Collagen Powders
Photo courtesy of @thebeautychef

Practicing Beauty From Within: The Ultimate Guide To Collagen & Superfood Powders

Are collagen and superfood powders the secret to achieving healthy, glowing skin? Here’s everything you need to know about beauty’s buzziest supplements, according to the experts. 

Beauty’s indulgences often benefit our outward appearances, from ultra-nourishing hair masks and miracle-performing eye creams to the latest skincare remedies and rituals for a more sculpted face. And while investing in new beauty trends and tricks to enhance our overall look is fulfilling, looking inward is an integral part of any beauty journey. After all, so many of today’s most common beauty woes can often be linked back to something that’s happening internally. For instance, dark circles under the eyes typically indicate lack of sleep, while a sudden breakout might be the direct result of increased stress or a poor diet. True beauty, then, is achieving equilibrium inside and out, and finding a supplemental routine that fills the gaps in between. 

Today, the notion of promoting one’s inner beauty today goes far beyond the usual “insider” tips of maintaining a healthy diet and drinking ample amounts of water in the quest for healthier skin, hair, and nails. Beauty supplements have exploded in popularity over the past few years, moving the market away from garden-variety multivitamins to a multibillion-dollar industry promising everything from stronger strands to firmer, suppler skin. Collagen and self-proclaimed “superfoods” are among the latest hero beauty ingredients dominating the industry as of late, resulting in a surge of multipurpose complexion-boosting powders across beauty counters everywhere. To break it down: When the digestive system is functioning at its highest level, it ultimately results in healthier, glowing skin — and that’s where collagen and superfood powders play their most significant role. 

As is the case with most “nutri-cosmetics,” though, the benefits and efficacy of these products isn’t always clear, often leaving us with more questions than answers. To help you navigate this gray area we consulted some of the industry’s leading experts, including Amy Shapiro, M.S., R.D., and founder of Real Nutrition; Dawn Russell, founder of 8Greens; and Jen Randazzo, Vital Proteins’ director of education. They shared what exactly these powders do, how to bring them into your daily wellness routine, and which are the best fit for your body. Keep reading for their expert advice on the power of collagen and superfood powders, and the ones worth introducing to your daily beauty routine.

What is collagen?

The three pillars of beauty — hair, skin, and nails — rely on the nourishment of collagen production. There is a plethora of collagen-enhancing products, but what exactly is collagen? According to Shapiro, “Collagen is a protein — the most abundant protein in the body — that plays a structural role in the skin and other connective tissues throughout the body, such as tendons, arteries, and veins.” Essentially, the entire infrastructure of our bodies consists of collagen. “It is what helps maintain healthy skin,” says Russell.

As we age, our bodies naturally produce less collagen, causing our skin to lose elasticity. Unfortunately, this also means we are more likely to run into issues like brittle nails and hair, like loss of firmness in skin, dryness, and wrinkles. It’s no wonder, then, that the concept of supplementing our collagen with a bottled version is so popular.

What are superfood powders?

Simply put, superfood powders are a supplemental powdered food blend consisting of beneficial veggies and fruits high in antioxidants that help support optimum health. Think roots, berries, and leaves like açaí, maca, chlorella, spirulina, maca, and morgina. Superfood powders are typically dehydrated then powderized into forms of the berries, roots, and leaves that retain high-quality nutrients and key vitamins such as C and B. These superfoods work to strengthen immune function, support gut and skin health, energize the body, fight aging, and support the body’s ability to adapt to outside stressors.

“Superfood powders promote a well-regulated and healthy intestinal environment and increased absorption of nutrients, aiding in smooth and improved digestion and overall immunity (when taken continuously),” states Manda Fermentation, which creates products from naturally fermented ingredients.

What are the benefits of collagen and superfood powders?

The art of anti-aging lies in practices that help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, promote skin elasticity, and enhance our skin’s overall radiance. “Consuming collagen and superfood powders is beneficial because the collagen in our skin breaks down as we age. The body becomes less efficient at producing collagen as we get older, which ultimately leads to signs of aging. Collagen supplementation works by providing the body with necessary amino acids to help promote the renewal of tissues found in skin, bones, and joints. Collagen peptides can serve as messengers to the cells and trigger the synthesis and reorganization of new collagen fibers,” says Randazzo.

