Breaking down the best sources of collagen

From pills to potions and chicken feet to cabbage, collagen comes in many different forms. But which one is right for you?

Collagen plays an important role in your overall health. From keeping your skin wrinkle-free and your nails and hair strong and glossy, to preventing degeneration of your muscles, joints and bones, collagen fibres are involved.

But with time, and together with factors such as pollution, sun damage and stress, these protein fibres – the building blocks of your body – start to break down, leading to the signs of ageing, such as wrinkles, brittle hair and nails and weakened joints and muscles.

The truth behind collagen products

The anti-ageing battle has led to a growing demand for collagen products around the world. Nowhere has this caught on more than in Asia, where pharmacy and department-store beauty shelves are laden with collagen products ranging from creams and lotions to drinks, powders to supplements. However, not all collagen products are equally effective in helping you stave off the effects of time.

As it turns out, it’s thought that collagen particles are too large to be absorbed by the skin, hence applying collagen-infused skincare on your face may not have any effect on your visage. Also, a report suggests that when you eat collagen-infused food or drinks, there’s little guarantee that these sources are more effective than eating protein-rich food such as meat or eggs. This is because whatever you eat will be broken down in your digestive system, no matter what its source.

How to replenish collagen

Instead, ensure your body has sufficient supplies of nutrients to regenerate and repair collagen on its own by keeping to a healthy diet of protein-rich food such as eggs, beans, fish and dark-green, leafy vegetables. Combat the effect of free radicals which cause collagen fibres to break down by eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables.

If you find your diet lacking in these essential nutrients, you can support your body’s collagen production by taking a supplement. For example, Swisse’s Ultiboost Hair Skin Nails supports your body’s natural production of collagen with a premium blend of biotin, silicon, zinc, iron, vitamin C and St Mary’s thistle.

Take a cue from Swisse brand ambassador actress Rebecca Lim, who has to juggle a busy schedule while looking fabulous.

“We [artistes] don’t get to choose our meals on set sometimes, and we don’t have salads ready for us all the time. So it’s really about supplementing our diet with minerals that we don’t get from food,” Rebecca says.

I really do believe that what you eat and what you apply is equally important,” she adds. “So Swisse’s Hair Skin Nails is a must in my beauty regime, not just for healthy hair but also for healthy skin and strong nails.

With these simple steps, you too can ensure your collagen levels remain at a healthy level of glowing skin, shiny hair, strong nails and a healthy body.