It may seem odd that I throw in the topic if skin health when my mission is to help women balance their hormones for sustainable fat loss. But, my own journey to discovering how to keep the weight I’d lost off began with my skin.
After losing 40 pounds and 3 dress sizes in 2008, I struggled to keep it off every day. For a little over 2 years, I battled my weight. I fought back with a deprivation / binge-eating cycle of eating each week. With massive amounts of cardio and then way too much HIIT exercises. And finally, in desperation, I stopped taking the Pill.
And, my skin broke out in embarrassing cystic acne. Everywhere. Worse than I’d ever experienced in high school. I was devastated.
For months, I tried ALL the stuff to clear it up…Proactiv, supplements, cutting out all dairy and chocolate and sugar. Avoiding fried foods. Expensive peels and lotions. Monthly, painful facial treatments at spas.
My Cry For Help
In desperation, I went to see a naturopath. And she started me on a seed cycling protocol to balance my estrogen and progesterone. Because, hey, after almost 15 years on the Pill, my hormones were pretty messed up!
Thankfully, 3 months into seed cycling, my skin finally began to clear up. Honestly, it took almost 4 full years for my skin to look as good as it does today. I still get the occasional breakout but it’s very small and hardly lasts more than a few days.
The most exciting part of this seed cycling and all the other hormone balancing that came after was that I FINALLY had a solution to my never-ending battle with my weight. Now that my hormones are balanced, I am living that long-term fat loss we all want without counting calories or worrying about what I eat.
Because I think most women who are stuck feeling lost, like constant failures when it comes to dieting, like they’re unattractive and becoming thinner seems hopeless, really do want to lose the fat and keep it off, I created my 90-Day 40 or Less Method. It’s got ALL my secrets to success in it!
Maintaining Skin Health
I’d never even thought about wrinkles or saggy skin until I cleared up my acne. But, once I had, I did want to try to keep my skin healthy as long as I could.
Which is how I ended up taking collagen supplements almost every day!
Collagen has become a buzzword in the wellness world, particularly when it comes to beauty, skin health, and stopping the signs of aging in their tracks.
Collagen can now be found in everything from beauty and skin products to food products, like bone broth and powdered hydrolyzed collagen supplements.
You’ve probably seen recipes that include powdered collagen in smoothies or lattes too.
Benefits of Collagen Besides Skin Health
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins found throughout your body. It plays a major role in providing structure and support to skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and other tissues.
Collagen is in a cycle of breakdown and renewal. Things like sun exposure, smoking, pollution, poor diet, and stress can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and make it harder for your body to replace it.
Your body makes collagen from amino acids – the building blocks of all proteins. The predominant amino acids found in collagen are glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.
The production of collagen naturally slows down with age.
Taking extra collagen in the form of powdered supplements or bone broth is great for keeping the skin healthy. But it’s also known for other health benefits.
Collagen is also thought to decrease joint pain and stiffness, help promote healthy digestion, and can help heal and restore compromised gut liningassociated with digestive disorders like leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Adding Collagen to Your Diet
The best and easiest way to increase your intake of collagen is with a supplement. Most supplements available today are hydrolyzed, meaning the collagen has been broken down into smaller fragments that are easier for your body to digest and absorb.
Hydrolyzed collagen peptide supplements dissolve into cold or hot liquid and can be easily be added to a variety of beverages and recipes to boost collagen content.
Collagen supplements are typically sourced from bovine (i.e. cattle skin) or marine (i.e. fish scales) sources, but both function essentially the same in the body. There may be subtle differences in taste and smell depending on the source, so choose one that fits your tastes, diet, and lifestyle.
It’s believed dietary collagen helps provide extra building blocks (those amino acids) that are needed to promote collagen synthesis in the body. However, other research suggests the body doesn’t distinguish between collagen and other protein sources, meaning the collagen you consume doesn’t necessarily end up directly deposited into your skin.
Other Factors for Healthy Skin
It’s important to remember decreased collagen production is only one piece of the puzzle in the development of aging skin. While increasing your intake of collagen may help ward off wrinkles, your overall skin health and beauty also depend on:
- Balanced hormones
- Reducing your intake of sugar and processed carbs
- A whole foods diet rich in leafy greens, beets and lemons
- Not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption
- Staying hydrated with pure, filtered water
- Wearing sunscreen daily
- Adequate sleep
- Stress management
There are no known side effects to using hydrolyzed collagen supplements, and in general, increasing your collagen intake can be a safe element in your anti-aging routine.
Our delicious and creamy Collagen Cocoa hot drink recipeis just one way you could easily incorporate this promising supplement into your day.
- 2 cups dairy-free milk
- 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
- 2 scoops hydrolyzed collagen powder
- 2 tsp natural sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup (or more to taste)
- ⅛ tsp sea salt (optional but really adds to the taste!)
- Heat non-dairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Careful not to scald the milk!
- Stir in cacao & collagen powders, sweetener and salt until dissolved.
- Pour cocoa mixture into 2 mugs and enjoy immediately.