Home Lifestyle Skincare alert! How to spot fake collagen from an expert

Skincare alert! How to spot fake collagen from an expert

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Skincare has become an essential component of a wellness regimen – not because celebrities are doing it, but because having dull skin seriously tanks your self-esteem.

Be cautious of collagen products that are priced too low. Picture: Supplied

SKINCARE has become an essential component of a wellness regimen – not because celebrities are doing it, but because because having dull skin seriously tanks your self-esteem.

About the time I turned 24, I had the unfortunate experience of a second wave of puberty and ever since, I’ve been interested in learning what, besides using a gazillion products, could help me maintain youthful, supple skin from the inside out.

After hearing Gerry Cupido and Marchelle Abrahams sing the praises of collagen power, I decided “why not”? I need to protect my “black from cracking”, anyway. I haven’t looked back since.

As a result of the numerous health advantages linked to collagen consumption, the market for these supplements is growing quickly, with demand expected to rise by 6.4% annually globally.

The number of Google searches for these products has significantly risen in the past five years in South Africa, indicating that this upward tendency is also present here.

As well as posing health dangers, additives may lessen the collagen’s efficacy, nullifying any possible advantages. Picture by Sora Shimazaki/Pexels

However, Toni Carroll, the founder of the high-end nutricosmetic company My Beauty Luv, notes that with so many alternatives available today, it can be challenging to tell between real and fake collagen.

She explains that fake collagen can be harmful to consumer health in several ways. “Firstly, these products could contain harmful additives or fillers, even heavy metals and bacteria,” she says.

This may result in allergic responses, digestive and other health problems.

As well as posing health dangers, additives may lessen the collagen’s efficacy, nullifying any possible advantages. Second, they might not truly contain collagen at all or they might just contain it in very small amounts, so you won’t get the advantages of collagen supplements like better skin elasticity and joint health, said Carroll.

“With this in mind, South Africans must be able to make educated judgments about the collagen they purchase to enjoy the full advantages without putting their health at risk,” she said.

She outlined the following five indicators of fake collagen to look out for:

Ingredients:

Pay close attention to the ingredient list on the container. The sole ingredients in genuine collagen products should be collagen and potentially some optional components like vitamins and minerals. Avoid items with lengthy ingredient lists that include difficult-to-pronounce compounds.

Dosage:

This can give a clear indication of whether a brand has added fillers or other bulking agents to its collagen. A dose between 2g and 5g per day is recommended by several scientific studies as being effective. If a product instructs you to take a ton of it each day, it has probably been fortified with additional cheap components that are not listed on the label.

Price:

Be cautious of collagen products that are priced too low. High-quality collagen is expensive to produce, so if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Similarly, don’t assume that expensive collagen products are always genuine.

Brand reputation:

Reviews also help! Regrettably, a large number of brands, including those in South Africa, omit to disclose all of the ingredients. This typically occurs when a pure product is being sold at a premium but has been diluted with fillers.

It is difficult to navigate this because brands will not divulge their production processes or intellectual property, but there are ways around that such as contacting the brand and requesting certification from their suppliers.

Molecular weight

One of the very best ways to test if collagen is superior is to check the molecular weight of the product. Almost all collagen-producing brands will not have this on their label or in their marketing literature. If you are serious about quality, you can request the molecular weight (measured in Daltons) directly from the brand.

The lower the weight the higher the quality. 2000Da is the highest weight to look for so anything under this is excellent quality. Anything higher than 2000Da will mean less absorption and more work for your body to assimilate and produce its own collagen.

“By remaining vigilant, consumers can make educated choices about the collagen they buy and enjoy the multiple health benefits associated with genuine products,” said Carroll.

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