Your Ultimate Guide To Collagen For Skin
Collagen supplementation has been a very popular topic in the health and wellness industry the past few years because of its many well known health benefits! Although many people are just finding out about collagen supplementation today because of these amazing health benefits, collagen has actually been around for quite a few years in the beauty industry due to its incredible benefits with regards to skin aging.
If you want to look great and have the healthiest skin possible while you age, be sure to continue reading. We’ve put together this amazing post “Your Ultimate Guide To Collagen For Skin” with all the information you’ll ever need to always be able to put your best skin forward.
Here’s what the experts have to say about collagen for skin.
What is Collagen?
Did you know that collagen is something that our bodies naturally produce? That’s right. Collagen is essential to our bodies but what is it? In short, it’s a necessary protein that our bodies need an abundance of. It’s found in all of the connecting tissues, from the skin to the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and organs. Surprisingly enough collagen protein is even found in your blood.
Collagen synthesis or collagen production is no problem when we are young and healthy but as we age, this natural process begins to decline. Experts say that this happens sometime between our 20’s and 30’s, pending on a few things. Overall health, diet, lifestyle, and even environment greatly impacts not only when your collagen production begins to slow down, but also just how capable your body is able to replenish collagen level by making more.
The bottom line is that your body needs collagen to function and to remain healthy. Seeing a few wrinkles? Experiencing some stiffness or joint pain? How’s your gut health? Want to know what all these questions have to do with collagen? Keep reading to find the answers!
What is Collagen’s Role in the Body?
As you now know from what we’ve already told you, collagen is found throughout our entire body. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the connective tissues including our skin, while providing structure and support for bones and joints. Collagen protein also affects our gut health by ensuring our digestive system is healthy by supporting it as well.
Collagen gives connective tissues their strength and elasticity and it helps to protect them from damage. It even plays an important role in wound healing. When tissue is injured, collagen fibers come together to form a scaffold that supports the repair process. Without collagen, wounds would heal much more slowly, increasing the chances of infection. This is why collagen protein is considered to be a regenerative protein. Consequently, collagen is essential for maintaining the complete health of the body’s connective tissues.
What Does Collagen Do For the Skin?
Skin is the body’s largest organ and it acts as a barrier to protect us from the outside world. It’s made up of three main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.
The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin and it’s mostly made up of dead skin cells that provide a barrier against the environment. So what does collagen have to do with skin?
Well, collagen is found in the middle layer of skin called the dermis. This is where the protein plays a vital role in maintaining strong and healthy skin.
The dermis is made up of two main types of proteins: elastin and collagen. Elastin gives our skin its ability to snap back after being stretched (think of a rubber band). Collagen, on the other hand, is what gives our skin its strength and firmness. These two proteins need each other in working together to ensure healthy skin elasticity.
When our collagen production starts to decline this is when we begin to notice fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and the dreaded loss of elasticity. Did you know the condition of our skin often is the first clue of specific health concerns and diseases? This is why it’s so important to find ways to nourish and replenish the collagen in our skin as we age.
Our skin needs collagen to keep it looking plump and smooth. Collagen is also needed to hydrate the skin and reduce inflammation. It’s really no wonder that this versatile and much needed protein has become a key ingredient in many popular beauty and skincare products, primarily in the form of topical creams.
If topical supplementation isn’t what you’re after, be assured that there are plenty of oral collagen supplements that will provide all the same benefits of collagen for skin while targeting the other areas of your health that you want to target.
What Causes Collagen Loss?
There are a number of factors that impact our natural collagen production and even contribute to collagen loss. The body is an amazing and complex unit. But let’s begin with the basics and examine just how age, lifestyle, and diet can impact our collagen levels and what that means for skin aging in general.
One of the main reasons for collagen loss is simply the aging process itself. As we get older, our skin cells produce less collagen and elastin, which leads to fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. As we age, the supportive structures in our skin weaken, further contributing to the loss of collagen.
