The One Skincare Ingredient Adrienne Bailon Says Makes The Biggest Difference

Actress and television host Adrienne Bailon has a jam-packed schedule, but she still makes time for her beauty routine. "Do something today that your future self will be thankful for," she told the Daily Mail. The former "Cheetah Girls" star always removes her makeup before going to bed and drinks lots of water to moisturize from the inside out. Her skincare regimen also includes lymphatic drainage massages, nourishing creams, and plenty of rest.

Bailon said that she uses Olay products for optimum hydration, per the Daily Mail. Her go-to creams and lotions contain hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3, and other nutrients that rejuvenate the skin. Hyaluronic acid, for instance, has excellent moisturizing properties, notes Harvard Medical School. The injectable form yields better results than topical formulas, but the latter is safe even for those with dry or sensitive skin. Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, improves skin elasticity and may reduce the appearance of wrinkles when used topically, suggests a 2005 study published by Dermatologic Surgery in the National Library of Medicine.

But there's one skincare ingredient that makes all the difference, according to Bailon. Plus, it's cheap, convenient, and widely available. 

Adrienne Bailon's favorite skincare ingredient could slow down aging

You would think that Adrienne Bailon uses all sorts of fancy products to maintain her youthful appearance, but that's not the case. As it turns out, she's a fan of collagen, a natural compound that supports joint and skin health. "We were drinking collagen lattes and broths. I had a collagen serum I was obsessed with. I had collagen lip plumpers. And then, Olay Body came out with the Firming Body Lotion with Collagen," the talk show host of The Real told Byrdie.

Along with elastin and other compounds, collagen is one of the building blocks of our skin. Your bones, muscles, and connective tissues all contain this protein, says Harvard T.C. Chan School of Public Health. Aging, sleep deprivation, cigarette smoking, and other factors can affect collagen production, affecting skin elasticity and firmness. As collagen levels drop, your skin may begin to sag and form wrinkles.

This compound is often added to skincare products and dietary supplements. Most manufacturers use animal or marine collagen derived from jellyfish, codfish, silver carp, or bovine skin, according to 2020 research published in Materials via the National Library of Medicine. When used topically, it locks in moisture, leaving your skin smooth and firm. At the same time, it supports tissue repair and slows down aging. However, its potential benefits are subject to debate. 

Do collagen creams really work?

Adrienne Bailon's favorite skincare ingredient might not be as effective as she says. Harvard T.C. Chan School of Public Health explains that collagen is poorly absorbed into the skin, and therefore, its effects are negligible. Collagen supplements may work slightly better, but there's not enough evidence to confirm their benefits. A recent review published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2020 claims the opposite, though. After analyzing several studies, researchers concluded that supplemental collagen may improve skin health.

"The issue is that most things we ingest are broken down by stomach acids and are not absorbed into the bloodstream. It's unclear if we absorb ingested collagen or if it's totally broken down in the stomach," dermatologist Ohara Aivaz told Cedars-Sinai. She also recommends using skincare products that contain retinol or vitamin C rather than collagen. Another good choice is tretinoin, a synthetic form of vitamin A. These compounds promote collagen synthesis and help prevent the breakdown of collagen fibers, explains Dr. Aivaz. Better yet, fill up on antioxidant-rich foods to reduce collagen degradation.

Also, note that some foods, such as bone broth and gelatin, contain large doses of collagen, says Harvard T.C. Chan School of Public Health. The same goes for chuck steak and other tough cuts of meat. Make sure your diet also includes foods high in protein, zinc, and vitamin C, as these nutrients promote collagen production. Meanwhile, try to limit stress and get more rest to preserve your collagen levels.