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Can ingestible and topical collagen be used together to improve skin?


Collagen supplement skincare
One Kiwi brand is taking an inside-out, as well as outside-in, approach to skin health.

Founders and Wellington-based sisters-in-law Emma and Jill Hughes had the idea for new beauty brand Holski after considering studies they say show the same ingredients used inside and out had better results than using them separately.

They then set about creating Holski’s (a word blend of ‘holistic skincare’) simple two-step system: A top-quality ingestible collagen supplement and a single skincare product, essentially a moisturiser that also contains collagen and other key active ingredients the brand calls a ‘Collagen Activation Hydrator.’

The two products are available in three versions, (20+, 35+ and 50+) with slightly tweaked, age-specific formulas they say are designed to meet the needs of needs of skin as it ages.

The easy-to-use cream includes collagen and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, a signaling peptide used to support or boost the skin’s natural collagen production.

The marine collagen supplement also contains bamboo silica extract, the antioxidants tremella mushroom and Holimel (a melon extract) and more.

The pair say they spent a significant amount of time working with a top skincare cosmetic chemist and herbalist as well as ensuring they were providing a solution to consumers needs and nothing more.

Used together, the two products are intended to improve the vitality, firmness and bounce of skin. 

Holski skincare founders Emma and Jill Hughes
Holski skincare founders Emma and Jill Hughes.

We spoke to Jill Hughes about the idea behind Holski.

MF: What makes Holski stand out in a crowded skincare market?

Jill Hughes: We take a holistic approach – from the inside-out, and the outside-in. Back before we got started, we wondered why there wasn’t anyone in the industry making skincare like this, formulated to work together using the same ingredients.

There were the odd few brands selling vitamins and skincare, but there was nothing on the market formulated to work specifically together. This was even after clinical studies came out of Europe and Asia in 2017 showing that the same ingredients used inside and out had better results than using them separately. Consumer studies also showed that more than 70 per cent of the market thought using ingestible/edible beauty products was the norm, so we knew the timing was right.

Why the minimalist approach to the topical skincare?

To maintain healthy beautiful skin, do you need up to 12 steps? We just didn’t think so – it never used to be like that. The industry is so driven by new product releases and mass consumerism. For us, sustainability means consuming less. We truly think consuming less is our best strategy for saving the planet.

And equally our lives are busy with kids, work and all those other commitments that creep in, so we don’t have a whole lot of time to focus on our skin. But we do know how important it is to look after our skin, and we knew we weren’t the only ones! So we’ve developed something that is effective, easy to use and quick, but without compromise. Because we still want healthy skin, from the inside and out.

The beauty industry has spent years teaching us that we need a different product for every problem, every part of the face, and every time of the day.

We think it’s essential that we don’t just create as many unnecessary products as possible to pump up our profits while saying we’re sustainable.

Holski collagen supplement and skincare.

How are the products adjusted for different age groups?

In our twenties, our bodies are running at their most optimal performance, so it’s all about protection. As we get older, the focus shifts to replenishment, repair as well as protection. As we age further, cell communication slows down, environmental factors take their toll and sun exposure has a massive impact on our skin.

Our formulations get stronger and have slightly different ingredients as you step through the different age levels to match a person’s age and stage of life. For example, our 50+ has three-times more signalling peptides than our 20+ age level because our cells are still communicating quickly at that age.

This way, we also have products made specifically for different age ranges, and as people step through life’s seasons, we’ll still have skincare especially for them.

How do you personally add the collagen into your daily routine?

I always leave our collagen beauty builder out on my kitchen bench right where I can see it. Consistency is key here, because if you don’t take it every day you won’t get the results.

The beauty builder has a subtle hint of vanilla which can go into heaps of different drinks – coffee, tea, smoothies, protein shakes, water and juice. Anything really, some customers even mix it with their milk and have it on cereal.

I like to mix it up most days – I’m not a creature of habit when it comes to my morning drink so sometimes it’s tea, others it’s coffee, or in a juice or smoothie, especially in the summer.


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