Aging also means that our skin cells don’t turnover as quickly as they used to. As a result, old, damaged collagen isn’t replaced as quickly, leading to a further decline in overall collagen levels. Additionally, the enzymes that help to break down collagen become more active as we age, further contributing to the loss of this important protein.
The process of aging is completely natural and is something that everyone must journey through. How you will age is what makes a big difference from one individual to the next. Being intentional about aging as healthy as you can greatly impacts the body’s collagen synthesis which of course affects the actual collagen levels found in the body.
Our lifestyle choices have a big impact on the health of our skin. Virtually everything we do–from what we eat and drink, to how much exercise we get, our sleep habits and how much sun exposure we have–can affect our skin’s collagen production and collagen loss.
There are a few key lifestyle factors that can contribute to collagen loss. Although there are some who will not want to hear this, smoking is actually one of the worst offenders of collagen loss. It literally breaks down healthy collagen fibers and decreases the skin’s elasticity.
Exposure to Sun
Excessive sun exposure is also a major cause of collagen damage. Studies have proven for years that UV rays break down collagen proteins. The more your skin is exposed to the sun, the faster your collagen is depleted. One of the best things we can do for our collagen production is to limit our exposure to sunlight–especially during peak hours when UV rays are strongest. Wearing sunscreen on a daily basis can also help to reduce the amount of damage done by UV rays.
Unfortunately for some, their career requires them to be out in the sun and elements all day every day. Thankfully there are some easy ways to protect your skin if this is the case. From quality sunscreen products to even the type of clothes or outer clothing you wear can greatly reduce the damage and potential collagen loss.
Did you realize just how important regular exercise is for keeping skin healthy? Exercise helps improve blood circulation and promotes the formation of new blood vessels, which helps deliver nutrients to the skin cells and promote collagen synthesis. Those who make a point of exercising regularly tend to have higher levels of collagen than those who do not.
Quality & Quantity of Sleep
Many people are not getting enough sleep, and it can have a number of consequences beyond just feeling tired during the day. One consequence is that it can cause collagen loss. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies produce less collagen.
Everyone has stress in their life. Some cope better with stress than others and some have more stress than others. Stress can be both physical and environmental. No matter what kind of stress you are under, it does impact your collagen levels.
When we’re under stress, our bodies produce more of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol breaks down collagen, which leads to even more wrinkles and sagging skin. So, if you’re looking to keep your skin looking young and healthy, it’s important to manage your stress levels.
A poor diet can also negatively affect your collagen levels. Certain foods–like sugary sweets, refined carbohydrates, and deep fried foods are proven to damage collagen fibers and promote inflammation.
Specifically, a lack of certain nutrients can lead to a decrease in collagen synthesis. Vitamin C for example is required for collagen production and a deficiency of it means collagen loss. A lack of vitamin C can cause the skin to become thin and brittle.
In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are important for maintaining the structure of cell membranes. A deficiency can cause the skin to become dry and flaky. By ensuring that our diets include adequate levels of these nutrients, we can help to support collagen production and maintain healthy skin throughout our lives.
Other nutrients that are important for collagen synthesis include copper, manganese, and zinc. These minerals help to support the structure of collagen fibers and promote new cell growth. New cell growth equals less potential collagen loss.
While we can’t completely stop the loss of collagen as we age, we can slow it down by eating a balanced and healthy diet that’s rich in antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins.
What Are Ways To Boost Collagen?
Making a few lifestyle changes is not only a great way to slow down collagen loss but can actually boost our collagen production. Eating a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet, managing stress, getting enough sleep, being intentional about getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking are just a few changes that can actually stimulate our bodies into producing collagen.
Did you know that there are actually foods that are considered to be collagen-rich? And let’s not forget about collagen supplements and the ease and convenience they provide as a way to boost collagen.
Continue on to find out more about collagen-rich foods and collagen supplementation for boosting collagen; two of your best defenses against skin aging.