“As we get older, we continue to lose more and more of our own collagen, and as a result we need to make up for that continual loss,” Russell explains. “Studies have shown that replenishing collagen is essential to promoting healthy, happy, more youthful-looking skin.” One study found that women who supplemented with collagen saw a statistically significant improvement in skin elasticity. A second study also found that subjects who consumed an oral nutritional supplement consisting of hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and a vitamin and mineral blend also saw an increase in skin elasticity and hydration. That said, it should be noted that many more studies are needed in order to fully understand the full potential and efficacy of these products. As such, anyone interested in taking a collagen or superfood supplement should consult with a physician before adding any of these products into their daily health and wellness routine. 

What are the internal and external results?

There is a direct correlation between the nutrients that go into your body and your outward appearance. “When your digestive system is nourished, it is able to filter out and eliminate toxins that can affect your body’s largest organ: your skin,” explains Manda Fermentation. “Pre- and probiotics support your gut flora, allowing you to better absorb the vitamins and nutrients in your diet. A healthy gut microbiome also allows for better absorption of nutrients, reduced inflammation and bloating, and increased immunity and energy levels. By improving overall health, wellness, and balance through proper digestion, users can tackle their fitness from the inside out and start with a healthy foundation.” 

“Research shows collagen and superfood powders help increase muscle mass and strength, help decrease bone loss, improve joint health, help with skin appearance and elasticity, and help to decrease wrinkles,” says Shapiro. In other words, the more nourishment you put into your body, the more your skin glows. It’s a simple domino effect.

What are different ways to incorporate collagen powders and superfood powders into your routine?

As with most beauty rituals, consistency is vital. Finding simple, convenient ways to incorporate these powders into your routine is essentially half of the battle, then. “The best way to consume collagen and superfoods is by finding the easiest way to incorporate it into your daily wellness routine and lifestyle,” says Randazzo. “Because collagen peptide powder dissolves easily in hot and cold liquids, I recommend adding them into your coffee, tea, or smoothie to start the day.” 

“My recommendation is to add them to your smoothies as a protein source, mix them into your yogurt or oatmeal, or blend with your coffee. Finding things you already eat on a daily basis is important so that it doesn’t have to feel like an added step or another thing on your to-do list,” says Shapiro. “Some powders even allow you to pour them directly onto your tongue as a sweet treat! My current go-to brand is Reserveage, as I love the quality of the collagen, the research the brand puts behind it, and fun — yes, taking supplements can be fun — options in which you can consume it. I’m obsessed with their Collagen Candy; they taste like Pixy Stix and are perfectly packaged for an on-the-go lifestyle. I travel with them everywhere, from the gym or just at my desk.” 

In fact, it was Russell’s inability to take these supplements effortlessly that led her to start her own company, 8Greens. “Most collagen is in the form of supplements or powders,” she explains. “Personally, I found it a difficult habit to mix them into a juice or smoothie every morning that I never really enjoyed drinking anyway. Some collagen supplements even demand you take large tablets twice a day, which I would always inevitably forget. So I created 8Greens Skin for that exact reason. It’s both greens and top-quality collagen in one delicious drink. Just drop the tablet into a glass and drink, or drop it into any recipe with liquid and consume.” It’s that simple. As a vast range of supplements and powders has entered the market, there’s more diversity in their flavors — citrus, vanilla, and chocolate are just a few. There are even tasteless varieties.

What are some popular myths around collagen and superfood supplementation?

“There is no one product hero that will improve your health alone — there is no magic bullet,” warns Shapiro. “Incorporating these powders into your life, alongside a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, will ultimately provide the maximum results. Consistency also helps to move the needle, so if you are trying out a new powder, be sure to give yourself a few months (1-3) to see if it supports you and provides the changes you are looking for. Nothing happens overnight, it takes time, so be patient and picky about the quality of your product.”

“Collagen powders have become such a fad and health trend in recent years,” says Russell. “As consumers we need to make sure that fads still maintain high-quality ingredients and efficacy. For example, 8Greens Skin collagen peptides are enzymatically treated and not exposed to heat or hydrochloric acid, keeping the integrity of the collagen intact.” 

To put it simply, it’s important to do your research — and to do what makes you feel good, inside and out. 

Ahead, we’ve highlighted some of the best collagen and superfood powder brands to choose from. Shop our top picks for beautiful, glowing skin below!

Shop our favorite collagen & superfood supplements

About the Author
Adrienne Faurote is a contributor at Editorialist covering all things fashion and beauty. After studying Fashion Design at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York, Adrienne then moved on to become the Fashion Market Editor at Marie Claire Magazine for over 5 years. When she's not covering the season's must-have fashion trends or reviewing the latest beauty fads, you'll find her trying popular boutique fitness and wellness trends.
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