‘I committed to a year of supplements and here’s how it changed my body’

Octavia Coates takes us through her supplement discovery journey over lockdown...
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  • The supplements market is booming, with doctors, celebrities and health influencers alike professing the benefits.

    But with endless tablets, tinctures and gummy pills to choose from and vast amounts of information to wade through, it can be an overwhelming health trend to get into.

    What supplements should you go for? What benefits will you see? When will you start to see results? And what should your quantities be? The questions are endless and it’s enough to make anyone run for the hills.

    Luckily, health addict Octavia Coates has done the hard work for you, choosing to experiment with supplements over lockdown and test whether they are worth the hype.

    Spoiler alert – she has come out a dedicated supplement follower and after taking in her glowy skin, we get it.

    Octavia Coates

    While most of us have exited the year-long lockdown pale, blotchy and a few stone heavier, Octavia has noticeably had a glow up – something she credits to supplements.

    Luckily for us all, she documented her experience. Here is her supplement journey…

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    Octavia’s supplement journey:

    I spent the year previous to lockdown learning all about beauty supplements for my work. The more I learnt, the more convincing it became that the only real way to improve my skin and replenish the areas that were quickly ageing, was to start from within.

    As lockdown hit and the world went into hibernation, my first reaction was pretty standard – panic, shock and to comfort eat and drink through the sheer boredom.

    My skin was puffy, blotchy and the lines under my eyes were becoming deeper. I was convinced that this was due to my Botox wearing off. It probably was. My nails were flaky, and my skin was so dry that it really exaggerated the pores on my chin and nose. I looked awful and extremely tired – and that was just on my face.

    I decided to embark on a few projects to keep myself on the straight and narrow, off the booze and out of the biscuit tin. One was to renovate a custom-made camper van as a project, and the second was to put myself on a serious trial of supplements with key ingredients backed by science that I could test to improve my skin and complexion.

    As we age, the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid slows down and our elastin fibres break up. This results in the top surface of the skin becoming lined, wrinkled, dull and uneven. It is the universal ageing process and I wanted to see if these made a difference in comparison to my super expensive topical skincare products that offered the same ingredients. I also wanted to see how they might affect my whole body, not just my face.

    I took detailed notes of the state of my skin, on my face and body, and started the trial taking the daily recommended doses of Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen, Vitamin C and Astaxanthin religiously. It took a few weeks to get into the rhythm of remembering to take them – it wasn’t difficult, but to be honest everyone’s heads were all over the place back then.

    My daily dosage:

    Morning:
    Half a scoop of Aeterna Gold Collagen Powder (with Vitamin C) added to water
    1 Aeterna Gold Astaxanthin Capsule
    2 Aeterna Gold Hyaluronic Acid Capsules (with Vitamin C)

    Lunch Time:
    2 Aeterna Gold Beauty Capsules per day (Collagen and Vitamin C)

    At Night:
    Half a scoop of Aeterna Gold Collagen powder (with Vitamin C) added to water

    Shop Aeterna Gold supplements:

    Higher Nature Aeterna Gold Collagen Drink Powder – Selfridges, £29.99 (80g)
    ‘Formulated specially to support firmer, more youthful looking skin, this glow-getting collagen drink contains carefully balanced vitamins, botanicals, hyaluronic acid and pure marine (non-shark) collagen. It comes in a highly absorbable form that can be added to your juices and works to maintain skin’s moisture, aid tissue renewal and support collagen production for skin that looks and feels great.’

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    Higher Nature Aeterna Gold Astaxanthin Capsules – Selfridges, £19.99 (30 gel caps)
    ‘Aeterna Gold AstaPure Timeless Beauty supplements contain pure Astaxanthin, a carotenoid that protects plants from UV light and free radical damage. In the body, free radicals are responsible for signs of ageing, but with an intake of just 4mg of Astaxanthin a day, this clever carotenoid can help protect skin and promote a more youthful looking appearance. What’s more, our formula is bolstered with skin-loving olive oil to boost absorption.’

