exposure to sun, environmental pollution and toxins such as poor diet.”

This, she says, is where you can start to benefit from a supplement like Vida Glow’s marine collagen powder, which is derived from the skin of fish. 

“After the fish is filleted and the skin removed, it’s put through a process called hydrolysation, which transforms the skin into collagen peptides,” Anna explains. 

“The smaller the collagen peptide, the easier it is for your body to absorb. Higher absorption means it’s more effective in replenishing and restoring collagen to a deeper layer of skin, hair and nails. Which is when you start to see significant results.” 

(Well, that answers my question about how much of my two salmon fillets a week I’m actually absorbing.)

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Anna says studies have noted that marine-based collagen can be absorbed 1.5 times more efficiently than other collagen sources.

“The key difference that sets marine collagen apart from bovine and porcine collagen is the size of the peptides,” she says. 

“Once hydrolysed, marine collagen peptides are much smaller than collagen made from beef and pork, meaning the bioavailability is much higher.

“We’re all about efficacy. We know marine collagen works and have the studies to back it up.”

What happens after taking the supplement?

Once ingested, Anna explains, marine collagen is absorbed and distributed into the bloodstream, via the blood vessels, to a deeper layer of skin called the dermis. 

“When you ingest hydrolysed collagen peptides, you are increasing the pool of specific amino acids that are needed by cells in the body that produce collagen.

“As a completely natural protein, marine collagen is an effective, non-invasive solution to visibly improve the appearance and health of skin, hair and nails.”

Melasma (hyperpigmentation), some light acne scarring, loss of volume (particularly in the cheeks) and brittle hair and nails have become an issue for me. Image: Supplied. 

Is it safe?

Every time I eat fish, I’m conscious of the amount of mercury I could be taking in, and when it comes to supplements derived from fish, I have the same question. Fortunately, each batch of Vida Glow collagen is tested for heavy metals, purity and safety. 

Like anything, it’s important to follow the directions for use, and Vida Glow recommend consuming no more than 10g of collagen a day, with clinical evidence showing this is the optimal amount for great results. 

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“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to beauty,” Anna says. 

“For those between 25-35 years of age, we recommend one serving a day. For those between 36-45 years of age, who are experiencing the first signs of ageing — fine lines, weak nails and thinner hair, we recommend two servings per day. For those 46 and over experiencing deeper wrinkles, very fine hair, dull complexion and brittle nails, we recommend three serves per day.”

Is it sustainable?

Sustainability is a huge issue in the fish industry, but because the species of fish isn’t important for producing a highly effective collagen supplement, Vida Glow sources its collagen responsibly from fish skin, a by-product of the food industry that would otherwise be discarded as waste. 

Additionally, the company prides itself on using responsibly farmed fish suppliers, held to the highest standards of European Regulations. 

Can you get vegan or plant-based collagen?

This is a really good question, and while I’m not vegan myself, I know it’s important to a lot of people. While at this stage there is no vegan/plant-based collagen peptide, Vida Glow’s Anti-G-Ox powder is a vegan antioxidant supplement which, taken daily, can help provide an extra line of defence against premature ageing — a win-win!

It ultimately supports skin health, improves dullness, and helps enhance skin regeneration and overall strength.

Can it assist with pigmentation?

This is a problem area for me as a result of living in sunny Queensland and enjoying the outdoors. I actually have what I call a “melasma moustache” — but it can’t be waxed off!

Vida Glow’s Radiance range (a vitamin, not collagen, supplement) is actually targeted for this patchy problem. This once-daily capsule diminishes and brightens melasma pigmentation, acne-induced dark spots, age and sunspots, and dark under-eye circles (SOLD!). 

How long does it take to see results?

Like any change in diet or activity, starting a marine collagen supplement like Vida Glow’s natural marine collagen powder is something you need to do consistently and be patient with — it isn’t instant like injecting fillers. But like all good things, the results are worth the wait. 

“Clinical trials of our marine collagen show long-term skin benefits with daily use,” Anna says. 

“After 8 to 12 weeks of consistent supplementation, our marine collagen is proven to increase skin firmness and elasticity, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”

If two to three months is all it takes to see a little extra glow, it sounds like a worthwhile wait to me.

Marine collagen supplements are a powerhouse for healthy skin, hair and nails, and is designed to help you live brilliantly. To ignite your inner glow, check out Vida Glow's website for their extensive range of collagen supplements.

Image: Getty/VidaGlow/Supplied.

Vida Glow
Firm skin. Thick hair. Strong nails. Shine at every age with Natural Marine Collagen. Plus receive a free A5 Water Bottle with every collagen sachet purchase!

Shop now at ausnz.vidaglow.com