But this ingredient’s benefits are more than skin deep, as it also plays a role in healthy hair and nails. Hair is made up primarily of keratin protein, which is produced most effectively when amino acids are supplied by the blood. When the collagen proteins in BioCell Collagen are processed and absorbed into the small intestine, they help to increase this pool of amino acids, which are then used by hair follicle cells to produce keratin protein for healthy hair. And by replacing lost collagen and HA, the ingredient reduces scalp dryness.

Similarly, fingernails and toenails are also made of keratin, and rest on a nail bed made of skin dermis. Aging can lead to brittle and dry nails as this dermis deteriorates. By supplementing with BioCell Collagen, the nail bed’s health can be restored through a boost of both collagen and HA.

Topical treatments vs. oral supplements

BioCell Technology recently developed BioCell Collagen CG, a cosmetic-grade ingredient that can be used in topical treatments. What sets this ingredient apart from others on the market is that it harbors a unique property that inhibits the HA-degrading enzyme called hyaluronidases, which is activated following chronic exposure to the sun’s UV rays. By applying a topical treatment that includes BioCell Collagen CG, skin dehydration and wrinkles from the sun can be reduced.

With both oral supplements and topical approaches available, it might be hard to choose the best approach. According to Park, the best defense against skin aging is a two-tiered defense, including both topical and oral treatments, since one can make up for the shortcomings of the other. “For example, oral supplementation provides a systemic skin health benefit throughout the body including hair and nails, but it might take a longer time than a topical treatment,” he said. “In contrast, the effect from a topical treatment may be visible immediately, but it is localized.”

Together, though, the two approaches provide a holistic and natural way to attain youthful skin, hair, and nails--without breaking the bank at the salon.