The word “collagen” has been travelling around the internet for quite a while. Apart from being a widely-used buzzword in the beauty and lifestyle industry, collagen does play a critical role in your health and aesthetics. Our bodies naturally produce collagen; however, with age, this process slows down. Consequently, the need for this type of protein grows. That’s when collagen supplements may come in handy.
Today, we’re taking a more in-depth look at how exactly collagen works, its effects on your skin, hair, nails, and whether it can be your loyal friend in the anti-aging battle.
What is Beauty Collagen?
Collagen is the most prevalent protein in the human body as it accounts for 75-80% of all protein in it. It helps your skin stay radiant, elastic, and strong. It also contributes to maintaining your hair, dental, joint, skeletal, and muscular health.
This type of protein is usually found in the dermis, aka the middle layer of your skin. It boosts the growth of new skin cells to replace the dead skin cells and enable faster skin cell turnover. The best thing about it is that it’s re-absorbable. It means that collagen can be broken down and used to promote your body's natural collagen production processes.
Here’s what might cause your body to produce less collagen:
- Low vitamin C intake: This vitamin is required to produce collagen.
- Smoking: Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that might damage elastin and collagen in the skin.
- Sun: The UV rays can cause wrinkles, pigmentation, and dull skin.
- Sugar: High blood sugar can contribute to creating specific molecules that can ruin collagen proteins.
- Pollution: Exposure to environmental pollutants can create free radicals that negatively affect collagen by advancing protein oxidation.
“Collagen is the most abundant protein source in your body and is a major component for the health of your skin, hair and nails, Collagen plays a vital role in keeping our skin elastic, hydrated, strong, and youthful. As we age, we naturally produce less collagen which leads to wrinkles and saggy skin, however including collagen in your diet, helps to improve the health of your skin, reversing or delaying the aging process.”
Allison Thibault MS, RDN, LDN, CDN, Founder of VivaTotalHealth
Does Beauty Collagen Work?
Before you start experimenting with all the possible collagen beauty supplements and skincare products, you should know what will work best for you, and if it’ll work at all.
Here are some interesting studies we came across:
The first study showed that after 12 weeks of intaking collagen peptide supplements, 70 participants (women aged 40 to 60) had fewer wrinkles, more elastic and better-hydrated skin.
Another study concluded that women who drank daily collagen drinks during the 12 weeks showed improvements in wrinkle depth and skin hydration.
Also, one more study suggested that the intake of collagen peptides help your body stimulate natural collagen production.
Of course, there’s a lot of room for research when it comes to the use of beauty collagen supplements and their impact on your physical health, the studies mentioned above prove that there’s hope.
“Not only is collagen beneficial for our bone and skin health, but collagen also plays a role in our pelvic and digestive health. Collagen supplements can also renew and revitalize the way you look and feel. It can even cause wrinkles and other fine lines to minimize, as well as help prevent new ones from forming. A lot of my patients who supplement with collagen say they see their nails growing stronger and their hair growing in thicker and longer than ever before. Some have even reported that after supplementing collagen into their diet for about four to five months, they have seen a decrease in scars and scar tissue visibility.”
So, while scientists work on coming to a final verdict, don’t hesitate to introduce collagen into your diet and analyze the results yourself. Just remember that all bodies are different, and what could have made your friend’s nails stronger and skin smoother, might not necessarily work for you. Plus, it’s always better to consult with your health care professional before opting for any supplements in general.
Collagen Beauty Benefits
Can’t wait to get the dose of a collagen beauty boost? First, let’s see how your skin, hair, and nails can benefit from it.
“Collagen is responsible for your skin’s firmness; the ability to bounce back. It will bring back your youthful glow while diminishing fine lines and dark circles. Your hair will once again have a healthy shine while your nails will grow strong as ever.”
Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND.
Collagen Benefits for Skin
Since the skin is the biggest organ, you probably want to keep it as smooth and plump as possible. Three proteins, keratin, collagen, and elastin, are responsible for your skin’s structure and strength. So, let’s see what the benefits of collagen for the skin you can leverage to reach that goal.
Collagen can make your skin firmer and more elastic.
Higher levels of collagen make your skin look more supple and reduce visible signs of aging.
It can increase your skin’s hydration levels.
- Beauty collagen can help you reduce wrinkles and skin sagging.
“Did you know studies prove collagen protein slows and reverses the signs of skin aging? These studies have shown adding collagen to your diet has the power to:
- Repair skin while you sleep
- Restore elasticity
- Hydrate your skin
- Get rid of sunspots, fine lines, and wrinkles
- Heal eczema, acne, and other skin irritations
In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, for example, women between the ages of 45 and 65 received either a collagen peptide supplement or a placebo for eight weeks. The results were nothing short of astonishing. At the end of the eight-week treatment period, the group taking collagen experienced an average 20.1% reduction in eye wrinkles when compared to the placebo group—and the maximum reduction observed was 49.9%! Four weeks after the treatment stopped, the collagen group still showed an average 11.5% reduction in wrinkles. In addition, at the end of the study, the researchers detected a 65% increase in procollagen (a building block of collagen) and an 18% increase in elastin. These are amazing results—better than anything you’ll get from even the most expensive wrinkle creams on the market. And they prove that adding collagen to your diet is a powerful way to get the younger, smoother skin you want.”
Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, MS, ND.
Collagen Benefits for Hair
Dreaming of that silky and flawless hair? Good news is, you can have. Here’re some benefits of collagen supplements for hair that can make it strong and beautiful at the same time.
“Your hair is primarily made up of keratin. Keratin is made up of a variety of amino acids, some of which can be found in collagen. With this in mind, collagen benefits hair by enhancing optimal keratin production for overall hair health. When keratin is being adequately produced it promotes hair growth and stronger hair follicles.”
Adina Mahalli, Hair and Skincare Expert at Maple Holistics
Collagen is potentially good for hair growth since it produces amino acids that can be beneficial for building keratin (a protein that your hair is made up of.)
Beauty collagen can prevent your hair from becoming thin and breaking. Collagen for hair strengthens your dermis (a skin layer that contains the root of a hair follicle), maintains it healthy, and helps prevent age-related hair loss.
- Collagen can contribute to saving hair roots from damage. It provides antioxidants to fight free radicals and keep your hair healthy.
- Afraid of grey hairs? Again, thanks to its antioxidants, beauty collagen can protect your skin cells and prevent greying.
Collagen Benefits for Nails
The nail bed mainly consists of keratin and collagen proteins. So, is collagen good for nails? Let’s take a look at what it can do to make your nails better.
Beauty collagen is high in the amino acid called arginine that can contribute to nail growth.
Collagen protein powder can prevent your nail from chipping/cracking and strengthen them.
- Collagen stimulates fibroblast cells (typical cells of connective tissue) and, as a result, boosts nail collagen metabolism from the inside.
Although there’s no universal agreement on how to measure the effectiveness of collagen supplements, some studies have shown that collagen may have a few benefits for your hair, skin, and nails.