You can increase your collagen intake by eating foods that are rich in amino acids like glycine and proline. Good sources of glycine include chicken, beef, pork, and fish. You can also find it in soybeans, cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts. Proline is found in high amounts in dairy products, eggs, meat, and wheat germ.
One of the best sources of collagen is bone broth. This delicious liquid is made by simmering bones in water for an extended period of time. Bone broth contains high levels of both glycine and proline; two essential amino acids that support the production of collagen.
Other collagen-boosting foods include citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, beans, legumes, and nuts. By including these foods in your diet, you’ll be giving your body the building blocks it needs to produce collagen.
Collagen supplements are touted as a way to improve skin health, slow down skin aging, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, as well as various other skin concerns and health issues. But what exactly are collagen supplements?
Collagen supplements are designed to help replenish the body’s stores of this vital protein by both increasing collagen intake and by giving the body nutrients needed for collagen production.
There are a few different types of collagen supplements on the market, each with its own set of benefits. Collagen peptides are hydrolyzed collagen that has been broken down into smaller pieces. This makes it easier for the body to absorb. Beef or chicken are two very popular sources for collagen supplements.
Marine collagen is another popular type of supplement that’s derived from fish skin or scales. This type of collagen is particularly high in amino acids like glycine and proline, which are known for their anti-aging benefits including being a great collagen for skin.
What Are the Different Kinds of Collagen Supplements?
You know what collagen is and how vital it is for your body and overall health. You understand that there are a variety of collagen supplements on the market that are made from different sources such as fish, beef, or chicken. But did you know that there are both oral collagen supplements and collagen creams?
Some people swear by topical collagen creams and serums. Whether you decide to take collagen supplements or apply collagen supplements or both is ultimately up to you. Before you make any such decisions though, let’s make sure you have a good understanding about each of them.
Oral Collagen Supplements
When it comes to beauty boosters and health and wellness benefits, collagen is definitely having a moment. Many people are turning to oral collagen supplements in an attempt to combat skin aging and other age-related health concerns.
Just like the heading implies, oral collagen supplements are, of course, taken orally. But what else do you need to know about them? What are they and how do they work?
There are many different types of oral collagen supplements on the market. Some are made from animal sources, while others are made from plant sources. Animal-based collagen supplements typically come from fish or cows. Marine-sourced collagen is thought to be especially beneficial for the skin. Plant-based collagen supplements are usually made from rice or pea protein.
Oral collagen supplements are available in a variety of forms, including powders, pills, liquid, and even gummies. They typically contain hydrolyzed collagen, which is a type of protein that has been broken down into smaller units for better absorption.
Once ingested, these collagen peptides travel through the digestive system and are eventually absorbed into the bloodstream. From there, the collagen peptides work to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of aging skin. This improves the overall health of your skin, hair, nails, and many other areas of your body as they travel to all the different parts, signaling cells to produce more collagen.
You can add powders to smoothies, drinks or juices, or mix them into other foods like yogurt or oatmeal or even bake with them. Liquids can be taken on their own or also mixed into other beverages. Capsules just like any form of pill are simply taken with a beverage and usually with a food source.
There is no one “right” way to take oral collagen supplements–it’s simply a matter of finding a form that you’re comfortable with and that fits your lifestyle. If you’re someone who travels often, you might prefer a powder that you can take with you on the go. Or if you have difficulty swallowing pills, a liquid supplement might be a better option for you.
Perhaps you find yourself wondering if something you apply to your skin could work as well as something you ingest?
Collagen creams and serums contain ingredients that help to boost collagen production in the skin just like oral collagen supplements. These topical supplements also contain collagen peptides, which as you now know, are small fragments of collagen protein that help to stimulate collagen synthesis. These collagen creams and serums also contain antioxidants, which help to protect the skin from damage and keep it healthy.
