It’s commonly known amongst the health and wellness community that collagen supplements can be extremely beneficial for improving the quality of our hair, nails and skin. But with so much conversation around the topic, and so many different types of collagen on the market, it can be challenging to find the best type to target your specific concern. Not all collagen is created equal. Here, we’ll help break down the relationship between collagen and skin health, and the benefits collagen can have for radiant skin.
What’s the relationship between collagen and skin?
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that makes up approximately 30% of the total proteins in our bodies. It’s also the protein that makes up the majority of our skin - around 80%. Collagen is what gives our skin its elasticity, bounce and firmness, which translates to keeping us looking healthy, fresh-faced and youthful. This powerful protein is essentially various amino acids, vitamins and minerals working in tandem, and as such there are many different types of natural collagen found within the human body.
Collagen is constantly lost and replenished within the body. When we’re young, our bodies produce more collagen than is lost. However, as we grow older, our levels begin dropping at a rate quicker than our bodies can reproduce.
When this happens, our 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.
While these changes are a natural result of the ageing process, 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.
How does collagen degrade as you age?
While many of us think of ‘ageing’ as something that starts happening around our 40s or 50s, natural collagen levels actually start falling as early as our mid-twenties, where we begin to see decreases of about one percent per year. This slow decline continues until menopause, during which period most women experience a loss of approximately 30% of their collagen stores.
When our bodies are no longer producing the necessary amount of collagen, we begin to see the skin become thinner, drier and less firm. This is also when we begin to see wrinkles, weaker bones and joints and decreased muscle function.
In order to counteract these effects, it’s possible to incorporate effective collagen supplements into your diet that provides the type of collagen your body might need.
While there are at least 28 types of collagen that are well-recognised and understood within the body, Type I collagen is the one most present in skin. Therefore, if healthy, radiant skin is your concern, Type I collagen supplements are the best collagen for skin to help support skin health and reduce signs of ageing.
What are the benefits of collagen on the skin?
So we know that collagen can improve the quality of the skin, but what are the specific benefits you can expect to see when incorporating supplemental collagen for skin?
Collagen improves skin hydration
Certain types of collagen, such as our Peptipro Hydrolysed Collagen Powder, contain high levels of hydroxyproline. Hydroxyproline is an amino acid that helps to smooth the surface of the skin, as well as increase the hydration levels of the skin. In the results of a German clinical study, it was found that taking collagen peptides resulted in a 28% increase in skin hydration and skin elasticity. Additionally, even four weeks after stopping the use of the collagen supplements, the participants still experienced increased skin hydration.
Collagen can reduce the appearance of wrinkles
Because of the increased hydration that collagen skin care supplements can provide, many people notice reduced appearance of wrinkles. This is because the added moisture helps to plump up, smooth and fill in lines on the skin. Therefore, it may be beneficial to pair your topical anti-aging skincare products with a peptide collagen to help support glowing, younger looking skin from both the inside and outside.
For an alternative to cattle collagen, try our Original Marine Collagen for is the ideal addition to your daily wellness routine in supporting healthy skin, hair and nails.
Collagen improves skin elasticity
Studies show that taking oral collagen supplements over the course of several months slows down signs of ageing and improves skin elasticity and firmness. Specifically, collagen powder supplements including Type I collagen are the best choice for those looking to improve the skin elasticity. This is because Type I collagen is made up of eosinophilic fibres that form the skin and give it its stretchy, elastic quality.
Effects on collagen on cellulite
Cellulite occurs when connective tissues become misshapen due to fat pushing through, causing a change in the texture and appearance of the skin. It mostly occurs on the hips, thighs, buttocks, and arms and is more prevalent in women. Collagen can help improve the appearance of cellulite as it strengthens these connective tissues, hydrates and improves the elasticity of the skin from within.
Collagen’s effect on skin healing
Using collagen for better skin doesn’t only apply to anti-ageing and aesthetic uses. In fact, collagen can be particularly useful for skin healing. Because collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and is responsible for skin resistance and structure, studies have shown it can help to promote faster skin healing. This is why it’s often prescribed by aestheticians and skin therapists as the part of the aftercare following skin-needling or skin-resurfacing treatments.
Science-backed benefits of collagen
Several groups of researchers have also 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 and ‘statistically significant’ 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 peptides.
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.
Another study of more than 100 women aged around 55 demonstrated wrinkle reduction after 4 weeks of treatment. In this study, the researchers also noted elevated levels of skin procollagen concentration.
Benefits Using Collagen-Infused Skincare
Collagen supplements are not just exclusive to consumable powders either. There is also a wide range of topical collagen peptides products that can be included in your daily routine to help boost your body’s natural collagen synthesis.
Collagen peptides are becoming a highly sought after ingredient in skincare, with many of the biggest names in the beauty and skincare industry adding collagen-infused products to their ranges. While traditional skin care focuses primarily on the exterior, beauty products like moisturisers and serums that contain collagen peptides actively work to support our bodies’ internal structures that facilitate natural collagen production. Two birds, one stone.
Adding collagen-infused skincare products to your morning and evening routines can be a great way of not only protecting and supporting your skin, but also have the added benefits of anti-ageing, skin elasticity and hydration.
How to introduce hydrolysed collagen into your diet
Hydrolysed collagen powder contains a unique profile of 18 different amino acids, including eight of the nine essential amino acids. With just one scoop per day, you’re providing your body with a range of nutritional value as well as 15 grams of protein, without any added fat, carbs or sugar.
The Original Hydrolyzed Collagen Powder by Gelpro Australia is flavourless and harmoniously dissolves in water at any temperature, so it’s easy to incorporate in any way you choose!
For a quick and easy way to get your collagen in, mix it with water, juice or your drink of choice. For a refreshing beverage try our Marine Collagen and Butterfly Pea blend, containing blackcurrant and grapefruit flavours. Or try natural flavours of lychee and mixed berry with our Marine Collagen and Dragonfruit powder. The Hyaluronic Acid and Kakadu Plum Collagen Powder from nutracoll is also easily dissolvable in water, with the added benefits of vitamin C and skin-loving ingredients that promote collagen synthesis.
Incorporating collagen for skin health into your daily diet has never been easier with Gelpro Australia. Discover our other wellness products, including gelatins, wholefood capsules, and holistic collagen peptide infused skincare.