It is often said that ‘you are only as old as you feel’. But, in reality, how old you feel – what scientists call your subjective age – is mainly determined by what you see when you look in the mirror.1 As a result, the appearance of your skin can speak volumes about your age and how old you feel.
The smooth, plump appearance of young skin is largely due to its levels of collagen – the structural protein that glues skin cells together and gives the skin strength and resilience – but production drops sharply as you get older. By the age of 50, your skin has lost up to 40 per cent of its collagen, making it thinner and more saggy and wrinkly.
Although collagen seems to be the ‘nutricosmetic’ buzzword of the moment, many other nutrients are also needed to keep your skin looking good. That’s why health and beauty expert Catherine Mulcahy wanted to create a comprehensive product, to rejuvenate skin from the inside out. The result is Your Beauty Tonic, which combines marine collagen with hyaluronic acid and 14 other skin essential nutrients, in their most bioavailable forms.
Your Beauty Tonic is a delicious powder formulation, in handy, one-a-day sachets. As well as supplying an easily assimilated form of collagen, the ingredients in the formula have been shown in scientific studies to stimulate the body’s own production of collagen. Together, they could improve your skin’s moisture content, flexibility and smoothness, protect it from sun damage and help prevent wrinkles.
How collagen, hyaluronic acid and MSM could give you smoother, plumper skin and less wrinkles
The collagen used in Your Beauty Tonic is a hydrolysed, type 1 marine collagen, called Peptan F. Clinical trials in France and Japan, in which women took supplements of this exact kind of collagen, have shown it greatly improves skin hydration, as well as the density and structure of the collagen network in the dermis (the deep layer of the skin).2
As skin ages, not only does its collagen content decline, but also the integrity of the collagen network. Long, intact collagen fibres keep young skin firm and smooth, but damaged, fragmented fibres in ageing skin allow sagging and wrinkles. The French study mentioned above showed that, compared to a placebo, 12 weeks of supplementation with Peptan F resulted in longer, less fragmented collagen fibres.
Alongside Peptan F collagen, another major ingredient in Your Beauty Tonic is hyaluronic acid. This is what chemists call a glycosaminoglycan, a complex molecule that can attract and hold 1,000 times its own weight of water. Depletion of hyaluronic acid in the skin causes dehydration and loss of elasticity, so accentuating fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging.3
According to a review of placebo-controlled trials, supplementing with hyaluronic acid for as little as three weeks gives a real boost to skin moisture content, and this effect lasts for several weeks after treatment is stopped.4 Another recent study found that, in women aged 45 to 60, taking hyaluronic acid for 40 days led to significant increases in skin elasticity and hydration, and a significant decrease in skin roughness and wrinkle depth.5
The third key ingredient in Your Beauty Tonic is methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM. This natural, organic sulphur compound, best known as a supplement for joint health, is also vital for collagen production in the skin. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study in 20 women, an MSM supplement led to significant improvements in skin appearance and condition. The most noticeable effect was a reduction in the number, size and severity of wrinkles.6
MSM appears to work at the heart of every cell in your skin, altering the expression of key genes that affect skin health and condition. In addition to its role in producing and maintaining the collagen network, MSM improves the barrier function of the skin, so helping prevent water loss, and also combats free radical damage and reduces inflammation.
Botanical extracts, vitamins and minerals work together to boost skin health
Your Beauty Tonic also contains botanical extracts of nettle leaf and gotu kola, along with seven important vitamins and four key minerals to help combat skin ageing.
Nettle leaf has been used for centuries as a folk medicine. It helps treat acne and eczema, soothes skin irritation, and has been shown in animal experiments to heal burns as effectively as standard medicinal approaches.7 Nettle leaf also treats dandruff, improves the condition of hair and is even reputed to stimulate new hair growth, although this has yet to be confirmed by scientific studies.
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) has long been a staple in the Indian system of traditional Ayurvedic medicine and is traditionally used to treat skin problems. In clinical trials, a cream containing gotu kola was found to be effective in reducing stretch marks during pregnancy.8
Other skin-supporting nutrients in Your Beauty Tonic include vitamin C, which is essential for collagen synthesis and for structuring the collagen network.9 Symptoms of scurvy, the classic vitamin C deficiency disease, are caused by the body’s inability to make collagen. Also included in the formula is the mineral selenium, which is important for protecting the skin from ultraviolet radiation damage.10
In addition, Your Beauty Tonic contains vitamin A, B-group vitamins, magnesium, zinc and copper. These nutrients support the action of the other ingredients and help maintain general good health.
What to take for best results
The recommended dose of Your Beauty Tonic is one sachet per day, best taken in the morning. Empty the contents into a glass, add 250-350ml of water and stir to dissolve.
Although you’re likely to see some improvements after one month of use, a three-month programme is recommended for restructuring the skin’s collagen matrix.
Contraindications: The marine collagen in this product is derived from fish, so may be unsuitable for vegetarians/vegans and people with a fish allergy. You are advised to consult your doctor before use if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a known medical condition or are taking medication.
Disclaimer: This article is part of the Agora Health's extensive research archive. The research and information contained in this article was accurate at the the time of publication but may have been updated since the date of publication. Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly The Journal of Natural Health Solutions issue in which this article appears.
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