When applied to the skin, the peptides found in collagen creams and serums actually send signals to your cells telling them to produce more collagen. By doing this, they also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. The collagen creams when applied topically also help to improve skin texture and firmness.
If you want to increase collagen production, the best way to do it is to stimulate the growth of new skin cells. This can be done through exfoliation, which removes the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. This exposes the younger, healthier cells underneath and encourages cell turnover. There are many natural exfoliants that are gentle enough for daily use, such as jojoba beads or fruit enzymes.
Exfoliating and then applying your topical collagen supplement may even increase the speed in which you see results of this form of collagen supplementation. Many collagen creams and serums also contain anti-aging ingredients like retinol or hyaluronic acid, which can further help to reduce skin aging.
With so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. By understanding how collagen creams and serums work, you can narrow down your choices to find the product that’s best for your individual needs.
Do Collagen Supplements Have Side Effects?
When it comes to making decisions that are best for your health, it’s always best to research if there are any possible side effects. Do collagen supplements have side effects? You’ll be happy to know we did the research for you.
While collagen is a naturally-occurring protein that’s essential for healthy skin, joints, and bones, taking large amounts of it in supplement form can sometimes cause digestive issues. This can include bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Some people are allergic to collagen peptides, and may experience hives or in rare cases, difficulty breathing after taking them. If you know you have an allergy to fish or shellfish, it’s important to avoid collagen supplements that are marine-based, for obvious reasons. Reading labels and knowing what’s in the supplement you’re considering should help to avoid any potential allergy concerns.
In general, collagen supplementation is quite safe for everyone. Beginning with a lower dosage can avoid any gastrointestinal distresses, allowing your body to adjust to the new supplement. You can then proceed to gradually increase if needed once you know how your body is responding.
The same could be said for collagen creams and serums. Test a small area of the product on your skin and watch for any potential concerns such as allergic reaction or skin irritation. If you find no cause for concern, you can proceed with the instructions for application and reap the benefits!
For both oral and topical collagen supplements, it’s important to only consider a quality brand with a reliable reputation. Cheaper products, whether oral or topical, usually contain fillers and lesser quality ingredients that usually pose the biggest concern for any possible side effects. Be sure to do your research.
How Long Does it Take to See Results?
One of the most common questions people have about collagen supplementation is “how long does it take to see results?” The answer, unfortunately, is not as simple as a specific number of days or weeks.
Most experts agree that it can take anywhere from two to four weeks to start seeing results from collagen supplementation. This time frame may vary depending on a person’s age, lifestyle, and diet. Someone who’s younger and generally healthy will likely see results sooner than someone who is older and has less-than-optimal health. Additionally, people who eat a diet high in inflammation-causing foods may also experience a delayed response to collagen supplementation.
In general, the vast majority of people will start seeing positive effects, especially with skin elasticity, within a month of beginning supplementation.
So if you’re thinking about adding collagen supplements to your routine, be patient! You may not see results overnight, but with consistent use you should start noticing improved skin, hair, and nail health within a few weeks. But that’s not all! Be sure to keep a watchful eye for all the other added health benefits that will start to become evident. Collagen is a mighty supplement!
Final Thoughts On Collagen
Hopefully we haven’t overwhelmed you with all the information we’ve provided you regarding collagen, collagen supplements, collagen supplementation, and the many benefits of collagen for skin.
It’s important to be informed when adding any type of supplement to your daily routine whether it’s for cosmetic purposes or overall health benefits. And we can’t stress enough the importance of only using high-quality collagen supplements regardless of whether or not you’re considering oral collagen supplements. It’s just as important to only use quality collagen creams or serums on your skin as well! Like everything else, you get what you pay for.
The moment is now! Skin aging happens to everyone so don’t wait any longer–start reaping the benefits of collagen for skin today! There are collagen peptides that are just right for you. Be sure to check out our Health BLOG and collagen product page where you can be sure you’re always getting the best of the best! From expert opinions and wellness resources to quality products, you’ll find everything you need to be your best and healthiest!