Hip & Healthy contributor, Charlotte Dormon, shares her 6-month journey of taking a collagen supplement daily and the positive effects it had on her overall wellbeing.

Turning 40 did not scare me one bit. In fact I was quite excited about stepping into this new era of life and be of an age where I felt more empowered than ever before.  Unlike my 20’s and 30’s, I knew exactly who I was, what I wanted out of life, the type of friends and partner I wanted to share my life with, and overall felt very happy in my own skin.

However, despite feeling upbeat and ready to embrace my new era of 40, I couldn’t deny I wasn’t a little concerned about the changes I had noticed in my skin and creaky knees that started to make me feel ‘old’. I certainly wasn’t in denial of the ageing process; I mean…it happens to us all! Yet these changes I was experiencing were not so easy to come to terms with.

My once flawless, plump and glowing skin suddenly had a lot more fine lines forming – especially around my eyes. Hyper-pigmentation was building, my skin felt less smooth, more dehydrated, and dare I say it, but I could start to notice my skin thinning (especially on my chest) and what looked like more saggy skin forming where the firmness once used to be. 

Did I already have a great wellbeing and skincare routine in place? I sure did. I was in fact pretty religious about this and for many years had been consuming a lot of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, vitamin pills and beauty boosting super foods, as well as drinking plenty of water and doing all the things health and beauty gurus tell you to do in order to look after your skin glowing and to help to slow down the signs of ageing.

And in truth, even though in my earlier years I had smoked, drank too much wine, lived and worked in a city all my life, and had had to deal with lots of stress from working in a very busy media agency; I did, in comparison, look a hell of a lot better for my age than other 40 year olds I had come across, so the investment into my healthy lifestyle must have paid off.

Then I discovered collagen powder and that is when the anti-ageing magic started to happen.

I had seen plenty of adverts and articles being written about the beauty-enhancing wonders of collagen in numerous fashionable magazines, but firstly thought I was most likely getting enough in my diet, and quite possibly that it was maybe a little too good to be true. Could taking collagen really do all the things it said it could do? It was time for me to do my research to see how it could help me.

What is collagen and where is it found?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. There are over 20 types, but type 1 consists of over 90% of all collagen. Collagen is made up of amino acids, they differ in the amount of amino acid present in the particular type of collagen. When collagen is hydrolysed, it’s broken down into its constituent amino acids, which are the essential building material to renew cells throughout the body including skin, hair, nails, eyes, teeth, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints, bones, internal organs, blood vessels, and the immune system.

How does collagen powder benefit women over 30?
We need a collagen supplement to replace what we lose with age. Did you know that after the age of 18 our collagen levels start to drop, and this accelerates by 1.5% per year from the age of 30?  This drop further accelerates for women with the onset of menopause (starts around 45-50 onwards). There has been an abundance of research investigating the benefits of taking collagen for women over 40. This research has found that daily oral collagen intake can improve skin elasticity, skin hydration and reduces the visibility of aging.

Encourages joint repair –  There have been more than 60 scientific studies displaying the positive effects of taking oral collagen peptides for degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.

But how do the collagen peptides do this? Research has shown that the peptides stimulate regeneration of collagenic tissues by increasing the production of collagen, thus providing the body with what it needs to increase collagen levels as they naturally decline with age. Over 60 studies were  found giving strong evidence that taking 10g of collagen peptides daily reduced collagen damage, reduced joint pain and reduced erosion of joints (osteoarthritis).

Collagen may also help with appetite control, by making you feel fuller for longer and may also boost metabolism, supporting weight loss. Collagen peptides that have been double hydrolysed (check this is the case with the brand when you do your research) to create easily absorbable collagen and includes important amino acids, such as glutamine, which has been shown to strengthen gut lining and help with digestive issues, such as ‘leaky gut

Does collagen promote healthy hair growth for women? Yes
Another great reason to add collagen to your daily routine is because collagen is made up of amino acids, which are then used to make different proteins, such as keratin which makes up your hair, skin and nails.

Age and stress are a couple of factors that can cause your rate of hair growth to change. Most people will experience some hair loss as they age, as production of new hairs can slow over time.

Collagen can help to protect your follicles against damage and help your hair grow long and healthy to the best of its ability.

Have we always had collagen in our diets and are we getting enough? Since ancient times humans have consumed more collagen than we do now, and it’s been an important source of nutrition. But modern food processing has removed collagen from our diets, and supplementing with collagen is important to regenerate our bodies.

After doing my research on collagen, I then went off to find the best quality, most bioavailable marine collagen powder for me to start using everyday.  I wanted to take a fish collagen rather than bovine (beef) and one that was from wild sourced marine, not from ethical farmed fish supplies. 

I started taking Correxiko Wild Marine Collagen powder. Thankfully, despite coming from fish, there is zero taste and it’s completely odourless, which means it can be added to literally any drink or food you have.  The key thing was to take it every day and the right amount in order to see the difference.

Unlike guzzling five or six capsules of pills, I was relieved to just add two tablespoons (split throughout the day) of my magic beauty powder to tea, coffee, smoothies, juices or in my porridge and soups.   It was as effortless as adding your moisturizer to your face – it just felt good to be doing this for myself and fitted easily with my normal healthy eating routine.

By month one the changes I had hoped for were already happening.  My skin looked far more hydrated that it had previously.  My pain I had in my knees had completely disappeared so walking uphill and doing exercise positions on my knees (think cat/cow in Pilates or yoga) had led me to need extra cushioning under my knees due to sharp pains. 

By month three, I could actually see major skin changes.  The fine lines and deeper lines I had on my face had almost reversed. It was almost like I had turned back my skin to how it was a few years back.  I was really pleased about this as I was considering trying fillers to plump up my skin.  I was also still free of joint pain.

Month five was where I really could see the major changes happening.  My skin was so plump, hydrated and no signs of new wrinkles. My skin on my chest looked less crinkled and the hyperpigmentation was greatly reduced.   I was getting lots of very nice compliments from friends, family and work contacts telling me how great my skin looked and what had I been doing to it – this was nice and much more so when you hit 40 to be told how amazing I looked.  

Month six still left me glowing with great skin and with almost springy joints they felt so flexible and pain-free.  I noticed how much better I was recovering after exercise and impact training such as HITT was far easier for me to recover from.  My nails were the best I had ever had in my whole life.  For once I had the gorgeous strong, smooth and unbreakable nails that I had always wanted.  My hair was thicker and fuller than it had been in years and despite me having noticed improved nails and hair on month three & four, it was by month six where I really noticed this whole new head of glossy and hydrated hair coming through.  Instead of it being dry and frizzy, it seemed thicker and healthier and less thinning than I had experienced.   And my skin just felt so different.  The ‘saggy’ thinning skin I was concerned about felt much more healthy and youthful that it had done a couple of years back.  I was extremely happy with the results and as I was not one to spend on facials or beauty treatments in general, this investment was well worth it. 

As collagen is also super important nutrient for supporting joint health and improving bone density as well as helping support a healthy gut, I was pleased I was able to feel this beauty tonic that was making my skin nails and hair so amazing, was also helping me prevent age related health issues such as osteoarthritis. 

I used Correxiko Wild Marine Collagen as it is gut friendly, Paleo, keto, kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free and had been founded by a Medical Doctor to ensure it is bioavailable, easily digested and works effectively. 

How to take: Take two rounded tablespoons (10g) of powder and place into a clear glass cup. I split this into three drinks rather than in one go. Add hot or cold water, and stir gently till all the powder dissolves. This will take all of 30 seconds.

words by Charlotte Dormon