It seems like everyone is talking about the miraculous effects of collagen. One thing many people are wondering is if it can help revitalize skin and prevent skin aging. That’s what we’re going to talk about in this article. We’re going to explore the research on collagen for skin and uncover its potential benefits. But first, let’s talk about what collagen is and its role in the body.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is an essential structural protein that your body naturally creates. It is the most abundant protein in the body. It helps make up the bones, joints, gums, skin, and much more. Think of it as the glue that holds together the body. Although your body creates collagen naturally, as you age, your body begins to create less and less of it. In fact, after about age 25, your body begins to use more than it creates. This contributes to the aging of the bones, skin, and joints—which can progress to problems ranging from wrinkly skin to deteriorating joints. If you are older than 25, you may want to consider taking a collagen supplement regularly for skin health as well as the health of the rest of your body.
There are over 25 different types of collagen. However, type I, II, and III make up the majority of collagen in the human body (around 80-90%). Type II collagen is found in cartilage and the eyes, while types I and III provide skin, muscle, and ligament structure. You can get these forms of collagen in your diet by consuming bone-in fish (such as sardines), organ meats, bone broth, and cartilage. However, you can also get collagen through supplements. Collagen peptides are rich in these forms of collagen and may be the best collagen supplement for skin health.
Collagen Benefits for Skin
Collagen may reverse skin aging
Many studies explore collagens potential for reversing the natural aging of the skin. After all, there are few adults that don’t want to look younger and healthier. Well, research suggests that collagen may indeed help reduce signs of aging. In one study, volunteers were given 5 grams of collagen in the form of a daily supplement for several weeks. After 60 days, smile lines, dryness, and wrinkles improved significantly. The participants’ skin also appeared more firm and dense after about 12 weeks.
In another placebo-controlled trial, participants were given just 2.5 grams of collagen each day (or a placebo). Those who took collagen had fewer wrinkles and overall improved skin elasticity after only eight weeks. This research shows us that collagen may be a part of the solution for reversing skin aging. While it seems that collagen is beneficial for reversing skin aging, it seems to work best when used along with products that apply directly onto the skin.
Collagen may help improve acne symptoms
We all know what acne is and feels like, and many of us have struggled to keep acne under control. Well, collagen may be one essential piece of the puzzle. Collagen is vital for the healing of the skin. Pimples or clogged pores have a build up of bacteria, which causes inflammation, swelling, irritation, redness, and even bleeding. When this damage is done to the skin, collagen may help speed up the healing process and reduce scarring. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, which may reduce acne swelling and irritation.
Collagen may reduce cellulite
Other than keeping your skin glowing and healthy, collagen may also improve the appearance of your skin by reducing stubborn cellulite. Cellulite is a layer of fat underneath the skin that causes a dimpling effect—making the skin appear to have lumps. 90% of women experience cellulite through the natural process of aging.
A 2015 study set out to discover the effects of collagen for skin health. In this study, more than 100 women between 24 to 50 years of age were randomly selected to either take collagen or a placebo. The women who used collagen showed significant improvements in skin appearance—including fewer signs of waves and lumps and overall improved skin texture.
This study does show promising results for the effects of collagen for skin health. However, no further research has been done to confirm these results.
How to Get Collagen in Your Diet
As we mentioned before, as the body ages, it begins to use more collagen than it makes. This creates a deficit, which, in turn, causes issues with the health of your bones, joints, ligaments, skin, and teeth. This means you may need to supplement collagen to slow down aging.
One way you can help boost your body’s natural collagen creation is by getting a sufficient amount of vitamin C and zinc. These are essential for the body’s natural ability to create collagen. However, this may not be sufficient for those older than 25. Consuming foods with collagen or using supplements can help make up for the body’s lack of power to create collagen naturally.
In nature, collagen is only found in animal tissue—particularly bones and connective tissue such as joints and ligaments. This has been bad news for vegans until recently when scientists discovered a way to create vegan collagen using genetically modified yeast and bacteria. The bacteria P. pastoris is especially useful for the creation of high-quality vegan collagen.
If you prefer to get collagen for skin health through your diet without the help of supplements, there are foods that contain collagen, and there are foods that help boost your body’s natural production of collagen. Here are some collagen-containing foods:
• Bone Broth
• Wild salmon
• Egg yolk
• Eggshell membranes
• Organic, farm-raised meats
Here are some foods that help support your body’s natural collagen creation:
• Pumpkin seeds
Boosting your collagen levels, whether adding it into your diet through supplements or new food choices, may be an essential part of skin health. Several studies are showing the effects of both natural collagen for skin and collagen supplements for skin health—many of which show promising results. However, these effects require more research to understand fully. Thankfully, you can’t go wrong by trying out collagen for skin health. Collagen is safe to use, and there seem to be little or no collagen side effects for healthy people. Most research shows positive results in about eight weeks. Give it a try and see how it works for you.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.