Collagen is a structural protein that builds up different structures in our body. It is one of the most important structures in our body. This is the most abundant protein in our body, making up nearly one-third of all the protein types. Dermatologists say that collagen makes three by fourths of the dry weight of our skin. This point highlights the collagen benefits for the skin in terms of antiaging.
Collagen is naturally produced in our body using four basic nutrients; proline, glycine, Vitamin C, and copper. Our body produces 16 to 20 different types of collagen, which serve various purposes. It is present throughout our body in the form of the densely packed fiber of skin, cartilage, muscles, bones, and even arteries and body organs. Thus there is no doubt collagen is beneficial for our skin and overall health, but are the collagen products available in the market promising any good results? Can collagen supplements, masks, and aesthetic products that claim collagen benefits for the skin deliver the results? Let’s find out!
Do we really need collagen supplements?
Our body naturally produces collagen using nutrients we consume through our diet; however, as we age, our body experiences a decline in certain abilities, such as food digestion, absorption of nutrients, and even the production of collagen. This means g no amount of oral consumption will boost collagen production after a certain age.
Research has shown that diseases like cancer and immunity-related disorder or simply catching the flu can also decrease collagen production in the body. In such circumstances consuming collagen from external sources has been shown to provide relief.
Collagen supplements are usually derived from pigs, cows, or fish and may consist of type I, II, or III collagen. They are available in three primary forms. collagen peptides, raw, or gelatin, and contain high amounts of three amino acids essential for collagen synthesis in our body: glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.
If our body has reduced the amount of collagen it produces, we can supply it with collagen protein extracted from animals and help our body stay healthy, fit, and young.
Does collagen supplement work? Collagen Supplement Benefits for skin
It is crucial to keep in mind that the evidence supporting the advantages of collagen supplements is limited. Our data and research are mainly company funded, with most research results being objective researchers’ observations. This means there is very little credible data to prove or disapprove of the benefits of collagen supplements for the skin or any other health benefits.
Theoretically, consuming collagen supplements works the same for your body as having a steak dinner, minus the fats consumed. So you take all the good stuff and exclude the extra calories or fatty content that can adversely affect health.
In theory, collagen supplements not only replenish the building blocks of collagen for increasing the production of new collagen in the body, the amino acids in the supplement act as antioxidants to block the action of enzymes that break down collagen and protect the body’s existing collagen. This helps reduce wrinkles, healthier-looking skin, nails, hair, lean muscles, and stronger bones.
According to some studies consuming collagen supplements has been shown to significantly improve skin health, relieve joint pain, strengthen bones and muscles, and even reduce the risks related to heart diseases. A study has shown that collagen can slow down the aging of the skin by reducing wrinkle formation and dryness in the skin.
Another study recruiting hundred and fourteen women with an age range from 45-65 years revealed that after 8 weeks of consuming collagen supplements, there was a significant reduction in wrinkles and improved overall skin health. The women consuming collagen supplements also showed higher levels of procollagen I, elastin, and fibrillin biosynthesis in the skin, which give youthful, fresh-looking skin.
Your diet is also important regarding how effective collagen supplements will be for you. Sometimes for weight loss plans, people try to cut down on calories and take a diet that does not meet recommended portions of protein in their diet, which causes dull and dry skin.
People who are not consuming the recommended amount of protein through diet might see a more significant difference after taking collagen supplements than those who are already consuming a healthy protein-rich diet. Similarly, people consuming unhealthy junk food regularly might also find that collagen supplements are not as effective even after consuming them for several months. Hence for best results, collagen supplements must only be used as an add-on to a healthy diet.
What is the Recommended Daily Dosage of Collagen?
The recommended dosage for young adults is 2.5 to 5 g per day, but for middle-aged ad older adults wishing to witness antiaging results, 10g per day is recommended.
How Long Does it Take for Collagen Supplements to Work?
Most dermatologists believe that taking collagen supplements doesn’t give you overnight results. Still, you will have to take it consistently for at least 8 to 12 weeks before seeing any significant difference. Get to know how long does it take for collagen supplements to work?
Collagen Supplements come in different forms, like collagen powder, pills, and even gummies. I am interested in knowing what the best form of collagen supplement is. So let’s explore these.
Collagen Powder vs Pills
It doesn’t make much of a difference in what form you are consuming the collagen as long as you take the optimum dosage and the formula has minimum sugar and added preservatives. You are consuming and taking vitamin c along with it to help it work on your skin better.
Consuming: Collagen powder can be flavored or unflavored to be consumed in any hot drink, that could be water, tea, or coffee, or it can even be added to the cooking and baking recipes of anything from soups to cakes and cookies. Consuming collagen powder is much easier and more fun than swallowing big chunky pills.
Source: Powders are typically made from animal-extracted collagen, while pills are filled with procollagen nutrients, mostly plant-extracted cellulose; however, there is no hard and fast rule about it. The source is important as collagen extracted from fish has 1.5 times higher bioavailability than any other animal.
Dosage: Collagen powder claims to have a lot higher dosage in comparison to pills
Collagen Sheet Mask Benefits
Honestly, I was a little suspicious about these masks after all, how applying this mask once for a few minutes can do what capsules or powder take weeks to do, making a face more plump, wrinkle-free, and younger. But I have noticed that applying an egg white homemade face mask does help me in skin tightening temporarily, giving my face a facelift for a few days, so why not give the collagen sheet mask a chance? I researched them and found the following information for you.
The collagen sheet masks are pieces of clothing infused with saturated hydrolyzed collagen. Collagen is a macromolecule in our body that is made by fibroblast cells in connective tissues in our body. While skin is made up of these macromolecules, it is difficult for macromolecules to be absorbed into the skin directly. While egg white has many amino acids, one of them is proline; a building block of collagen and much smaller in size than collagen itself, so it is easily absorbed into the skin and helps to replenish the skin.
It is more likely that the temporary improvement people experience after applying a collagen sheet mask is due to the hydration and moisturization from the mask. Additionally, there is always some hyaluronic acid HCA in these masks, which is also great for the skin. Still, I believe you are better off with retinol, HCA, and Vitamin C serums for topical application. The collagen sheet masks look like a hoax to me.
Collagen Side Effects
While the research on the supplements is scarce, and they are not tested for safety, there are no reported side effects of collagen. Some people allergic to the source of collagen may experience an allergic reaction to the product itself. There are individual reports of problems related to gastrointestinal symptoms, like stomach aches from indigestion, heartburn, headache, dizziness, or rash after consuming collagen orally. Pregnant women and lactating women should avoid them.