Let’s start by getting one popular misconception cleared up about collagen…..you cannot increase collagen in your body by applying collagen creams to your face!
Collagen creams do not work. Collagen is too large a molecule to penetrate the skin. Fortunately there are many ways to increase collagen production with topical products as well as in-clinic skin treatments and I will be discussing these in detail in another blog. For now we are discussing the stimulation of collagen production in our body with supplementation of hydrolized collagen powder. Nutrition is a key factor influencing skin health and consequently its appearance. Collagen peptides have been shown in clinical studies to improve skin barrier function and to induce the synthesis of collagen.(1)(2)(3)
Collagen comes from the Greek word “glue” and that is helpful when thinking of the role collagen plays in our body. In the skeleton, tendons, muscles and skin, collagen is the protein that binds the tissues together and helps your tissues maintain shape and integrity. Think of the analogy of “Atlas holding up the world” and so is the comparison of collagen holding together your skin. The good news is that your body produces collagen on a regular basis but the bad news is that it slows down with age. Other lifestyle habits can bring collagen production to a screeching halt including smoking, sun exposure and poor diet.
Why hydrolized collagen? Collagen needs to be broken down by your digestive system before it can be absorbed. Hydrolized collagen has already been broken down into smaller fragments and these shorter chain collagen peptides are easier for our bodies to absorb. The peptides in collagen, when digested are quickly drawn to cells called fibroblasts and osteoblasts that synthezize pro-collagen production in the human body. Pro-collagen is then converted with the action of Vitamin C to collagen for our body to use. This is why vitamin C is also big stimulator of collagen production.
Hydrolized collagen is flavourless, odourless and easily absorbed in water. There are many collagen supplements available and I recommend only collagen that comes from sources that are bovine grass-fed, free of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, non-GMO, no added hormones, no antibiotics, and no binders, fillers or additives.
Benefits of collagen include……
1. Keeps skin healthy, firmer and looking younger
2. Helps strengthen fingernails and improve hair quality
3. AIDS in digestive health
4. Reduces inflammation
5. Boosts metabolism
6. Suppresses appetite
7. Keeps joints healthy
8. Helps build and repair muscle
My favourite skin-boosting collagen cocktail…
Fresh pressed carrots (beta-carotene)
Fresh pressed beets(vitamin C)
Fresh pressed guava or papaya or apple (vitamin C)
1 scoop hydrolized collagen powder
…and hello beautiful skin!
Carmen Edwards BASc., FLT
Skin RNI, Clinic Brand Partner Skin Health Canada
1. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2015 Dec;14(4):291-301. Effect of oral collagen supplementation on skin moisture and dermal collagen network.
2. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-9. Oral intake of bio active collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis
3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 2009 Tanaka, M. “Effects of collagen peptide ingestion on UV-B induced skin damage.