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Understanding Collagen's Vital Role in the Body and Whether Supplements Are Beneficial

Apr 23, 2021

Understanding Collagen's Vital Role in the Body and Whether Supplements Are Beneficial

Flawless skin seems to be the ultimate goal of anyone concerned about skincare. The term flawless is a bit vague as true perfection is an impossibility, but what is meant is a sustained vibrancy and fullness, an ageless shine and complexion that seems resilient to aging. While there is an entire industry built around the idea of anti-aging, one protein is quickly becoming the golden child of skincare: collagen.

Understanding Collagen

Often referred to as a building block of the body, collagen is a protein that plays a significant role in the health and development of your ligaments, muscles, tendons, bones, hair, and skin. This one protein is foundational in nearly every structural component of biological form and function — no wonder skincare companies are doing everything possible to capitalize on it.

When it comes to skin, collagen is the agent that keeps it looking tight and plump. The youthful appearance that people desire and admire is the result of collagen production in the body. Unfortunately, as is true with many things, age sees a natural decline in production. Researchers explain that collagen begins to decrease as early as 25, and in women, collagen production decreases by an estimated 30% in the first five years of menopause.

To combat the natural decline of collagen, many people turn to supplements and creams that promise to improve blood flow to the skin, improve elasticity, and reduce wrinkles. Unfortunately, not all of these products can fulfill the promises made.

The Science Behind Collagen Supplements

While the science supports the correlation between collagen and healthy skin, there is no conclusive evidence suggesting that supplements, such as peptide powders, liquids, or capsules, promote any significant change in collagen production. The problem with ingested supplements is the lack of research into the supplement's absorption into the bloodstream.

The digestive process is volatile, and there is not yet enough evidence to explain if the supplements survive the stomach or how much collagen is absorbed into the system. Therefore, while supplements might benefit collagen levels in the skin or body, the jury is still out. However, there is potentially no harm in using a safe collagen product, and you can talk with your physician to select a few different options.

The Advantages of Collagen Creams and Topical Treatments

While there are creams that might promote or protect collagen levels in the skin, you must be careful when selecting a product. The safest options are to select treatments backed by scientific research. Retinol and tretinoin are two topical treatments proven to promote collagen production. Additionally, vitamin C skincare products can reduce inflammation that causes collagen damage.

Beyond skincare treatments, focusing on protecting the health of your skin is the best way to protect the natural processes of the body. The sun is one of the greatest inhibitors of healthy skin because its UV rays can break down collagen, so sunscreen is crucial when outside, regardless of the season. You can also promote healthier skin through dietary choices. Fried and overly-processed foods are some of the worst things you can consume for your skin. Instead, focus on a healthy, balanced diet consisting of antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and proteins to prevent collagen breakdown.

Category: Skin Care