If you’re over twenty-five years old, you’ve probably done some research about how to maintain your skin younger and slow down the aging process. And you might have noticed that when it comes to anti-aging, the buzzword “collagen” prevails the most.
So, why do all the skincare and nutrition products rave about collagen? Is it really the answer for that glowing and elastic skin? Let’s dig deeper to discover more about this protein, and how it may help you stay young and beautiful.
Aging and Collagen Production
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It consists of four fundamental amino acids: Proline, Glycine, Arginine, and Hydroxyproline. In fact, almost 70% of your skin is made up of collagen. That’s why it’s so vital in your anti-aging efforts.
Since this connective protein consists mostly of non-essential amino acids, your body can produce then on its own if your diet is full of them. Yet, with age, this process becomes only slower.
“The production of collagen is continuous, throughout our lifetime. In our 20’s production will slow down and that causes the skin to thin and wrinkles to appear. Illness, genetics, diet, emotions and environmental exposure can influence collagen loss.”
Tsao-Lin E. Moy, L.Ac., MSOM, Integrative Healing Arts
What age do you start losing collagen?
Collagen production, aka collagen synthesis, decreases as early as your early twenties. It’s the main reason why you start noticing wrinkles on your skin, and why it becomes duller.
That’s when high-quality collagen hydrolyzate comes in handy in your anti-aging diet. You can find it in powder and add it to your favourite protein shakes every morning.
“ Collagen fibres break down or no longer regenerate, and lead to a “deflation” effect on the surface of the skin. After 30, our collagen levels start to drop by 1.5% per year. Research indicates that by the age of 40, the body’s ability to produce collagen decreases by 25%. By age 60, it has decreased by over 50%. Collagen contains different proteins that serve separate purposes within the body.”
Trey Triplette, Certified Performance Nutritionist, 3natural Bionutrition®
Collagen protein supplementation may help you keep your skin more elastic, hydrated, and reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles.
What age should I take collagen?
At the age of 21, your body’s collagen production declines, and the existing collagen starts breaking down. Just to compare, at the age of 60, your collagen levels will be twice as low as opposed to when you’re twenty-one years old.
“Collagen is worth taking at any age really. Although you start losing it around 21 years old, and the benefits become more pronounced after 40, children naturally need more of it to support their growth. So you can take it later in life to make up for collagen loss, but taking it earlier in life to hedge against collagen loss later in life is also perfectly valid.”
John Fawkes, Certified Nutrition Coach & Trainer at The Unwinder
Collagen protein supplementation may help you keep your skin more elastic, hydrated, and reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles. It can also contribute to suppressing skin sun damage and photoaging.
Can Collagen Reverse Aging?
“The short answer to this is no. It cannot reverse aging, but studies show it can improve skin elasticity. It will not reverse wrinkles that you already have, as some people seem to think.”
CJ Mallonee, MS
Of course, no miracle cure can help you stop the aging process. Yet, there’re a few things you can do to slow down this process. Mainly, it’s all about maintaining a healthy balanced diet and having an active lifestyle.
Introducing collagen into your diet can help you:
Enhance skin elasticity
Collagen improves skin’s resilience and hydrates it. According to this study, 91% of participants stated that they experienced fewer problems with dry skin after regular collagen supplementation.
Reduce the appearance of wrinkles
Being one of the main proteins in our body, collagen is known for contributing to a younger and healthier look. Consuming enough collagen through supplementation may help you reduce the depths of wrinkles and their amount.
Decrease cellulite and stretch marks
Even though it’s nearly impossible to get rid of natural stretch marks and cellulite, collagen supplementation can help you reduce their appearance. It can boost skin’s thickness, longevity, and make it look naturally smooth, healthy, and radiant.
The Best Collagen for Anti-Aging and How to Use It
“Studies show that collagen can improve skin elasticity and bone density. Make sure to get collagen that is hydrolysed, as it is more easily absorbed by your body.”
CJ Mallonee, MS
Our favourite way of consuming this superfood is adding collagen powder into a protein shake. Just mix a daily amount of collagen (1-2 scoops), and you’re already halfway through towards maintaining healthy and youthful skin for longer.
“2018 study concluded that marine sourced collagen (type 2 collagen) might have the ability to reduce signs of aging by providing a protective role in the skin by improving the activity of antioxidants. There are at least 16 types of collagen, but it's estimated that 80 – 90 percent of the collagen in the body consists of types I, II, and III. Type II collagen has been shown to have the highest bioavailability (absorption) when ingested orally. With that being said, it’s able to be absorbed in a much higher rate than other collagens and will host the most benefits when it comes to our skin. Many type II collagens have been formulated into powders that one would mix with their drink of choice, the recommended dose is 11 grams per day.”
Loren Richter, CEO/Founder at BlueBiology
Here’s, for example, a delicious recipe of a Collagen Shake for all the coffee lovers out there:
- 1 cup cold brewed coffee
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 tablespoons of Peptipro Collagen Hydrolysate powder
- 1-2 teaspoons of ground flax meal
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- Ice cubes to serve (optional)
- Cacao powder or nibs to sprinkle (optional)
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz for a few seconds until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into a glass over ice cubes and sprinkle with cacao nibs or powder.
- The coffee will naturally separate to the bottom if not drunk immediately. Stir to incorporate and enjoy!
Plus, you can come up with so many variations of a protein shake that you’ll never get bored with your collagen routine.
The Bottom Line
As much as we want to stay young for as long as possible, it’s not how our bodies work. However, even if no magic can help us stay forever young, we can still maintain healthy and glowing skin.
Always remember to consult your health care professional before introducing new items into your diet.
* This article is for general information only and not intended to cure, diagnose or treat or recommend anything.