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Collagen - The Interconnected Path to Radiant Skin

Updated: Apr 22

The promise of a naturally healthy glow is enough to get many of us reaching for our wallets and stocking up our bathroom cabinets. Companies with big marketing budgets tell persuasive stories about new products and ingredients but in the pursuit of radiant skin, the biggest benefits come from within. To help us look beyond the surface and take charge of our wellbeing, we need to first understand the intricate connection between our skin and other vital functions in our bodies.

The brain-gut-skin axis

Over the past ten years, our knowledge of the brain-gut-skin axis has grown exponentially and with it, our ability to take more ownership of our wellbeing. This axis is a complex communication network that orchestrates the interplay between our central nervous system, our gut microbiota, our immune system, and our skin. Stress and lifestyle can upset this delicate balance, causing low-grade or chronic inflammation and disrupting our body's ability to create valuable proteins that will support us as we age.

In the first of a series of deep-dives into these interconnected pathways, we're taking a look at collagen. This increasingly popular word pops up time and again in the product names and descriptions of many a well-known brand, so we could be forgiven for thinking 'job done' when we apply seemingly 'collagen-rich' creams and lotions to our face or body. It's true that certain ingredients (such as the rosehip oil, astaxanthin and oat kernel oil in our Elemental Glow face oil) can help to prevent collagen degradation and stimulate collagen production but the process itself happens in our body, with multiple other factors playing a part. Knowing this can be really empowering because it means our skincare products are a helpful part of a wider approach, not a magical solution.

What is collagen?

Collagen makes up 30% of our body's protein. It provides strength, structure and support to our muscles, bones, connective tissues and skin. Collagen production declines as we age and given that 75% of our skin is made of collagen, it's understandable that we see and feel the impact here very visibly. If it's important to us to age well in the way that we look as well as how we feel, collagen is a critical building block. Various physiological and external factors have a big impact on how well we are able to create this vital protein for ourselves.

Food and gut health: What we eat directly impacts on our skin. A healthy gut microbiome is able to supply vital nutrients and building blocks for collagen synthesis. A balanced diet, rich in essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and water will keep the gut microbiome healthy and help to bolster collagen production. Depending on your individual dietary requirements, try to regularly incorporate plenty of fish and seafood, citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, bell peppers, nuts and seeds eggs, avocado, garlic and even bone broth.

Immune function: Our immune system plays a role in regulating collagen production, as inflammation can either stimulate or inhibit collagen synthesis. Chronic low-grade inflammation, often associated with stress, can impair collagen production in our body, including our skin. Good-quality sleep, regular movement and daily rituals can help to combat stress and stimulate our immune system.

Skin health: Collagen production is also directly influenced by the health and integrity of the skin itself. Factors such as UV exposure, pollution, and oxidative stress can compromise collagen fibers, impairing their structure and function. Conversely, skincare practices that support skin barrier function and protect against environmental stressors can help maintain optimal collagen levels. Don't skip the SPF and look for products rich in natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients to maintain collagen levels. Botanical oils and natural ceramides will help to boost hydration and strengthen the skin barrier to lock moisture in the skin and support collagen production. Try our Elemental Glow face oil, Spring Revival body balm and TLC lip balm which are intentionally designed to support your skin in all these ways and more.

A holistic approach

The journey to radiant skin transcends what we put on it. Naturally effective products that work with the skin's own processes are a beautiful part of our daily self-care. Unlocking true, inner radiance that we can enjoy every day is a mindful, whole-system approach that supports the intricate interplay between the brain, gut, immune system, and skin.

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