Can Collagen Supplements Transform Your Skin? Experts Weigh In
Collagen supplements have garnered significant attention in recent years for their purported ability to transform the skin, promising a more youthful and radiant complexion. But do these supplements actually help transform your skin? To delve into this topic, we consulted a panel of experts to provide their insights on the efficacy of collagen supplements for skin transformation.
Collagen is a protein that serves as a structural component in our skin, providing strength, elasticity, and firmness. As we age, the production of collagen naturally declines, leading to the development of wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. Collagen supplements, typically derived from bovine, porcine, or marine sources, are considered to be an optimum solution to replenish and boost the body's collagen levels.
We spoke to dermatologists, registered dietitians, and cosmetic scientists to gather their perspectives on collagen supplements. Overall, the experts agreed that collagen supplements really do have the potential to provide ample benefits for the skin, hair, and overall gut health. However, all of this cannot be achieved without a healthy diet.
When collagen peptide is ingested, it is partially digested into amino acids and absorbed into our body. The amino acids can then be used as raw materials in collagen synthesis. When collagen peptide is ingested, hydroxyproline peptides such as Pro-Hyp or Hyp-Gly appear in the blood. This indicates that collagen peptide is not completely digested to free amino acids, but is digested partly into small peptides, which can be detected in the blood. These hydroxyproline peptides stimulate cells in the skin, joints, and bones, and cell activation/suppression and/or growth is affected, thus leading to collagen synthesis or other cellular responses.
In the human body, collagen comprises about 60% of cartilage, a very firm tissue that surrounds bones and cushions them from the shock of high-impact movements; Hence, a breakdown in collagen could potentially lead to a loss of cartilage and joint problems.
Registered dietitians emphasize that maintaining a well-balanced diet is vital for supporting collagen production naturally. Foods rich in certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, zinc, and copper, play a crucial role in collagen synthesis. Citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, seafood, and nuts are excellent dietary sources of these nutrients and can contribute to healthier skin. Therefore, incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods into your diet is essential for supporting overall skin health.
Cosmetic scientists point out that the molecular structure of collagen is quite large, making it challenging for the body to absorb intact collagen molecules through oral supplementation. Some collagen supplements are processed using hydrolysis, which breaks down collagen into smaller peptides. These peptides are believed to be more easily absorbed by the body and these are exactly the collagen supplements that people should opt for.
Experts have noted an improvement in their skin’s hydration, reduced joint pain, and stronger nails and hair. However, these effects can vary greatly among individuals, and the results are also owed to having a healthy diet and a fulfilling exercise regimen.
When considering collagen supplements, it's crucial to choose reputable brands that prioritize quality and transparency. INJA Wellness is a brand that offers hydrolyzed marine collagen supplements known for its potential skin benefits. Marine collagen, derived from the scales of fish, tends to have smaller peptide sizes, potentially aiding absorption. INJA Wellness marine collagen products are carefully formulated to support collagen synthesis and promote skin rejuvenation.