Why Protein Is the Skincare Secret That Beats Any Supplement
Okay, be honest. Raise your hand if you’ve ever googled ‘how to get clear skin’ and found yourself glued to your phone hours later reading reviews of stupidly expensive moisturisers you can’t afford to buy. It’s not just us, right? The truth is, it can be impossible to know where to start when it comes to skincare. By the time you’ve worked out your skin type and picked a ‘concern’ you want to fix, you’ve probably forgotten what you were doing in the first place. In reality, we all know there isn’t one magical product out there that’s going to give us perfect skin. The good news, though, is that there is something we could all be doing to make our skin look happier and healthier, and that’s adding some protein to our diet.
Why does protein give us good skin?
The long answer to this question is quite science-y. But don’t worry – we’re not about to give you a full-on biology lesson. You’ve probably heard of collagen, the protein your body uses to keep your skin looking healthy and smooth. Like all proteins, collagen is made up of amino acids, which some people call ‘the building blocks of life’. The problem with these acids is that your body can’t produce all of them by itself, so you need to get some of them from elsewhere. One of the ways to do this is by eating plant or animal protein, which your body can then break down into the amino acids it needs to make more collagen. In other words, adding more protein to your diet is an easy way to make sure your body has everything it needs to keep your skin looking its very best.
How much protein should I be eating a day?
All our bodies are unique and need different amounts of protein to keep us going. If you want to work out how many grams of protein you should be eating each day, Harvard Medical School suggests multiplying your weight in pounds by 0.36 to get a rough guide. The actual amount will depend on a variety of factors (for example, how often you exercise) so remember to take the answer you get with a pinch of salt! How can I add more protein to my diet? Okay so, you’ve decided you want to increase your protein intake.
But where do you start?
Obviously, we think a pretty good way to get more plant protein in your diet is to snack on one of our vegan protein bars, which delivers an impressive 15g of protein in every 45g serving. Even we’ll admit, though, that our protein bars can’t do it all. If you want to make sure you’re getting all the amino acids your body needs, it’s a good idea to eat a varied diet, particularly if you’re plant-based. Here are some of our favourite protein-packed ingredients:
- Whole grains, like oats and quinoa
- Chickpeas, lentils, and other pulses
- Tofu and tempeh
- Milk alternatives, like soy milk
- Nuts and nut butter
Can I take collagen supplements instead?
Don’t get us wrong. Collagen supplements aren’t necessarily a bad thing for your skin. But they do have two major problems. The first is that they’re not a replacement for a healthy diet. Though they do provide you with two important amino acids, they’re lacking lots of other ingredients your body needs to function at its best. The second is that, according to clinical nutritionist Jennifer Fugo, you can’t currently get any 100% vegan (or even veggie) collagen supplements on the market. So, if you’re following a plant-based diet, you might want to give those a miss.