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The Fountain of Youth is For Sale on Amazon

It’s a terrible day in Omaha. It’s grey and rainy and my power definitely got knocked out in the storm. I just want to curl up under a blanket and have a supreme horror movie marathon, but because I just wrote a post about how I was going to write more posts, here I am. Today’s post deals with my struggles I’ve had over the years with my hair, skin, and nails. Super exciting, right? I know this topic probably won’t interest a few of my readers, but for those who are curious about what magical trickery I use to address these issues, I hope you enjoy.

I am 23-years-old but I have lived in constant fear of prematurely aging. I’m not necessarily afraid of getting old. I have a feeling I’m going to be just like my 90-year-old Grandma Dorothy when I’m older. I can tell you the exact moment that this terror came onto my radar and why it’ll never leave as long as I live.

Let me take you back to 2008. This was an overall unpleasant year for just about everybody with the recession and economic crisis, the damaging of hair with too-hot flat irons, and some us were still getting over the devastating breakup of Nick Jonas and Miley Cyrus (I wasn’t one of them, but I’m sure they totally existed).

I’m 14 years old and sitting in the chair at my hair salon. My hairstylist was finishing up with another client while I waited. An older woman with a hat sits in the chair next to me with another hairstylist. I’ve never particularly liked that stylist. Although I had never actually met her or had her do my hair, I always felt that she was angry and bitter. Turns out that my gut was right and this woman was an evil jerk.

As the hatted woman sat, she looked over at me with a smile. “That girl has beautiful hair,” she told the stylist, “my hair looked like that when I was young.” This comment didn’t bother me until she removed her hat. The poor woman’s hair was thin and falling out. The hairstylist looked over and me and shrugged saying, “I mean, it’s alright… her hair is going to start falling out when she gets older.” I didn’t look at either one of them but I felt my face burn with anger and I’m sure that if I were a cartoon, steam would’ve shot out of my ears and nose. From that day forward, I’ve lived in constant fear of doing anything to my hair that might cause a lot of damage to it. THANKS A LOT, YOU EVIL WOMAN. I HOPE YOU’RE SATISFIED!!!!!!!

My aging anxieties worsened as I got older. I wanted to use anti-aging products as a 16-year-old because I was afraid my crows feet were coming in hot. It was around this time that I had my first facial and started becoming obsessed with skincare. It wasn’t that I thought I looked too old or anything. I did what I did as preventative care. Obviously I saw no results because there were no results for me. I was too young and stupid for results.

I had stopped dyeing my hair and embraced the natural curls that I had and started wearing more makeup to cover up the bags under my eyes from my insomnia. Soon after, I noticed something terrible. My nails wouldn’t stop breaking and peeling. Of course! Why not? It’s not like I was already worried or anything!

I tried everything to stop it. I drank more water, I consumed more protein, I took hair, skin, and nails vitamins. Nothing changed. If anything, I became more upset because the vitamins were making me breakout after a few days of taking them. I tried different brands with no success. I tried to go about my life just keeping my nails short and rounded to prevent further breakage. When it became available, I decided to try shellac polish, which is also terrible for your nail beds, but it did keep mine in tact… until I took them off.

It was this past January when my nontoxic journey began that I gave up shellac. I miss it all the time because I loved how my beloved ‘Bastille My Heart’ by OPI looked contrasted with my skin, but I knew it was time for a change. I started seeing a Nurse Practitioner to help me and was told to take all sorts of vitamins to help re-regulate my body. I started feeling better, but my nails were looking worse and worse. Now I’m fed up. I’ve done everything right. I eat vegetables like it’s my job. Why wasn’t I seeing a change in my nails? Why was my skin so dry and scaly? Why did my hair look limp and dry all the time?

At my most recent appointment with my NP, I explained to her that I was tired of being a crusty old man who was peeling and crumbling to the point of pain. My nails were quite literally splitting down the middle. I was bleeding and miserable and just wanted to feel like a normal person. Her first suggestion was biotin, but when I told her about my skin problems associated with biotin, she told me to try collagen supplements. I was shocked at first. It seemed too easy. I had the very brand she recommended sitting in my pantry back at my apartment. I was in disbelief, but I had been dealing with all of this for so long that I decided to give it a try and see what happened. That day, I went home and put collagen in my daily smoothie. It’s now been about a week and half since that appointment and I SWEAR TO YOU THAT MY LIFE IS FOREVER CHANGED!!!!!

My nails are strong and thick; no peels or breaks to be found! My hair is shiny, soft, and healthy. I don’t really know what the market for human hair sweaters looks like right now, but I’m fairly certain that my hair would make a pretty exceptional garment. In high school, my friends and I used to joke that I turned into a dinosaur in the winter because of how dry and cracked my hands in particular would get. Now, my skin, while still dry, isn’t as rough and scratchy as it was just two weeks ago. My hands have stopped cracking and bleeding, too, which if you know me IRL (in real life as we say on the Internet), then you know how big of a deal this is for me. Ready for the biggest kicker? My crows feet are basically gone. All it took was adding some collagen peptides to my drinks and now I have three less things to worry about.

Clearly I’m not a doctor, nor am I an explorer in an animated Disney movie in search of an actual Fountain of Youth, but I can’t say enough good things about my personal experience with collagen peptides. If you’re curious, I use the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. They’re great because you can get them in little individual packs to take with you on the go or in a big can similar to a protein powder. While I found that regular collagen works as well, collagen peptides will not solidify or gelatinize your drink. It has no flavor and can be added to any drink. I usually throw mine into a smoothie or tea and sip away.

This method works because science. Science doesn’t lie. Our bodies naturally have collagen so supplementing it can only boost it’s magical powers. Collagen can your body to move easier by helping your joints to glide more smoothly and it may help if you have arthritis. It also strengthens the elasticity in your skin (ie, it helps with wrinkles and sagging skin as you age). It’s also said to help with leaky gut syndrome, which I may do a post about later so be sure to check that out if you’re interested.

If you’ve had good experiences with collagen, I want to know about it!

Be well and take your collagen and vitamin D.

***Disclaimer: I am obviously not a doctor, nor do I believe that everyone should be taking collagen. I started taking this supplement as per my nurse practitioners instructions. Please talk to a medical professional before using this product!***

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