Everything You Need To Know About Collagen

Collagen is a protein your body produces naturally and plays an important role in supporting skin structure. It is also a popular ingredient in skin care products marketed specifically for reducing wrinkles. Many women use these products indiscriminately in hopes of regaining the smooth, supple skin of their youth. But the real question is: do these products really work?
Not only collagen creams popular for wrinkle reduction, but also collagen supplements have gained a huge following.
But before you go out and buy collagen supplements or skincare products for yourself, we're here to let you know and review what collagen is and its potential role in helping keep skin tight and wrinkle-free. Read on to find out more.

Your skin in three layers

Your skin is the largest organ in our body and consists of three main layers;

The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin and is the thinnest layer. But it plays an important role in protecting you from the elements around you.
The dermis or middle layer is where it determines the strength and structure of your skin. You will find the blood vessels, hair follicles and sebaceous glands here. The dermis also contains fibroblasts, which are cells responsible for synthesizing important proteins such as collagen and elastin.
The lowest layer of the skin is the hypodermis or fatty layer. Here you will find additional collagen that supports the structure of the skin as well as the sweat glands. This layer is also responsible for maintaining body temperature and protecting the body's organs.

Collagen and Skin

Skin is made up of a complex combination of blood vessels, glands, and lipids, but its structure and strength are determined by three main proteins:

Collagen- The most common protein in your skin, collagen is the primary component of connective tissue and helps your skin look youthful.

Elastin- This protein works with collagen to keep your skin tight. Provides flexibility that prevents the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Keratin- The essential component of hair and nails, keratin also forms the surface layer of the skin to create a protective barrier.
When you're born, your body gets plenty of these essential proteins that work together to keep your skin smooth and supple. Unfortunately, factors such as sun exposure, pollution, and the inevitable passing of time cause collagen to break down.
Collagen production begins to decrease after the age of twenty. Collagen production slows by about one percent a year, and as a result, the skin becomes thinner and more fragile over time. For this reason, you may start to notice the formation of fine lines around the mouth and eyes and deeper wrinkles on your forehead. Your skin may also get an uneven tone or texture as it ages.

Anti Aging Collagen Supplements

When your collagen levels are high, your skin can be smoother, firmer, and more elastic. As your collagen levels decrease as you age, you will notice some changes in your skin. For this reason, collagen appears to be an essential part of the skincare puzzle.
Unfortunately, you cannot really measure your collagen levels. However, you can look for visible signs of aging on your skin to determine if your collagen levels are dropping:

Roughness, dryness and itching

Sagging and wrinkling

When these signs of aging appear for the first time, your first instinct may be to panic. But before you take any action, you should know what works (what doesn't).

There is some scientific evidence that suggests a positive association between oral collagen supplements and anti-aging benefits.
A study of 70 women aged 40 to 60 investigated the benefits of oral intake of collagen peptide supplements for skin hydration, elasticity and wrinkle. Participants were evaluated at baseline and after 6 and 12 weeks after receiving a placebo or 1 g collagen supplement. At the end of the study, participants who took the supplements exhibited improvements in skin hydration, wrinkle, and elasticity.
Another study found that women who drank a collagen supplement drink every day for 12 weeks experienced a significant reduction in wrinkle depth and skin hydration compared to the control group.

Additional Benefits of Collagen Supplements

There are a number of additional studies that show similar results to those previously mentioned, leading researchers to suggest that collagen supplements stimulate the body to increase natural collagen production. Collagen supplements are thought to provide other benefits as well.
Collagen is not only potentially important for bone and joint health, but also essential for healthy muscle function. About 10 percent of your skeletal muscle tissue consists of collagen. Some research shows that collagen supplements can improve strength training results and promote muscle growth after exercise.

Finally, if it is necessary to wrap it up

While taking collagen supplements can help improve the appearance of your skin, more research is needed to determine how well these supplements work to support other aspects of your health.
If you want to add collagen to your diet to see if you're getting any results, you can try adding protein-rich foods like meat, fish, dairy products, and bone broth to your meal. If those aren't for you, you can try adding a collagen supplement to a special mix.
The general point here is that whether you're adding collagen-rich foods to your diet or entering the world of collagen supplements, it may not be a magic cure or wrinkle reduction miracle, but if you are interested in seeing what it can do for you, there are many ways to try it out.

*This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always talk to your doctor.