If you're a collagen fan (like me), you already know it’s fantastic for glowing skin and comfy joints. But did you know there are ways to make it go even further? If you're investing in your skin and joints with a collagen supplement – you might as well get the best out of it.
Anything that supports collagen tends work for both skin and joints - here are my Naturopath top picks.
1. For supple skin and joints - Vitamin C
Vitamin C – it tops the list because it might just be the best support for collagen. It works in 2 different ways, so it offers comprehensive support. It’s so helpful, there may even be some Vitamin C in your collagen capsules or collagen powder – check the amount, you can have up to 2,000 mg per day.
How does Vitamin C support collagen?
Making new collagen
You can think of collagen like origami and Vitamin C as the skilled hand that folds it into shape. It’s an absolutely crucial component of collagen production. So much so, that the main symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency happen because collagen can’t form properly without it. Vitamin C supports nice, firm skin and lovely strong joints. (It’s a great option if you’re recovering from an injury or operation too – because it supports connective tissue repair.
Protecting existing Collagen
Being an excellent antioxidant, Vitamin C supports the resilience of collagen in your skin and joints. It protects from oxidation (the natural process leads to collagen breakdown and aging).) Getting plenty of Vitamin C is key for protecting your skin and joints from the wear and tear of aging, so they stay supple and healthy.
Top pick: Clinicians Super Family C powder
- Delicious powder that dissolves into an orange flavoured drink
- High dosing - delivers a whopping 1,000mg of vitamin C per teaspoon
- With hesperidin and rutin – bioflavonoids for added skin support. Ideal if you have redness from dilated capillaries
2. For a vibrant glow - Astaxanthin
This excellent antioxidant is an ideal skin nutrient. It’s both water and lipid (fat) soluble – meaning it works in more ways than one. This gorgeous pink pigment is extracted from pink algae. Interestingly, it’s what makes salmon and flamingos pink too. Astaxanthin really goes the extra mile for your skin and it’s backed by research.
Research shows that astaxanthin:
- Supports a youthful glow – via antioxidant protection
- Supports fine lines and moisture retention
- Supports skin elasticity – so it bounces back nicely after a smile or squint
Because Astaxanthin is lipid soluble, lipid base supplements make it easier to absorb – like a nut or seed oil.
Top pick: Solgar Astaxanthin
- Offers 5mg of naturally produced astaxanthin
- In a lipid base of sunflower oil – for optimal absorption
- Eco friendly glass and aluminium jar – both are infinitely recyclable
3. Happy skin and joints – Beauty sleep
Is beauty sleep really a thing? Yes. Yes it is.
Studies show getting enough quality sleep (about 7 hours) has a flow on effect for preserving existing collagen. It creates conditions in the body that lead to happy cells. And happy cells mean healthy joint collagen and skin regeneration. Being sufficiently rested is anti-inflammatory – ideal if joint health is a goal for you.
Want tips for sleep hygiene and supplements for every type of sleeper? Check out your guide to a healthy deep sleep.
4. For comfy joints - MSM
Preliminary research shows MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) can support healthy collagen structure. It can support healthy immune pathways which are key for maintaining joint health. This explains its popularity as a joint supplement. MSM is a naturally occurring compound that’s rich in sulphur, so it offers healthy liver detoxification support too.
Top pick: BioBalance MSM Powder
- Great quality MSM to support joint mobility
- Easy to take powder – you can take all the daily doses together if it’s more convenient
- BioBalance is a B Corp – certified sustainable and ethical
5. For supple joints and skin – Omega-3 fish oil
What makes Omega-3 fish oil so special for joints and skin? It has EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). EPA is an amazing compound with plenty of research behind it. The joint and skin support that Omega-3 offers makes it an ideal supplement to take alongside your collagen - not to mention the mental clarity, mood, and cardiovascular support it offers too.
EPA supports cells to stay in good condition, which has a flow on effects to keep collagen intact and healthy. Omega-3 also supports moisture retention, which has a flow on effect for fine lines too.
Sustainably sourced fish oil
Quality is an important consideration for fish oils, like freshness and being heavy metal tested. Our Marine Sustainability Policy – which covers all fish oil at HealthPost, means all fish oils come from independently certified fisheries.
Fish oil vs plant oil
Omega-3 from fish oil is better compared to plant oils, because of the EPA it yields, which plant oils lack. If you take heart medication, make sure you check with your pharmacist or doctor first.
Plant-based? Try hemp seed oil
After a plant-based omega? Hemp Seed Oil is your best option. That’s because it has SDA (stearidonic acid) – the body converts that into the all-important EPA. Hemp seed oil also has chlorophyll (that’s why it’s green) which is an antioxidant, so it offers collagen protection too.
Give it 6 weeks
Omega-3 can take time to build up in your cells, so give it at least 6 weeks before deciding if it’s for you. Worried about ‘fishy burps’? Take it with cold or room temperature food. If you’re busy or likely to forget the subsequent doses, you can take the daily softgels all in one go.
Top pick: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega
- Great Omega brand - Nordic Naturals offer superior purity and freshness
- Supports collagen protection – with high EPA for happy cells
- Supports healthy and comfortable joints
Can I take these supplements together?
If you’re keen, you could definitely combine all of these. But adding 1 or 2 to your existing collagen will be adequate. Personally, I take Collagen powder for my skin, Astaxanthin for skin and soft aging overall, and Omega-3 Fish Oil for skin, mental clarity and mood, every day. I take Vitamin C powder too, but more sporadically – I take it regularly during ills and chills season to support immune defences.
Sunshine helps you produce that Vitamin D goodness – but it’s UV rays also break down collagen. Sounds dramatic... because it is. It’s a big deal.
Lucky, it’s easy to prevent this – just wear SPF daily to preserve skin firmness and elasticity. The ‘weathered look’ that comes from a lifetime of sunbaking is actually the visible sign of collagen breakdown. Scientists and skincare fanatics call it ‘photo-aging’.
So, using a daily Facial Sunscreen is crucial to help keep your collagen intact. But what if it's the middle of winter or if you’re only outside for a few minutes? Yep, still important.
Want to learn more? Check out your #1 antiaging ingredient for radiant skin. As a wise woman once said, nothing looks better in your 50’s than sunscreen in your 20’s.
- Protects collagen – filters 97% of UVA+UVE from the sun
- Skin treatment and SPF in one – with gentle aging plant actives
- With antioxidants to further protect collagen - like Vitamin C, Omega-3 and Kiwi seed
While our collagen starts to deplete from 25 onwards, there’s plenty of choices to help keep your body looking – and feeling it’s best. After more holistic support? Check out our 5 nutritionist tips for healthy skin, hair and nails.