Is This What They Call Beauty Inside & Out?

What you put into your body is what you see, in terms of beauty and skin health, on the outside. Good concept, with absolute truth attached to it. Within reason.

I just spent the last two days at HBA expo in NYC. It’s mostly a packaging expo, but they were promoting this Beauty Inside new product innovations thing. Well, there was one display with a few – I don’t know really what the best description would be, and neither did the person talking about the products who only knew the most superficial of the marketing chatter.

So let me start with the collagen supplement. Can you guess what’s wrong with that? For skin, collagen gives it its texture, strength, substance and elasticity. As it breaks down – becoming cross-linked- it becomes wrinkles (which are actually cross-linked collagen or scars).

Collagen is a connective protein synthesized through a series of events within the body. Collagen is not a chewable, delectable taste treat that suddenly appears as healthy skin after eating (there is a process called digestion involved that breaks down things that are eaten). I always found zero logic to putting collagen in topical skin care. Though it may provide a coating that may appear like healthy skin. Injecting collagen will give plumpness to skin, I’m sure Playdough would work just as well. But the logic, or science, of a supplemental collagen just doesn’t work.

I did a search to see if I could find that I’m wrong. I was able to find a mediocre study that suggested that internal collagen hydolysate may help slow osteoarthritis. Mostly, all I could find was internet nonsense with absolutely no research, logic or intelligence to back it up. I like this line from one site “Because collagen is made up of relatively large, complex molecules, most people see the best results from taking collagen supplements orally, in the form of a pill or capsule. This allows the body to absorb collagen from the inside.” This is why I do go off on the extreme BS of marketing – this is an extreme case of stupid selling stupid.

If you really want to rebuild healthy collagen in the skin, just eat better. Lots and lots of healthy foods or what’s called the “Rainbow Diet,” lots of colored foods. For topical skin care, again, the Rainbow Diet, with whole food type ingredients containing lots of variety and color – this means, for both diet and topical,  lots of carotenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols – and vitamins, minerals, etc. This is how healthy collagen is produced in the body.

Also, don’t eat foods that will spike the glucose levels or cause inflammation in the body. Glucose (sugars) attaches to proteins (collagen) and break them down in a process called glycation. Read this article by Dr. Pugliese. Reading it will really help your survival of healthy collagen.

One of the best collagen building supplements I’ve found – and used for treatment for over 10 years- is MSM (methylsulfonyl methane), 1000 mg daily, recommended with Vitamin C supplementation. It’s a nutrient found in many foods (brussel sprouts, onions, cow’s milk, meats, fish and eggs). There’s some good evidence of its rebuilding of collagen structure proteins, especially in research regarding arthritis. MSM also supports keratin structure for healthy outer skin, nails and hair.

There were other unimpressive “beauty inside and out” products on the “innovative” shelf.  Beauty Inside and Out happens with a healthy diet, food based supplements and whole food type topical nutrition.



  1. […] Then there were some new collagen containing skin care and supplement products. Read my post from September 17, 2009 to see how lame I think this is. I’m still waiting to see some research that supports […]