Skin beauty: a fresh approach to an old problem
Over the last few decades the most popular methods for maintaining skin beauty have been centered on the use of creams, lotions and gels applied directly to the skin as part of a daily routine. Another popular method is cosmetic surgery, which is very costly and quite invasive.
A gradual shift in perception, however, has been taking place. New information is emerging and it’s changing our understanding of skin beauty. Consumers are becoming more aware of the scientific studies that support new innovations in the skin care industry.
The concept ‘beauty from within’ is finding its way into the consumer’s mind.
‘Beauty from within’ is the idea that skin beauty should also be addressed by daily nutrition. The part of the industry that focuses on this area is known as ‘nutricosmetics’.
To the Asian skincare consumer the idea of ‘beauty from within’ isn’t a new one. Asian culture has been leading the way in this area for decades. The rest of the world, however, is fast catching up, with a growing number of people around the globe discovering the value that nutricosmetics has to offer.
So what exactly is ‘beauty from within’?
When it comes to skin beauty, the consumer’s mind is still caught on the idea that ‘if the problem is the skin then the solution should be applied directly to the skin’. Yet, in light of today’s growing scientific knowledge and developments, this isn’t the only approach.
The human body is amazing. It absorbs micro- and macronutrients, breaks them down and uses them as building blocks to synthesize the nutrients that contribute to a healthy body. So ‘beauty from within’ is about giving the body the necessary nutrients with which to repair and regenerate skin, hair and nails.
Let’s take vitamin C as an example. If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin C, you may start to get indications such as skin problems. You could apply creams and lotions to help you manage the symptoms. But the best way to solve the problem is to treat the underlying cause, which is the vitamin C deficiency.
Similar logic can be applied to skin beauty: if you follow a healthy and balanced diet that includes the right amount of nutrients, you may give your body the best chance of regenerating and strengthening the skin. That is the very essence of ‘beauty from within’.
How skin beauty is affected by the aging process
The skin aging process is complex. It’s the result of a combination of environmental and physiological factors. Being exposed to the elements takes its toll on our skin, causing a breakdown of collagen, a structural protein of utmost importance to skin beauty. It defines and assures the strength, elasticity and firmness of the skin. The body produces less collagen as we age, which means the body is less able to repair the environmental damage. This is one of the reasons why our skin starts to develop lines, wrinkles and blemishes and eventually can become saggy.
It isn’t just about collagen either. Part of the skin aging process is due to dehydration. There is an important molecule, hyaluronic acid, that helps to keep the skin well-hydrated, which is essential for keeping our skin healthy and good-looking. The amount of hyaluronic acid in the skin decreases as we age and this reduction in skin hydration contributes to some of the changes associated with older skin.
So if part of the skin aging process is the result of the body’s own regeneration capacities slowing down, then it makes sense to look for ways to stimulate the body into producing more of the necessary components that preserve skin beauty.
And there is good news on that front: a growing body of clinical evidence demonstrates that a daily intake of collagen peptides can stimulate collagen and hyaluronic acid production in the body, which leads to improved skin properties such as elasticity and smoothness, as well as an increase in skin hydration. On top of all these skin benefits, the science also suggests that collagen peptides may improve hair strength.
Collagen peptides: nutrition for diverse skin beauty
So what are collagen peptides?
They are small molecules derived from bovine, fish or porcine collagen by a specific process known as enzymatic hydrolysis. Collagen peptides are bioavailable and bioactive. This basically means that our body has no difficulty in absorbing collagen peptides and making use of them.
Why are collagen peptides associated with skin beauty?
There is clinical evidence for collagen peptides’ ability to improve skin beauty. In 2015, Rousselot published the results of two clinical studies involving Japanese and Caucasian women of varying skin types. Regardless of their ethnicity, the women who took collagen peptides benefited from improved skin1. Japanese women saw an improvement in skin hydration, while
Caucasian ladies saw improved collagen dermal density and a decrease in collagen network fragmentation.
This is supported by new clinical research. Sixty Brazilian women of different skin types took part in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Half the women took 5g of Peptan collagen peptides daily, the other half had a placebo. The results were extremely promising. After ninety days a significant percentage of the Peptan group saw a reduction in wrinkles on the face2.
Not only did collagen peptides help with skin beauty, but they also appear to have helped improve mechanical hair strength.
Apart from demonstrating their ability to support skin beauty and hair strength, this research also shows that an ethnically diverse population can benefit from collagen peptides.
So how do collagen peptides support skin beauty and hair strength?
It appears that collagen peptides stimulate collagen production in the skin, thus improving collagen density. This in turn helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines, and it helps to bring firmness back to the skin. Collagen peptides also appear to stimulate hyaluronic acid production, which leads to better hydration of the dermis and reduces the dryness associated with aging skin.
When it comes to hair beauty collagen peptides may help improve mechanical strength by boosting the hair cortex. Though more research is needed to confirm this.
If you would like a deeper insight into the science behind collagen peptides’ efficacy and how Peptan is leading the way, check out [these resources].
 Asserin, J. et al., 2015. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, doi: 10.1111/jocd.12174
 Rousselot unpublished study 2019