Skin Health Benefits of Collagen
If you’re in search of an evidence-based beauty solution to slow down or reverse the visible signs of ageing, explore the benefits of collagen powder.
How your skin changes with age
As you age, your skin becomes less thick, and less elastic. Wrinkles begin to form, photo ageing caused by sunlight exposure occurs, and small blood vessels can appear near the surface of the skin.
These changes are a natural result of the ageing process – but they can also be exacerbated by environmental factors (stress, for example), sunlight exposure, hormones and nutrition.
The most visible changes are localised in the dermis – and, they’re caused by the metabolism of dermal collagen fibres.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein containing a mixture of amino acids. It’s the major structural component of skin and is a part of your connective tissue that supports firmness, suppleness and skin cell renewal.
Collagen comprises approximately 80% of the dry weight of your skin.
Certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, play an essential role in collagen synthesis.
Topical creams are thought to help stimulate collagen, yet the science supporting these products is mixed.
Collagen capsules or collagen powder, on the other hand, are thought to work more effectively in the body – and, recent research has explored effectiveness and benefits of collagen taken in powdered form.
The evidence-based skin health benefits of collagen
Several groups of researchers have studied the influence of collagen capsules and collagen powder on skin physiology in recent years.
One of the most impressive findings came from a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 69 women, aged between 35 and 55, who took either collagen powder or a placebo, once a day. The tablet contained 2.5 g of hydrolyzed collagen peptide.
The women who took the collagen powder reported up to 15% higher skin elasticity.
Specifically, the collagen tablet helped to:
- Improve skin elasticity – resulting in noticeably firmer and smoother skin
- Improve the appearance of wrinkles – resulting in fewer wrinkles
The effect was measured as soon as 4 weeks after the women started taking the tablet, and the positive results remained another 4 weeks after the women stopped taking it.
The researchers called this finding ‘statistically significant’ – which means it’s thought to be a more a reliable finding (with less chance that it’s a fluke).
Another study of more than 100 women aged around 55 demonstrated winkle reduction after 4 weeks of treatment. In this study, the researchers also noted elevated levels of skin procollagen concentration.
How does collagen work in the body?
When ingested in a capsule or powder form, collagen is absorbed in the digestive tract and then appears in the human blood partly in a small peptide form. It then accumulates in the skin for up to 96 hours.
Other benefits of collagen
Collagen powder and collagen capsules can also help to increase mobility, reduce pain and improve the overall appearance of your hair, skin and nails.
Some research has suggested that collagen can be taken with protein and amino acids supplements to help improve mobility and flexibility in athletes.
Want to learn more about the benefits of collagen?
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Proksch E, et al. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(1):47-55. doi: 10.1159/000351376. Epub 2013 Aug 14.
Proksch E, et al. Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-9. doi: 10.1159/000355523. Epub 2013 Dec 24.