One of the reasons I first became interested in a plant-based diet (long before I found out about the animals, the environment, and the health benefits) was stumbling across gorgeous women in their seventies who frankly looked like they were forty at best. In my early twenties the thought of “growing old” seemed terrifying, and suddenly, here were examples of women who had seemingly defied the passing of time. What did these women seem to have in common, aside from glowing skin and youthful vitality? An exclusively plant-based diet packed full of fruits and vegetables.
Yet, if you were to listen to other vocal health experts, they’d tell us that we need to consume collagen from animal sources to maintain a youthful appearance as age. I’m already sold on the benefits of a plant-based diet, but what are some of the things we can do to supercharge this diet even more to preserve our skin as we age?
Let me present Edible Beauty. I already LOVED Edible Beauty’s natural skin care, but when I heard they’d brought out internal beauty elixirs, I was even more excited. I decided to try two of their collagen boosting supplements.
Native Plant Based Collagen Powder
The first product I tried was the Native Plant Based Collagen Powder. Aside from the taste (which was totally delicious), I was really excited by the ingredients the vegan collagen-boosting powder contained.
As far as building collagen goes, Vitamin C is critical, and this formulation is chock-full of it from natural sources: Kakadu Plum, Macqui Berry, Sea Buckthorn, and Baobab. Vitamin C takes the amino acids glycine, proline and lysine from our food and transforms them through hydroxylation reactions into the building blocks for collagen. Amazingly, Sea Buckthorn and Baobab also contain free amino acids proline and glycine, so they seem like nature’s perfect collagen food.
I love that this formulation also contains natural mixed carotenoids, making it not only ideal for the synthesis of collagen, but also for preserving the skin we already have and giving us a natural beautifying glow. Carotenoids not only help protect us from UV damage 1, but with sufficient intake, may also subtly alter the skin’s hue, giving us a glow which is science-backed in making us appear more attractive. 2,3 Need I give you more reasons to concentrate on a varied plant-based diet, as well as taking your Native Collagen Powder?
Including Aloe Vera is a great choice, not only for its power to enhance the bioavailability of vitamin C and E, but also for its well documented directly anti-ageing properties. Studies have shown that Aloe supplementation aids measurably in the visible reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. 4,5 Aloe Vera also has great properties for gut health, and we know all too well that health starts in the gut.
The next product I tried was the Beauty Dew. I liked this product for a couple of reasons; the Silica and the Zinc are two minerals critically important in the beauty-game, and the inclusion of hormone balancing plants really appealed.
I’ve used Silica myself for a while, and I have to say I’ve observed a huge difference to my nail strength and hair growth. The orthosilicic acid is a particularly well absorbed form of Silica. 6 I also really like that Zinc is included, because whilst important for mental health, reproductive health, immunity, gastrointestinal health, AND skin, it is a mineral that for those not highly vigilant with their diet, can tend to be low on when consuming a plant-based diet.
Interestingly, it has been noted by a well-seasoned vegan doctor that it is not uncommon for people to undergo such a huge shift in hormone levels when they transition to a vegan diet, and that they experience a temporary hair loss. Hair loss isn’t only attributable to rapid hormonal changes, and amongst other causes, can be related to low iron levels or thyroid dysfunction. However, with the inclusion of hormone-balancing cactus flower flavonoids, 5alpha-reductase inhibitors 7, for those who have just shifted to a plant-based diet or are about to, this could be a wonderful preventative formulation. Anthocyanins and Silica, both found in the formula, are also wonderful for hair growth.
I loved both of these products; they tasted great and the ingredients are fab. I feel they really complement each other and used in conjunction with a healthy, colourful, unprocessed, low sugar, plant-predominant or plant-exclusive diet, are a perfect part of an internal anti-ageing regimen.
Whilst I’m all for inner beauty, one of the most important things you can do to preserve your skin is use sunscreen, and Edible Beauty have an amazing factor 50 I use every day. Taking care of our health inwardly and outwardly is an ethos both Edible Beauty and I align with, and I believe their products are a wonderful means to do so.
1. Milani A, Basirnejad M, Shahbazi S, Bolhassani A. Carotenoids: biochemistry, pharmacology and treatment. Br J Pharmacol. 2017;174(11):1290-1324. doi:10.1111/bph.13625
2. Whitehead RD, Coetzee V, Ozakinci G, Perrett DI. Cross-cultural effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on skin color. Am J Public Health. 2012;102(2):212-213. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300495
3. Stephen ID, Coetzee V, Perrett DI. Carotenoid and melanin pigment coloration affect perceived human health. Evol Hum Behav. 2011;32(3):216-227. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.09.003
4. Tanaka M, Misawa E, Yamauchi K, Abe F, Ishizaki C. Effects of plant sterols derived from Aloe vera gel on human dermal fibroblasts in vitro and on skin condition in Japanese women. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015;8:95-104. doi:10.2147/CCID.S75441
5. Cho S, Lee S, Lee MJ, et al. Dietary aloe vera supplementation improves facial wrinkles and elasticity and it increases the type i procollagen gene expression in human skin in vivo. Ann Dermatol. 2009;21(1):6-11. doi:10.5021/ad.2009.21.1.6
6. De Araújo LA, Addor F, Campos PMBGM. Use of silicon for skin and hair care: An approach of chemical forms available and efficacy. An Bras Dermatol. 2016;91(3):331-335. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20163986
7. Jonas A, Rosenblat G, Krapf D, Bitterman W, Neeman I. Cactus flower extracts may prove beneficial in benign prostatic hyperplasia due to inhibition of 5α reductase activity, aromatase activity and lipid peroxidation. Urol Res. 1998;26(4):265-270. doi:10.1007/s002400050055