Collagen supplements have been around for quite a while. They mean different things to different people. Some called the collagen supplement a miracle cure for wrinkles to merely an overrated vitamin and everything in between. No matter what you think of the collagen supplement, one indisputable fact is that they do help, but it takes a little bit of patience.
Before we delve into the topic at hand, you have to understand some basic facts about collagen supplements. What they do, and their benefits for the skin. Now, let’s dig a little deeper.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a vital protein in the body. It acts as structural support and can be found abundantly in the skin, cartilage, ligaments, as well as other parts of the body.
So far, up to 28 different types of collagen have been identified in the human body. The ones of particular interest when it comes to skincare are type I and type III collagen, which is found abundantly in the skin and bones.
What forms do these supplements come in?
Collagen is a protein, and this means it is a bunch of amino acids linked together by chemical bonds. These bonds break down into amino acids during the process of digestion.
Collagen supplements come as tablets, capsules, or powders. The most effective type depends on why exactly you are taking collagen. If you are using collagen supplements for the maintenance of healthy-looking skin, most experts advise using a form of collagen called hydrolyzed collagen.
With that said, collagen supplements come in three primary forms, which represent the collagen molecule at different levels of digestion.
These three forms are:
- Hydrolyzed collagen: In this form, the collagen has been completely broken down into the individual amino acids and is ready for direct absorption by the body. Most supplements are consumed in this form.
- Gelatin: This is a partially broken-down form of collagen which still contains some short peptide chains.
- Raw collagen: As the name suggests, this is collagen in its most unprocessed form. The entire collagen protein remains in its undenatured form.
Benefits of collagen supplements to your skin?
As we said, collagen acts as structural support for various tissues in the body. In the skin, it serves as the primary protein and is responsible for skin elasticity and hydration. This means that the supplement helps keep the skin wrinkle-free and looking hydrated.
As we age, our bodies produce collagen at a lower rate. This helps explain why we notice wrinkles and drier skin as we get older.
Collagen supplements help slow down this process. They act by adding the essential amino acids which our bodies need for collagen production, helping our skin look healthy, wrinkle-free, and hydrated even as we get older.
Do collagen supplements work?
A lot of research has been put in concerning the efficacy of collagen supplements in maintaining healthy and ageless looking skin.
In a study placed in the Journal of Medical Nutrition and Nutraceuticals, several women took part in a controlled experiment to determine the efficacy of collagen supplements. They drank a mixture of several vitamins, minerals, hyaluronic acid, and hydrolyzed collagen.
According to the study, women who drank the mixture noticed a significant reduction in the depth of their wrinkles in contrast to that of the control group (those who consumed only a placebo). Their skin hydration and elasticity were also noticed to have improved significantly, leaving them with healthier, smoother skin.
Another similar study was published in the Journal of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, which looked at the benefits of collagen supplements on women’s skin.
In this study, the women took either a collagen supplement or a placebo for eight weeks. After the eight weeks were up, it was observed that the women who took the collagen supplements had improved skin elasticity and better-hydrated skin than those who took the placebo.
With this, it is very safe to say collagen supplements work. However, this will take some time.
What duration of time does it take for the collagen supplements to work?
So now for the million-dollar question. How long does it take for these supplements to work?
From various studies done, the consensus is that with proper skin hygiene and care, you may begin to notice skin improvement after as little as four weeks of daily supplementation.
For obviously visible changes, you may have to take the supplements for eight to twelve weeks, while maintaining a healthy diet, proper skin care, and staying well hydrated.
The most important thing is to be strict and dedicated to your routine. Take care of your overall health, and you should start seeing and feeling improvements within one or two months.
What type of foods are high in collagen?
Even if you are taking collagen supplements, there are several other natural sources of collagen which can help boost the level of collagen production by your body.
A few examples are:
- Bone broth
- Fruits (especially citrus fruits, berries, and tropical fruits)
- Bell peppers
- Egg whites
- Leafy greens
What other things can you do to maintain healthy and wrinkle-free skin?
There are several ways you can help your body maintain hydrated and wrinkle-free skin. They include:
- do well to stay hydrated and make sure you take plenty of fluids.
- Eat healthy and nourishing meals that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids.
- Make sure you take the recommended daily dose of vitamin C because it is essential for collagen production.
- Don’t skip on sunscreen. Using body creams with SPF 30 and above are great for preventing wrinkles.
- Moisturize regularly to help your skin trap moisture and stay hydrated.
- Don’t smoke. Nicotine has adverse effects on collagen production and general skin health. These effects are well documented and have been known for a long time.
Collagen supplements are a great way to give your skin an ageless and beautiful appearance. They reduce wrinkles, hydrate the skin, and help your skin look better, feel softer, smoother, and healthier within months.
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