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    Higher Nature Aeterna Gold Hyaluronic Acid Capsules – Selfridges, £39.99 (30 veg caps)
    ‘Formulated to help maintain skin’s moisture, these potent capsules contain hyaluronic acid, which can bind up to 1000 times its own weight in water. This helps skin maintain moisture levels for a healthier, more youthful appearance. Infused with Vitamin C, which aids the production of collagen and boasts powerful antioxidants, this well-rounded formulation is ideal for supporting your skin from the inside out.’

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    Higher Nature Aeterna Gold Collagen Beauty Capsules – Selfridges, £34.99 (90 Veg Caps)
    ‘When we hit the age of 30 our collagen levels can start to decrease, which is why this formula contains the highest levels of pure marine (non-shark) collagen, an important protein for younger looking skin, along with other skin-nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin C and MSM. Just three capsules per day before bed can help skin look and feel more refreshed.’

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    The process and results:

    Month one:
    The first two months were pretty unremarkable. I couldn’t really see any difference at all in any area. I can imagine that this is when people give up and make the assumption that they don’t work.

    Month three:
    By the third month I suddenly noticed that my nails were whiter and much, much stronger. I looked at my feet and they mirrored the freshness of my new French tipped talons.

    Month four:
    During month four, I noticed a change in my skin tone. Gone was the blotchy pasty Octavia, and instead I looked glowy and my facial colouring was much more even. Stripping off for a full body assessment, I noticed that my legs looked like I had used a slightly tinted body cream too. Then came the improvement in my dry skin. I noticed that my heels, elbows, and the backs of my arm that usually feel a little rough, were super smooth. Even the post shaving rash I usually get for a few hours on my privates stopped coming up by month four. No redness whatsoever.

    Month six:
    It wasn’t until month six that I could suddenly see a difference in my face in terms of hydration and volume. Suddenly, my skin felt so much smoother and my eyeballs looked moist. (If you know, you know). The dark circles around my eyes were gone and the fine lines around my deeper crow’s feet, much less. (Bearing in mind I was now almost a whole year with no aesthetics at all). I’ve also noticed that my face has subtly become a little plumper and helped to lift my jawline, creating a more even profile. I really do feel my face has softened.

    Month nine:
    Nine months in, there have been areas of improvement that came as a complete surprise. I have found that some of my most prominent scars (my left wrist and top of my hand is covered with so many oven and ironing accident marks), have reduced drastically and the discolouration on my legs I had from scars and old wounds, have gone. Plus, my roots are now barely noticeable. By the time we came out of the first lockdown, my locks were super grey and I was going through a weekly root touch up to mask it, but as I write this in March 2021, having not been to the hairdresser since August, I can hand on heart say, my roots are barely noticeable. There has also been a noticeable difference in terms of facial hair. I used to get the odd whisker, and since my supplement journey, I haven’t had one for over 6 months.

    I questioned Aesthetic expert Dr Johanna Ward after this revelation and she explained, ‘As your body adapts to the youthful supplements, it starts to balance out in terms of these little ageing issues too’.

    ‘As your body adapts to the youthful supplements, it starts to balance out in terms of these little ageing issues too’

    NB:
    The first 2 months I admit I was drinking a little too much white wine, coffee and eating a little too much sugar. So I did start with the worst skin I have had for a while.

    I improved my diet to support the process so that the supplements would perform and have a chance to work their magic to:
    • 2 cups of coffee a day
    • A few glasses of wine at the weekend only
    • Upping my water intake
    • Cutting out sugar where I could
    • Eating a balanced diet with added fatty acids.

    The verdict:

    I am now totally obsessed with supplements. They act in the same way to your topical skincare that your primer does for your make up. I honestly believe that if you keep them up, your skin will look the best it can be and help to replenish itself. I definitely won’t be stopping my journey any time soon.

    Visit the Higher Nature website for more information on Aeterna Gold supplements.

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