The list of bright-skinned celebrities who extoll the benefits of collagen supplements is a long one, peppered with names like Jennifer Aniston, Kourtney Kardashian, and Mandy Moore. Take one look at them, and it's clear that something must be working to give them minimal wrinkles and plump skin, two supposed byproducts of ingesting the protein. Could collagen supplements be the thing stamping out dull complexions all over Hollywood — or are they just another empty promise that Instagram won’t let us escape, like "flat tummy tea" or posture enhancers?
Collagen is the most abundant protein that serves as one of skin’s main building blocks. Collagen is what keeps our skin from sagging, giving us that plump, hydrated and youthful look.
So let's delve a little deeper in order to discover whether adding Collagen to your diet has any skin health benefits.
WHAT ROLE DOES COLLAGEN PLAY ON SKIN?
Collagen is a protein that provides structure to much of your body, including your bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments. You can think of it as the “glue” that holds all these things together. In fact, the word comes from the Greek word “kólla” which means glue.
Collagen is the essential component of the dermis layer that is found within the skin. Supplementing this protein with collagen powder can benefit you in so many ways. Overall, collagen has anti-aging effects. Collagen for skin tightening is definitely the way to go. It can reduce the depth of facial wrinkles, smoothing it out and improving skin quality by increasing elasticity and firmness. It can also re-densify the skin which will lead to strengthening the skin barrier function, making it more resilient against environmental stressors like pollution and free radical damage.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE INGEST COLLAGEN?
Ingestible collagen is bio-identical, meaning our bodies recognize it as its own, as it is already naturally found inside our dermis. Therefore increasing collagen intake for several months can improve skin elasticity, (i.e., wrinkles and roughness) as well as signs of ageing.
The wrinkle reducing effects of collagen supplements have been attributed to their ability to stimulate your body to mimic its own collagen production. Additionally, taking collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin, which give the skin its bounce and elasticity.
POWDER, TABLET OR LIQUID COLLAGEN DRINK?
I feel lifestyle, rather than age group, determines how one consumes the collagen. Those
with an active lifestyle, who like to make
smoothies and juices at home prefer the powder variation as it’s easy to toss a scoop or two to smoothies, juices, salads and even water. Taking collagen powder, works from the inside out to fortify and strengthen the dermal layer of our skin-which is exactly what we need for glowing youthful skin! Daily use of powdered collagen for skin can keep your skin thriving.
If you opt for a collagen powder supplement, you don’t have to limit yourself to beverages or smoothies, either. You should take into consideration the foods you already consume. You can bake with collagen, infusing healthy muffins, granola bars, or banana bread with some added health benefits. You can also add it to your overnight oats, soups, and even pasta sauces.
Collagen supplements that come in tablet-form are just capsules filled with hydrolyzed collagen powder — yes, the same type of powder you’d find in a collagen powder supplement. The only real difference between the two is the type of delivery method you’re using. Choosing between collagen powders, ready-mixed liquids shots and tablets is a matter of personal preference.
HOW FREQUENTLY SHOULD COLLAGEN BE TAKEN FOR EFFECTIVE RESULTS?
High RDA (recommended daily allowance) dose hydrolysed collagen supplements will provide noticeable results in as little as 30 days, when consumed daily.
Just like my clients’ long-term skin health commitment to my professional facials, when starting a collagen-based skin health journey, get ready for a very committed relationship!
If you‘re looking for long-lasting effects, you’ll have to take collagen supplements for the long-term. Why? The answer is collagenase. As our bodies are constantly producing this enzyme and it eats away at our natural collagen. So since collagen supplements improve your skin, bones and joints, you’ll need to keep taking them.
WHATS THE BEST AGE TO START INCLUDING COLLAGEN IN YOUR DIET?
Imagine your skin’s collagen fibers as “ropes of protein in the skin”. When we’re young, the rope remains tight, but as we age, the ends begin to fray.
Essentially, our bodies are not able to replace the collagen we are losing as quickly as it is breaking down. Skin’s collagen breakdown begins a lot earlier than most people realize. Starting in our early 20s, we begin losing about 1 percent of our collagen each year.
This, unfortunately, means drier skin – which contributes to early fine lines and wrinkle formation - which gets deeper and more pronounced as we hurtle through our 20s. Around the age of 50, however, collagen production diminishes very significantly, and visible aging accelerates.
My mantra is that ‘prevention is smarter than a cure’ – so start adding collagen supplements to your skincare routine early – ideally from your early 20s – and your skin will thank you in your 30s, 40s and beyond!
Taking collagen at a young age will have a visible long-term effect on your skin’s appearance as it’ll help prevent gradual wear and tear over time.
Sun exposure, cigarette smoke and pollution can also accelerate collagen breakdown. So the concept of supplementing our collagen, especially as we age and as our body’s natural collagen production declines, is incredibly appealing from a Facialist’s standpoint. I recommend collagen supplements alongside home-care to be equally effective to prolong skin maintenance post-facial treatments.
HOW DOES THIS 'INSIDE-OUT' APPROACH WITH COLLAGEN BENEFIT THE SKIN?
Understanding this ‘inside-out’ approach starts with first understanding what happens inside the skin to begin with.
Collagen makes up a whopping 80 percent of our skin, and works with another protein called elastin that — yes, you guessed it — keeps our skin elastic. But as we age, our bodies naturally start reducing collagen production.
Just the same way the top Michelin starred chefs only cook with the highest quality ingredients and oils as without them you wouldn’t be able to taste or absorb the nutritional aspects of the dish. So as a Facialist I always advocate that it’s absolutely essential to consume high quality oils, essential vitamins, fibrous fruits & vegetables. The same concept applies to collagen intake that it is essential to consume the best quality and correct dosage to get the best skin health benefits.
Discover the SKIN HAIR NAILS daily dose, flavoured liquid shots and powders containing high quality hydrolysed marine collagen by LQ COLLAGEN. Use my code ADEELA25 for a special 25% discount for a limited time.
Be skin smart. Be Skincredible™
written by Adeela Crown