Do Collagen Supplements Work to Improve My Skin?
If you’ve been adding collagen powder to your morning coffee, you know it can help you feel more satiated throughout the day. But does ingesting a collagen supplement have added benefits for your skin health too?
Collagen is a hard-working protein our bodies need to survive and thrive, and it makes up the bulk of our skin. As we age, starting in or 20’s our bodies begin producing less collagen. The result? Sagging skin and fine lines.
To understand how oral or topical collagen supplementation could help our skin, first we need to understand how a protein functions within our bodies. Let me help break it down for you, starting on the molecular level.
Collagen is a protein made of molecules known as amino acids. Small clusters of amino acids are called peptides. Peptides are responsible for regulating a variety of cell functions, including metabolism, digestion, respiration and immune response. Peptides aid in cell communication to perform these functions. Your body knits together amino acids into peptides and then all of the different proteins it needs to survive and thrive!
When you consume protein – no matter the source – it has to be broken down into its smaller parts (amino acids) in order to be put to work throughout your body. By the time a protein has been broken down to circulate throughout your body, 90 percent of it has been broken down into peptides – no version of the original collagen ‘product’ is making its way through your bloodstream.
While some studies show that collagen supplementation can help keep your skin plump and may reduce wrinkles, it’s important to understand that our bodies do not recognize the source of the beneficial amino acids and peptides. So, whether you’re ingesting a collagen supplement or a whey protein or eating a chicken breast or a steak, any kind of collagen is beneficial for the skin.
Therefore, my recommendation is to eat a diet full of a variety of fresh foods and supplement if you desire with oral collagen or with topical creams, to maximize the effects of beneficial peptides for your skin.
For topical creams, the protein components must be absorbed to be effective. We know that the smaller peptides are absorbed into the skin readily. These can then be used by the skin cells for collagen and other important proteins to keep your skin healthy and young appearing.
Looking for a cream with scientifically proven peptides? One of my favorites is Skin Better Daily Treatment Cream which uses InterFuse™ technology to deliver a potent blend of messenger peptides specifically for the skin-related collagen.