Collagen supplements are an essential building block in all your connective tissues – including your bones, ligaments, cartilage, and skin. Collagen is naturally formed in your body, but you may also supplement it with extra collagen in the form of capsules or liquids or by consuming collagen-rich foods.
But what can a collagen supplement do for your skin?
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the studies out there on collagen supplements, where to purchase collagen supplements, and if there are any side effects associated with the routine use of collagen supplements.
Benefits of Collagen Supplements for Skin Care
In a 2014 3-arm trial, participants took a hydrolyzed collagen supplement for 130 days and assessed skin firmness, hydration and wrinkle depth before and after the supplementation.
After treatment, 82% of the hydration arm of the study had substantial improvements in skin hydration, approximately 25% of the participants in the wrinkle arm had improvements in class 2 and 3 wrinkles, and 37% of the participants in the skin firmness arm had improvements in skin firmness after taking the collagen supplement.
A 2011 study in rats fed a collagen diet or control casein diet every day for four weeks and then compared the amount of collagen content in the skin. At the end of the experiment, the collagen fed to rats had a substantial increase in the amount of collagen 1 & 4 relative to the control casein diet in rats.
Another animal model research gave rats diets of either collagen-based food or control food, and then subjected rats to UV rays for 14 weeks. After the study, rats eating collagen-based foods displayed substantially less wrinkle formation, thickened skin, or water loss from exposure compared to control rats.
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These studies indicate that there could be some important benefits to the skin in terms of:
- Reduced wrinkle formation
- Hydration enhancement
- Firmness of the skin
- UV defence from taking hydrolyzed collagen supplements on a regular basis.
Other Potential Benefits of Collagen Supplements
Skin benefits may not be the only thing that collagen supplements have to offer, as many other possible health benefits may come with collagen supplementation.
Taking collagen supplements regularly can provide additional health benefits by:
Collagen Supplements Side Effects
Collagen is a naturally occurring tissue building block and is commonly present in food products such as beef, bone broth, and animal-based foods.
In most cases, the consumption of extra collagen in the form of a supplement does not have any side effects. However, if there is an allergy to meat, fish, or eggs, you may want to stay away from collagen supplements as they may be present.
Rarely, there may be a persistent bad taste in your mouth or gastrointestinal discomfort with the use of collagen supplements.
Do Collagen Supplements Work?
100% yes – but it also depends on how much you take every day, that you take it every day and that you take the right form of collagen. Not all collagen powder is made to be equal or is original.
When the collagen stocks in the body are drained, the skin loses some plumpness and structure, and fine lines and wrinkles appear. Collagen supplements facilitate the regeneration of the skin, muscles, bones and joint cells.
When almost nothing worked, I decided to take advice from the internet and started taking 20g of collagen every day for its regenerative and healing benefits. And despite hating the taste of it, I’ve been sticking to it every day. After around 3-4 weeks, I began to note a dramatic change—my blister-turned scabs were starting to disappear. But the variations I found were not only on my arms but on my face and my hair. My eyelashes, brows, and hair grew so much thicker, and my skin, once painfully dry, didn’t need as much topical care as it used to be.
Are Collagen Supplements Safe?
Collagen supplements are usually safe, easy to use and certainly worth trying for their potential benefits.
Collagen in food is broken down by digestive enzymes into individual amino acids and peptides while collagen supplements have already been broken down or hydrolyzed, it is therefore assumed to be absorbed more efficiently than collagen in foods.
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But even if collagen supplements are safe, I do not recommend taking an overdose or taking 2 different collagen supplements at the same time.
Where to Find Collagen Supplements?
Hydrolyzed collagen supplements can be sold in most drug stores or vitamin stores. You’ll want to make sure you’re purchasing your supplements from a reliable seller to make sure you’re getting a high-quality product.