Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Collagen: How & Why (among other things!)

Before I start talking about collagen, I should preface with how this all started... As a young teenager, I straightened my hair every single day (ugh!), I had my nails painted almost all of the time (but I didn't do it properly, I just put two coats of nail polish on and called it a day) and I just couldn't figure out a routine that minimized acne! At 16, I had really thin hair, super brittle nails and acne scarring - awesome right!?

A couple things have helped in the nails, skin & hair departments...

  • I stopped using heat in my hair everyday - I still love blow drying/straightening/curling my hair but I save it for special occasions!
  • I put hair masks in my hair a few times a year - I don't notice a huge difference with these but I do notice that it helps keep the ends of my hair healthy.
  • I only wash my hair once a week - this took me so long to get used to and I'm still not totally keen on talking about it, but it works!! I wash my hair on Saturday or Sunday and just rinse it when I shower during the week. At first this was a major struggle because I did not want greasy hair during the week (cue lots & lots of dry shampoo!). I've been doing this for about 2 1/2 years and my hair has totally adjusted! I'm losing much less hair in the shower because of this! 
  • I stopped stressing about losing hair - having thin hair used to really stress me out. I've invested more energy in maintaining my health and I don't really know if this made a difference, but having one less thing to worry about is always good!
  • I still paint my nails often and I don't plan on giving this up anytime soon. But I take much more care in doing it properly now - I use a base coat and a top coat, I soak my nails (and hands!) between each paint and I go months sometimes without painting my nails to give them time to breathe. 
  • Skin is the area that I still struggle with the most - I have tried so many different dermatologist & esthetician recommended solutions but nothing has worked as well as just consistently washing my face, eating less sugar (I think not drinking milk helped a lot too! I used to love milk so much) and coconut oil!! I put coconut oil on my face when I get out of the shower, before I go to bed at night and really any other time of day that I have a free moment :)
  • Really, I just put coconut oil on everything - I use it as a hair mask, when I soak my nails in warm water, I put coconut oil in the water and I use it on my skin! 
  • And finally - collagen!! I ordered collagen in April and have been using it almost everyday since. I put it in my smoothies, this is how I do it:
First, I should refer you to my favorite smoothie. I drink it every single day and I just add collagen to it!

This is the collagen I use - it's from Amazon. It's a powder and it comes with a little scooper inside - that is one serving of collagen. I was so so shocked about how sticky the powder is, I try to touch it as little as possible because the sticky kind of freaks me out!
I put one scoop in the bottom of a little plastic IKEA cup.
Then, I add water to the cup and swirl it around so all the collagen mixes in. Once my collagen is dissolved in water, I just add it to my smoothie - I put half water half orange juice in my smoothies. So, the collagen water replaces the plain water then I fill the rest of the way with orange juice.

The collagen tastes pretty horrible, so if you get a little clump of it in the smoothie you can taste it, but otherwise the taste is completely masked. If ever I don't have enough time to make a whole smoothie, I dissolve some collagen into orange juice and drink it quickly. The orange juice doesn't mask the taste as well, but it's tolerable. My mom has been more brave with her collagen experimenting - she puts it in muffins & breads which I am still a little ambivalent to try!

Both my mom and I have noticed the biggest difference in how strong our nails are since using collagen! My nails are much stronger and they don't break anymore! I think I may have to contend with acne scarring for the rest of my life but the collagen has reduced it a lot! It has also made the skin on my face much less dry and inflamed. And my hair has made the most successful recovery within the last 4 years, I don't think collagen is the only contributing factor - but all of the factors I discussed above have really thickened my hair!!

Phew! That was long! Do you have questions for me after all of this!? Also, I would love suggestions for hair, skin and nail health!

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