I'm A Beauty Editor & This One Supplement Taught Me To Be Smarter About Skin Care*
I want glowing, firm, clear skin, and I feel my best when I have it. I say this because I spent about 15 years dealing with skin that was unequivocally not those things. Through my teens and into my mid-to-late 20s, I dealt with problematic skin and felt somewhat jaded by it. These were supposed to be the best skin years of my life—youthful and radiant without even really trying!—and here I was agonizing over blemishes and their residue. When I wasn't in the midst of a breakout, I was dealing with flushing and uneven texture from rosacea. Or I was tending to raw, damaged patches on my cheeks and chin from my attempts at peeling away skin problems with intense exfoliators.
I could never get it right. I never could figure out how to get "good" skin.
As I grew older, I started to panic. Not because I was particularly age-averse or dreaded getting older (I don't), but because I feared I would never have a time in my life when I was truly happy with the way my skin looked and felt: I always thought glowing skin was just around the corner if I just tried enough face washes and facials. But with each passing year, week, day, that was proving untrue. Was I just going to have problem skin forever?
Enter: The best skin phase of my life.
I'm 30. It's a milestone of an age that feels overblown after-the-fact. But when you are in the throes of its lead-up, it's certainly daunting; not to mention the birthday in question happened during the pandemic, and thus was devoid of all pomp-and-circumstance. It was not a birthday for the books—or even a post on a website for that matter—but here we are.
But you know what is worthy of such note? My 30-year-old skin. I have far more clear skin days than not, the texture has smoothed out, and my complexion glows even sans tinted foundation and highlighter. Sometimes it feels like my epidermis is making up for lost time.
So here's what I did: I got smarter, I got simpler, and I went internal. And it all started with supplements.
mindbodygreen's beauty & gut collagen+ has transformed my skin care routine from the inside out.* I was always highly suspect of collagen supplements before, in the same way I'm suspect of any beauty trend that promises the world without the science to back it up. And so many of the brands I was seeing enter the market just didn't put in the work. But when I looked into mbg's collagen, the research was there: The formulation is rooted in science. This one-of-a-kind blend is made with hydrolyzed collagen peptides (which are smaller, broken-down molecules that can actually be absorbed by the body) that are shown to promote your skin's natural collagen and elastin production by supporting your skin cell's fibroblasts (or the things that create collagen and elastin in the body).*
But it doesn't stop there. It has a plethora of other good-for-skin ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, curcumin from turmeric root, biotin, and the antioxidant sulforaphane glucosinolate from broccoli.* Each ingredient works in tandem to make the other ingredients stronger and more effective.* For example, vitamin C is a vital part of the collagen synthesis process as it not only enhances production, but it stabilizes the collagen you already have.* Each ingredient was strategically added to achieve the final goal: glowing skin.* And there's no filler or less-than-ideal add-ons, so what you get is a simple, smart, hardworking supplement.
This made me stop and think about my own skin care: How was each step of my routine and each active I put on my face in service to my final skin care goals? On that note, what were my skin care goals even? I had spent so much time reacting to my problematic skin, I never stopped to think ahead. No better time than your 30s.
So I really thought about what I wanted for my skin now and for the next phase of my journey. These are the pillars I landed on: I want firm, bright skin that is healthy for the long haul. I want to nurture my skin both internally and externally and stop reacting to it (even on bad days). And I want to strip down my overall routine so I am only using tried-and-true, effective ingredients or well-formulated products that level up to these goals. Now, I don't waste time and resources on supplements and other products if I don't believe in their ethos and efficacy.
If there's any advice I can give you about your own skin care journey it's this: Think about what you want. We so often give this advice to people for their fitness and health goals but rarely do give the same attention to our skin. But you can't tailor a skin care regimen that will work for you and your unique needs if you don't know what those are.
You cannot feel comfortable in your skin if you don't know it.
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director at mindbodygreen. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends and updates in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as travel, financial wellness, and parenting. She has reported on the intricacies of product formulations, the diversification of the beauty industry, and and in-depth look on how to treat acne from the inside, out (after a decade-long struggle with the skin condition herself). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.