Bovine Colostrum Benefits for Skin Health
Looking for beautiful, glowing skin? Well, we have a secret to share with you. The world’s most nutrient-dense liquid might be the key to the smooth skin of your dreams.
Colostrum, the fluid produced by mammals immediately after giving birth, may be the secret to the skin of your dreams. Celebrities and high-end skin care lines are already cluing into the benefits of this “liquid gold” to promote youthful-looking skin.
While the thought of using colostrum as an adult may seem a bit weird, there is actual research to support the benefits of colostrum for skin health. In this article, we cover what colostrum is, colostrum benefits for skin care, and how you can use colostrum in your everyday life.
What is Colostrum?
Colostrum is produced from the breastmilk of mammals in the first 72 hours after having given birth. At birth, the stomach of a newborn will be at its smallest, therefore its first few feedings will need to be as nutritionally dense as possible in order to optimize each feeding.
Nutrient analysis of colostrum from different mammals show that it is higher in protein, fat, and nutrients compared to a lactating mammal’s normal milk supply.
The colostrum in these first few feedings contain antibodies that the mother has acquired throughout her life providing instant immunity that will protect the infant from disease both during its growth and throughout its lifetime.
Colostrum may also have benefits beyond the first few days of life, even into adulthood. There is significant research that links the consumption of colostrum to improved immunity, gut health, and even skin health. There is also research that has evaluated the potential benefits of colostrum for adults who choose to incorporate this liquid gold to their daily routines.
Colostrum supplements are usually made from bovine or cow colostrum. Bovine colostrum is similar to human colostrum in that it is also extremely rich in antibodies, stem cells, immune-modulating proteins, growth hormones and enzymes. It mainly differs from human colostrum by having a much lower lactose concentration.
The nutrient density of bovine colostrum is largely responsible for its well-documented health benefits, but certain antibodies and components also play a role in the benefits of colostrum.
Colostrum Skin Care Benefits
Many of the colostrum benefits for skin come from its high nutrient content of vitamins A, C, and E. These essential vitamins act as powerful antioxidants for the body and the skin. Antioxidants help protect skin against damage from free radicals, one of the major causes of skin aging.
One of the other benefits of colostrum is that it also strengthens the health of your gut. When your digestive system is functioning optimally, the absorption and processing of nutrients including vitamins, protein, and fluids is improved and will help keep you nourished. The transportation of nutrients throughout the body is key for the repair and maintenance of beautiful skin.
Colostrum may also help reduce inflammation in the gut, which not only supports the absorption and processing of nutrients but helps maintain a healthy gut microbiota. There is a direct link between gut microbiota and skin conditions triggered by inflammation. A balanced gut microbiota is associated with less inflammation, improved immune function, and healthier skin.
To further support a strong immune system for skin health, colostrum is a rich source of antibodies, particularly IgA, IgG, and IgM, which may help protect the skin from infections. When the immune system is strong it provides a tough defense that is ready to fight off any pathogen that comes its way, making this one of the top benefits of colostrum.
When applied directly to the skin in combination with other skin care products, colostrum can act as a nourishing moisturizer due to its nutritional properties. It helps keep the skin healthy and slows down the aging process with the addition of antioxidants and other nutrients.
Bovine colostrum may even reduce skin aging caused by UV exposure. Colostrum is a source of exosomes, which are small cellular particles that transport fats, proteins, and nucleic acids (which help synthesize proteins). These exosomes can absorb into the skin and help reduce oxidative stress in the skin, inhibit dark spot formation, and even increase skin elasticity by promoting collagen synthesis.
How to Use Colostrum for Skin Health
For improved skin health, colostrum can be taken as a dietary supplement or applied directly to the skin. Many skin care brands use colostrum as an ingredient in their beauty products. While this method can be effective, these products can be quite expensive.
