Vida Glow founder Anna Lahey talks business, balance and how to get your plumpest skin ever
Infinite wisdom incoming
By Delaney Loane
BTYB Vida Glow / May 25 2020
At BEAUTYcrew, there’s nothing we love more than discovering a dynamite beauty brand. And even more so when that same brand is run by a kickass woman.
So, when we got the chance to catch up with Anna Lahey, founder of Vida Glow (the brand she’s grown from a passion project to a massive global success in just five years), we were in our absolute element.
Here, we share Lahey’s infinite wisdom, from her tips for keeping a global business thriving, to how to plump your skin up to its fullest potential.
Vida Glow centres around collagen supplementation – how exactly does it work?
“Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body that acts as the building block of healthy hair, skin and nails,” shares Lahey. “It’s naturally produced in the body, however, collagen production slows in our mid-twenties at a rate of about two per cent each year until stopping completely. Clinical studies show that supplementing with Vida Glow Marine Collagen stimulates natural collagen production and increases skin hydration by up to 91 per cent.” Not a bad stat, huh?
“As a result, our marine collagen peptides restore skin's youthful appearance, improve skin tone and texture, plump the skin and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. By increasing the density of fibroblasts, which are the cells responsible for rebuilding connective tissues, our collagen can actually improve skin elasticity,” she explains.
Your skin isn’t all that will see the beauty benefits, though. “Studies on marine collagen supplementation have also shown significant improvements to the quality of hair and nails,” Lahey confirms. “The hair benefits include increased hair regeneration, strength, shine and an overall improvement of hair health. For nails, studies note the improved quality of weak, brittle and damaged nail tissue as well as strengthened nail structures and enhanced growth.”
How did your own journey lead you to discovering the benefits of ingestible collagen?
“I discovered marine collagen at a point in my life when I was struggling with hair loss. I had tried nearly every hair, skin and nail supplement on the market with little to show for it, so I decided to give the so-called ‘miracle’ supplement a go,” Lahey shares.
“I began taking nine grams of collagen each day, and within three weeks, my hair loss had dramatically decreased. I was truly amazed as I hadn’t made any other lifestyle or dietary changes. Even my hairdresser commented about how thick my normally fine and wispy hair had become. After four weeks, my skin was noticeably plumper and significantly more hydrated. My nails, which had always been brittle, were finally growing without breaking!”
How did you get a handle on the science behind supplementation?
“The benefits of collagen supplementation were visible in my hair, skin and nails, but I wanted to understand the science behind those tangible results. I dove deep into the research and spent nine months studying over 30 years of clinical studies and scientific journals that I had discovered on the benefits of collagen supplementation,” she tells BEAUTYcrew.
“In the months that followed, I started collecting textbooks, Physician’s Desk Reference guides and medical journals. The science was incredibly compelling, and I started envisioning Vida Glow as I knew marine collagen could help others struggling with the health of their hair, skin and nails,” Lahey explains.
Vida Glow has grown massively over the last few years - what do you think struck a chord with consumers?
“Collagen is a bit of a buzz word now, but when we started five and a half years ago it wasn’t,” she shares. “Collagen supplements and ingestible beauty supplements in general have grown so much because consumers are not just after a 'feel-good' product or a ‘band-aid’ for their beauty concerns.”
“They want to treat the problem at the root and they prioritise quality and visible results. Ingestible beauty supplements like marine collagen deliver those results. People rightly want to know and understand what they're putting in their body. Customers have started asking questions and doing their research,” she confirms. Knowledge is power, right?
“The inner beauty market is still in its infancy, so I’m very passionate about finding and developing innovative ways to effectively target beauty concerns from within,” says Lahey. “Working directly with scientists, laboratories and manufacturers allows us to push the boundaries of what’s possible with ingestible beauty supplements and continue to bring out first-of-their-kind products like Anti-G-Ox, our effervescent beauty supplement that protects against premature ageing.”
The brand’s also gone on to have massive global success – how has that experience been?
“Vida Glow is a passion and when we started, we always had bold dreams and aspirations for our brand. A lot of hard work has gone into making this a reality. To see it all come to life has obviously been a wonderful thing. As far as we're concerned, this is only the beginning of where we'd like our brand to go,” she shares.
“My hope is that through education and offering a more holistic approach to beauty, people feel empowered to take control of their health and wellness. Our philosophy is creating products of exceptional quality that deliver visible results. Running a global business can be stressful, especially while raising three young children, but it’s all worth it when I hear about the positive impact that our products are having on people's health and beauty,” says Lahey.
“Seeing their results, listening to how they incorporate Vida Glow products into their day. It's incredibly inspiring. I am so grateful to our customers; they believe in our products and share their experience with such enthusiasm.” We get it - it’s hard not to be enthused about gloriously plump, smooth skin.
Do you recommend pairing collagen supplements with collagen skin care products?
“Ingestible beauty supplements and topical skin care go hand in hand. Skin health needs to be supported at every level - from the surface to the innermost layers, where ingestible beauty supplements like collagen are able to target,” she confirms. “It’s important to understand that the way ingestibles function is entirely different than topicals, which is why they are able to create such impressive results.”
“With ingestible hydrolysed collagen, it passes the lining of the stomach and is absorbed by the bloodstream in about 30 seconds. Then it travels via the blood vessels to the collagen matrix underneath the surface of the skin where it stimulates the proliferation of fibroblasts, which are the cells responsible for collagen production in the body,” she shares. The brand also has a stellar range of skin care products to allow you to enhance collagen levels from both the inside out and outside in.
How do you balance running a global business and three children under three?
“Like every working mother, it's a juggle. I've learnt not to expect 'balance'. I rely on the help and my support system. It takes a village. I'm blessed to have my family around me, we have a nanny and my husband is hands-on and my greatest ally,” Lahey explains.
“I took a step back from the day-to-day operations of the business, and Vida Glow is not just one person. We have an incredible team and an office full of hard-working individuals with a unified goal. Having a business and growing that business is incredibly demanding, as is having very young children. I can't do it all and I've had to work on letting go of that expectation of myself,” she shares.
“There are days when I feel good, days when I feel like I'm doing a mediocre job at home or at work, and days when I feel like I'm rushing through life, and mum guilt is a killer! I rest in the fact that I enjoy what I do, and everything is ultimately for our children. They'll always be our priority.”
Do you have a personal favourite product from the line?
“If I had to choose a favourite, it would be our Original Marine Collagen. I can’t live without it! I take our collagen at least twice a day, starting with it mixed into a glass of warm water every morning. It’s my favourite. I am pretty strict with taking two to three of the sachets a day, especially being postpartum and breastfeeding,” she says.
“Usually, I just mix my other serves with water, but if I have some time in the evening, I like to mix our original marine collagen with my chamomile tea. I also take Anti G-Ox – you can dissolve it onto the tongue or drink it in water. It is basically an internal defence system against lifestyle and environmental factors that accelerate ageing.”
What's next for Vida Glow?
“We are very ambitious and our goal is to be world leaders in the ingestible beauty category. New product development is a key part of our success going forward entering different international markets including the UK, Europe and the US, whilst also fostering our biggest market in China where consumers are very advanced in their knowledge of the ingestible space. We don’t believe in following trends,” Lahey explains.
“Instead, we have been investing heavily in research and development to formulate innovative, market-leading products. That’s been possible because we are supported by a global distribution network, which allows us to reach our consumers the world over.” Well, we (and our faces) are waiting for the next fabulous formula with bated breath and enviable plumpness levels.