Skin supplements support firm, luminous skin and cellular repair. And just like topical skincare, ingestible beauty isn’t one-formula-fits-all.
Ingestible beauty is growing fast, giving rise to skin, hair and wellbeing supplements for a variety of beauty concerns and lifestyles. And along with ingestible innovation, the category has sparked industry buzz – and a fair amount of confusion.
So, what should you be looking for in your ingestible regimen – powders, capsules or both? Consider this Vida Glow’s crash course in the mechanisms of ingestible beauty.
In a daily beauty routine, ingestible treatments work together to support skin’s health – but they perform different functions with different actives, says Vida Glow’s Senior Research Scientist, Lauren Dewsbury. “This influences which format we use. We need to create an optimal environment for the formula to ensure it performs at its best once ingested,” Dewsbury continues.
At Vida Glow’s innovation lab, “we consider what the scientific evidence says and how the ingredients behave in combination with each other when deciding on ingredient input,” says Dewsbury. “Ultimately, our products are formulated based on research to ensure they are optimally dosed for maximum therapeutic effect.”
Let’s get into the finer details behind ingestible beauty formulas.
Are ingestible powders more effective than capsules?
This depends on the active, and how it’s absorbed by the body.
Robust ingredients like marine collagen are most efficacious as powders. When ingested, marine collagen peptide powder “passes through the epithelial cells that line the gut into the blood stream,” says Dewsbury, “where collagen peptides are taken up by the body and distributed where required, including the dermis.”
Powders are also beneficial for the fast delivery of actives into the bloodstream. For example, effervescent powders like Vida Glow’s Anti-G-Ox can be dissolved sublingually, under the tongue, to quickly deliver actives and their benefits.
However, some actives like natural extracts can be sensitive to UV light, oxygen exposure and the acidic stomach environment. This means they’re most potent when protected by a capsule so they can travel beyond the stomach to be absorbed in the small intestine.
What is the difference between ingestible powders and capsules?
Ingestible beauty powders are most often fine, soluble powders that are formulated to reach the stomach and bloodstream with liquids like water.
Capsules, like Vida Glow Radiance, work differently. They’re comprised of an outer shell which protects active ingredients, whether they’re powders, liquids or oils, until they can be absorbed at their most efficacious in the small intestine.
Beauty powders and capsules are both clinically studied and highly efficacious in delivering ingestible beauty. But to optimise each formula, delivery methods like powders and capsules are best tailored to their active ingredients.
Which ingestible beauty ingredients are most effective as powders?
In its powdered form, “marine collagen is as close to its natural state as possible. It has great stability and allows us to provide our consumers with 100% marine collagen,” says Dewsbury.
When supplementing pure marine collagen, peptides and amino acids stimulate collagen production as it declines with age – but as Dewsbury notes, “native collagen is a very large molecule, about 285,000 to 300,000 Daltons in size. This makes native marine collagen poorly absorbed with a low bioavailability.” Until hydrolysation comes into play.
“Hydrolysis is an enzymatic process where a molecule of water breaks one or more chemical bonds in another molecule, breaking it down into two or more smaller compounds,” explains Dewsbury. In hydrolysing marine collagen, its peptides are reduced to a molecular weight as low as 2000 Daltons – for high absorption of over 90%, a low dosage weight of 3 grams per serve, and maximised results.
As an ingestible beauty product, this means marine collagen is clinically proven treat fine lines and wrinkles, firm skin and increase elasticity in 12 weeks, while enhancing hair and nail health.
For fast absorption of antioxidants, actives like vitamin C can be supplemented on the tongue.
“With sublingual delivery, ingredients are absorbed through the mucous membranes to the blood vessels under the tongue, where they ‘skip’ digestion and enter directly into the bloodstream and active within a matter of minutes,” explains Dewsbury. “Depending on the actives, sublingual absorption can be anywhere from 3 to 10 times greater than oral ingestion” too (Nerang, N., “Sublingual mucosa as a route for systemic drug delivery”, Int J of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2011, Vol 3 Supp 2, 18-22).
“For Anti-G-Ox, we chose the powdered format for convenience and speed of absorption,” shares Dewsbury. As a preventative skincare step, Anti-G-Ox combines 10 antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients including vitamin C, vitamin E, niacinamide, curcumin and zinc. In a daily sachet, these actives combat signs of premature ageing. As an effervescent powder, Anti-G-Ox also instantly dissolves in contact with moisture and delivers a naturally sweet pick-me-up in seconds – and protection against premature ageing in 15-20 minutes.
When are ingestible beauty capsules more effective than powders?
As Dewsbury explains, a capsule format “ensures that all actives get to where they need to be and are broken down and absorbed in the intended place, then fully distributed throughout the body for optimal efficacy.”
Take Vida Glow’s first capsule innovation, Radiance, as an example.
Radiance is powered by SkinAx2™, a potent antioxidant compound of Champagne grape seed and French melon extracts, with brightening vitamin C, healing zinc and photoprotective carotenoids. While Lauren explains that vitamin C and zinc (which are also found in Anti-G-Ox, are stable ingredients and suited to a range of different delivery formats, it’s SkinAx2™ that determined Radiance’s capsule format.
“Delivery in a capsule was a conscious deviation from the delivery format of our original hero product, marine collagen,” shares Lauren. To offer potent, skin-brightening actives, “the plant-derived cellulose capsule protects the sensitive SkinAx2™ from stomach acidity, providing targeted release in the small intestines.”
Unlike marine collagen or Anti-G-Ox, Dewsbury goes on to explain; “if left unprotected, the molecular structure of SkinAx2™ would be modified while passing through the digestive tract and would be rendered inactive.”
By protecting its actives and facilitating their effective absorption, Radiance’s capsules are clinically studied to brighten dull complexions and awaken tired skin – with benefits across the body too.
For innovative beauty treatments designed for real routines and tangible results, the strength of ingestible beauty lies in balancing proven ingestible actives with functional delivery formats.