Should You Be Using Collagen for Skin?
Adding collagen to your drinks has become a popular trend in the wellness community. However, many wonder if using collagen for skin is beneficial.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the skin and makes up about 80% of the skin. Collagen is found in the middle layer of skin, called the dermis, which gives the skin its plumpness and fullness. It’s also found in the bones, organs, ligaments, muscles, blood vessels, and tendons. It’s almost like the glue that holds the body together.
Consuming collagen isn’t something new and humans have been doing it for centuries. Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen and can often be found in puddings, cakes, yogurt, ice cream, bone broth, soup, and even vitamins. This means you have likely been consuming collagen in unexpected ways throughout your life.
Collagen keeps skin youthful looking and full. There is also an enzyme in the skin that will break down the bonds of collagen. Even though bodies are constantly producing collagen, by the time you reach the age of 25 you are losing more collagen than you are producing. This is when you start to see wrinkles, fine lines, weakened joints, and sagging skin.
Ingestible collagen supplements are ones that you can pour into coffee or any other beverages. There are two main types of collagen supplements on the market. One is marine collagen, made from fish, and the other is animal collagen, which can come from pigs and cows. Most collagen is formulated in a powdered form but some will be liquefied in order to just drink.
The Collagen for Skin Benefits
Since you are breaking down more collagen as you get older, it can make sense that adding collagen supplements to your daily routine will help. Even though collagen won’t reverse any fine lines or wrinkles, it is possible to improve the skin tone with collagen.
By consuming collagen, you can increase the skin’s elasticity, which helps the skin repair process. It also encourages your body to form new collagen. Collagen powders and drinks also have been shown to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect the skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells.
Even though more research is needed, there are possible benefits for improved skin elasticity. One study linked collagen supplements to improved nail texture and growth. A study from 2016 showed that collagen supplements increased the skin’s hydration levels after eight weeks and also increased the collagen density after four weeks.
Other Benefits of Collagen
Collagen powders also provide some protein, so if you are falling short on your daily intake, it’s an easy way to sneak in more. Since collagen is found in muscles and joints, it may also help relieve some sore joints.