A more cost-effective way to use colostrum for the benefit of your skin is to take an oral colostrum supplement. The optimal dosage for a bovine colostrum supplement is 200-600 mg per day of colostrum powder. This will benefit not only your skin, but your immune and digestive systems as well.
Bovine colostrum for face and body health can be easily integrated into your normal routine.
Colostrum powder can be taken dry on a spoon or mixed into your favorite smoothie, juice or ice pop. We have several colostrum recipes available in our recipe collection if you need ideas for adding it to your routine.
Bioactive Colostrum is a minimally processed bovine colostrum supplement sourced from grass-fed cows free of hormone treatment, antibiotics, GMOs, and BSE. It has the highest levels of naturally-occurring lactoferrin and features the full range of immunoglobulins and active peptides present in colostrum so you can experience its regenerative and immune-enhancing benefits.
What does colostrum do for an adult?
Bovine colostrum supplements are generally beneficial because they are nutrient-dense and have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The main benefits of colostrum for adults is that it supports gut health, immune function, and skin health.
What are the disadvantages of colostrum?
There are some known disadvantages associated with bovine colostrum. People with an allergy to cow’s milk protein may not be able to use bovine colostrum safely and should avoid colostrum. Bovine colostrum can contain small amounts of lactose, which can cause GI symptoms in individuals who are lactose intolerant.
Raw colostrum can become contaminated during harvesting and processing if not safely handled by a high-quality production process. Colostrum also can be an expensive product and may not be an accessible supplement for all people.
How often should you take colostrum?
To potentially experience the benefits of colostrum for skin health and more, you should take bovine colostrum daily for at least 4 weeks.
- Puppel K, Gołębiewski M, Grodkowski G, et al. Composition and Factors Affecting Quality of Bovine Colostrum: A Review. Animals (Basel). 2019;9(12):1070. Published 2019 Dec 2. doi:10.3390/ani9121070
- McGrath BA, Fox PF, McSweeney PLH, Kelly AL. Composition and properties of bovine colostrum: a review. Dairy Sci Technol. 2016;96(2):133-158.
- Graf J. Antioxidants and skin care: the essentials. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010;125(1):378-383.
- Hałasa M, Maciejewska D, Baśkiewicz-Hałasa M, Machaliński B, Safranow K, Stachowska E. Oral Supplementation with Bovine Colostrum Decreases Intestinal Permeability and Stool Concentrations of Zonulin in Athletes. Nutrients. 2017;9(4). doi:10.3390/nu9040370
- De Pessemier B, Grine L, Debaere M, Maes A, Paetzold B, Callewaert C. Gut-Skin Axis: Current Knowledge of the Interrelationship between Microbial Dysbiosis and Skin Conditions. Microorganisms. 2021;9(2):353. Published 2021 Feb 11. doi:10.3390/microorganisms9020353
- Stelwagen K, Carpenter E, Haigh B, Hodgkinson A, Wheeler TT. Immune components of bovine colostrum and milk. J Anim Sci. 2009;87(13 Suppl):3-9.
- Khan Z, Macdonald C, Wicks AC, et al. Use of the “nutriceutical”, bovine colostrum, for the treatment of distal colitis: results from an initial study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2002;16(11):1917-1922.
- Han G, Kim H, Kim DE, et al. The Potential of Bovine Colostrum-Derived Exosomes to Repair Aged and Damaged Skin Cells. Pharmaceutics. 2022;14(2):307. Published 2022 Jan 27. doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics14020307
- Fasse S, Alarinta J, Frahm B, Wirtanen G. Bovine Colostrum for Human Consumption—Improving Microbial Quality and Maintaining Bioactive Characteristics through Processing. Dairy. 2021; 2(4):556-575. https://doi.org/10.3390/dairy2040044
- Should You Take Whey Protein Powder After Surgery? - March 2, 2023
- How Much Protein is Too Much? - January 30, 2023
- Is Whey Protein Keto Friendly? - January 30, 2023