Is your skin beginning to lose its youthful radiance?
Perhaps you’ve noticed it becoming thinner and slightly craggier?
As you enter your 30s, collagen, the structural foundation of your skin, deteriorates.
This is when the telltale signs of ageing kick in.
So, if you’re considering the benefits of collagen to smooth your facial lines, join us.
As we explore one of the most celebrated proteins available.
What is Collagen?
Collagen, in essence, is the internal scaffolding deep within your dermis, serving as the structural protein.
It boasts higher concentrations in ligaments and tendons and contributes to approximately one-third of your body’s overall protein makeup.
Over the years, your body progressively produces less collagen; research (1) has found that this decline typically begins in your 20s, equating to roughly a one-percent reduction in collagen production each year.
Beyond the natural ageing process, external factors such as excessive sun exposure, smoking, and exposure to environmental pollutants can further hasten this breakdown of collagen.
There are 29 different types of collagen, as this study (2) found. The primary ones you should know about are types I, II, III, and IV:
- Type I: This type constitutes a staggering 90% of your body’s collagen and plays a pivotal role in providing structural support to your skin, connective tissues, teeth, tendons, bones, and fibrous cartilage.
- Type II: Unlike type I, type II is less densely packed and more abundant in your joints’ cushioning.
- Type III: Similar to type I, type III contributes to the structural integrity of your muscles, organs, and arteries, supporting these vital components.
- Type IV: Type IV is instrumental in filtration processes and is typically found within the layers of your skin.
These complex collagen types begin to give you some understanding of collagen’s crucial role in helping maintain the structure and function of many of your skin’s tissues.
Can you Boost Collagen Topically?
This is a common question our clients often ask; misleading marketing claims sometimes lead you to believe that topical collagen application will rejuvenate your collagen.
Regrettably, this is not the case, as these collagen molecules are too large to penetrate your skin when applied externally. However, they provide a surface-level benefit by adding moisture, resulting in plumper skin thanks to collagen’s excellent moisturising properties.
When well-moisturised, skin appears healthier and more youthful, but this effect does not come from collagen absorption.
Do Collagen Supplements Work?
When you take collagen supplements internally, your body rapidly absorbs them, and there is some evidence suggests that internal supplementation may slow down your skin’s ageing process, diminishing fine lines and plumping your skin by stimulating the natural production of collagen, elastin, and fibrillin.
A study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (3) reveals that collagen can have a substantial impact on enhancing skin health, promoting a more youthful appearance through the following three primary mechanisms:
- Enhanced Skin Elasticity: Collagen supplementation can thicken your dermal layer of the skin, leading to improved elasticity.
- Moisture Retention: It helps your skin retain moisture, resulting in a plumper and more youthful appearance while preventing premature ageing.
- Increased Collagen Density: Collagen supplements contribute to the increased density of collagen fibres within your skin.
So, are other supplements that can help give your gorgeous collagen a good plumping?
Vitamin C is a highly effective ingredient that helps to stimulate collagen production within your skin. Ascorbic acid, a potent antioxidant, not only combats sun damage but also inhibits melanin production, aiding in lightening dark spots.
In a previous post, “Vitamin C for Skin Health: Your Complete Guide,” we highlighted how vitamin A can reconstruct your skin’s DNA at a cellular level and foster the creation of protective barriers for your skin.
Suppose you’re keen to begin using vitamin C in your skincare routine. In that case, we recommend our C+ Ascorbic Acid skin shot, which enhances your skin’s resilience, restoring it to its youthful, radiant state.
You can also bolster your skin’s collagen production by incorporating vitamin A into your skincare routine. Vitamin A has been extensively researched for its ability to combat signs of ageing.
Try our A+ Retinoid Complex; when applied topically, it helps to revitalise dull, prematurely aged skin; intelligently formulated with ceramides, it helps to buffer the sometimes irritating effects of vitamin A, helping you build your skin’s foundation and make your protective barrier more resilient.
Copper peptides are a great way to support collagen production; they activate the lysyl oxidase enzyme, a critical factor in collagen maturation. These peptides can be found in our DNA age delay skin shot, which helps to strengthen more mature, dry, thin skin.
Alternatively, you can take a daily intake of 900 micrograms of copper, or you may want to consider incorporating foods like cashews, oysters, crab, sunflower seeds, and beef liver into your diet, which will help to boost your copper intake.
To conclude. The naked truth
So collagen is the crucial structural protein found deep within your skin responsible for maintaining your skin’s integrity.
Your natural collagen production decreases as you age, revealing many signs of ageing, and external factors like sun exposure and smoking can also exacerbate collagen breakdown.
The topical application of collagen is often marketed as a solution, but as you can see, the large size of collagen molecules prevents them from penetrating your skin. Instead, they provide surface-level moisturisation, promoting a plumper appearance.
When taken internally, collagen supplements have significant benefits. Studies (4) suggest they enhance your skin elasticity, retain moisture, and increase the density of your collagen, demonstrating that internal supplementation will, infact, stimulate your body’s natural collagen, elastin, and fibrillin production.
Some great collagen-boosting ingredient supplements, like Vitamin C, A derivatives, and copper peptides, contribute to healthier, more resilient skin.
So, in conclusion, taking care of your collagen is crucial for maintaining youthful skin. While external collagen applications may not directly replenish skin collagen, they moisturise and enhance your surface appearance, making your skin look more dewy, plump and youthful.
Internal supplementation and healthy lifestyle choices, including sun protection and stress management, are pivotal in preserving natural collagen and supporting overall skin health.
1. Clinical validation of collagen for skin regeneration.
2.T. Figueres Juher, E. Basés Pérez. An overview of the beneficial effects of hydrolysed collagen intake on joint and bone health and skin ageing
3. Cannarozzo G, Fazia G, Bennardo L, et al. A New 675 nm Laser Device in the Treatment of Facial Aging: A Prospective Observational Study. Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg. 2021;39(2):118–122. doi: 10.1089/photob.2020.4908. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
4.Pu, Szu-Yu, Ya-Li Huang, Chi-Ming Pu, Yi-No Kang, Khanh Dinh Hoang, Kee-Hsin Chen, and Chiehfeng Chen. 2023. “Effects of Oral Collagen for Skin Anti-Aging: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” Nutrients 15, no. 9: 2080. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15092080