Applying anti-aging serum on a person without proper nutrition or diet can be like adding icing on a dry cake: temporarily decorative but still dry as hell and not to mention a let down waiting to happen.
For those of us who’ve realized we have to do the work internally as well as externally to protect our skin incorporating collagen supplements in our skincare regimens may not seem so far fetched.
But for those who still need convincing, here’s the run down on collagen and why it matters to your skin (hair and nails).
Collagen is a strong protein naturally produced by your body. It’s the major component of connective tissue as well as your hair, skin, and nails. In fact collagen makes up approximately 33% of the total protein in your body and accounts for roughly 75% of the dry weight of your skin.
How Collagen Works in the Body
There are at least 16 different types of collagen, but 80 to 90 percent of them belong to types 1, 2, and 3. These different types have different structures and functions.
Type 1 collagen fibrils are particularly capable of being stretched. Gram-for-gram, they are stronger than steel.
Regardless of types, collagen generally helps provide skin strength and elasticity (youthful bounce), along with replacing dead skin cells. When it comes to our joints and tendons, it also acts as the “glue” that helps to hold the body together.
Boiling it Down: Collagen has a major impact on your skin health and appearance. It helps the skin keep its youthful look through providing structural support and elasticity.
So If I Already Naturally Have Collagen Why Do I Need More?
With age, the body produces less collagen. The structural integrity of the skin declines, wrinkles form, joint cartilage weakens and scars heal slower.
Aghh! What can I do to help my body produce collagen?
There are many ways to get collagen. Three ways to get collagen are:
Soup/ Bone Broth: Bone broth is made through boiling animal bones making it very nutrient-dense. When the bones are simmering they release compounds like collagen, and amino acids proline, glycine and glutamine. You can purchase bone broth at your local grocer.
Natural Gelatin: yess! Gelatin is also made from animals bones. That’s why when you make soups or gravies they gel up while in the fridge. However, all gelatin is not quite created equal and eating Jell-O may not be the same as using natural gelatin powder due to processing and added sugars…however, my verdict is still out on this. If you find anything, let us know! You can purchase natural gelatin at your natural food shops or Whole Foods.
Collagen Supplements: you’ve probably already guessed by now that collagen supplements are made from animals bones too. However, what makes them different from broth and gelatin is that they can dissolve in hot AND cold water. The reason why is because the collagen from animal bone is further processed and broken down into fragments called hydrolyzed collagen. Since the collagen is broken down it takes less energy to dissolve it in drinks. Collagen supplement powders are great for lifestyle flexibility and adding it to drinks (cold and hot) on the go. You can purchase collagen supplements at Target, Walmart, Sephora, etc. they’re popping up everywhere.
Benefits of Adding Collagen to Your Diet
Youthful, radiant skin: In these two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, researchers found 8 weeks of collagen peptide supplementation lead to a 12% increase in skin moisture, a 9% increase in collagen density, and a 31.2% reduction in collagen fragmentation when compared to the placebo group. (via Dr. KellyAnn)
Outside of skin benefits, adding collagen can help with hair, nail, gut and joint health. After all, collagen is about 33% of the protein in your body.
I hope this helps you with your everyday skincare routine and your journey to realizing skincare is just as much what we put in our body as what we put on it.
*Some of you may be wondering about moisturizers that have collagen protein in them. I’m still doing more research but I’m not quite sure collagen can be absorbed topically due its large size.