Any time an ingredient is said to make skin look younger, it’s going to get attention. Such is the case with collagen supplements.
Spiking your fresh juice or smoothie with collagen powder or drinking a cup of bone broth are the latest list-toppers on keeping skin healthy and youthful. But do they really work?
The reported benefits of consuming collagen seem too good to pass up. Before you go spending a decent chunk of your hard-earned cash on a jar of the stuff, let’s take a look at how collagen works in the body and if collagen supplements provide those same benefits.
What is Collagen, Anyway?
Collagen is the primary structural protein in our bodies, found in skin, bones, and connective tissue. Its job is to hold the body together, providing strength and structure. Around the age of 40, the body begins to produce less collagen, and existing collagen breaks down due to things like sun damage and natural aging. This collagen loss and breakdown causes sagging and wrinkling of the skin.
Collagen can be injected into areas of the face to give a fuller, smoother look. If going under the needle in the name of wrinkle reduction sounds extreme, there are easier ways to get ahold of collagen.
To get collagen back into your body, it comes from animal sources. It’s essentially Jell-O (gelatin) without all the neon colors and flavors. It’s typically sourced from animal bones, hooves, and other meat industry byproducts. So, vegans, this is not for you. Fortunately, for vegans, certain natural ingredients in skincare support collagen, like rosehip oil and avocado oils. Also, making sure you eat enough vitamin C daily also helps support your body’s natural collagen production.
Drinkable Sources of Collagen
Drinking collagen is a big deal right now. Certain experts feel that collagen supplementation can give back some of what’s lost and make skin look younger. And science may back this up. A 2014 study on a hydrolyzed collagen peptide (Verisol) showed a 20% reduction in eye wrinkles and a 65% increase in collagen production.
Pretty impressive. But you are probably more interested in those readily available collagen supplement powders easily found in online wellness shops and your local health food store. These supplements are easy to use. Simply add to your daily smoothie, coffee, or tea.
I tried a collagen peptide powder from Whole Foods called Vital Proteins. First off, this stuff isn’t cheap. A large jar (and large seemed to be the only size available) is right around $40. As advertised, the powder has absolutely zero taste and no grit. I whipped up a latte with espresso, ghee, milk, and the collagen.
There is another popular way to drink collagen. Bone broth. Yep, just like it sounds. Broth made from bones. People use beef, chicken, and even fish bones to create this stuff. Fish and oysters are two foods that support collagen production. Keep that in mind for your next visit to the shore.
I bought a pre-made organic bone broth to diminish the ick factor a bit. Is it just me, or is there something super gross about boiling bones? In my experience, drinking the broth wasn’t much better than the thought of making it. If you go the bone broth route, my advice is to chug it down while it’s hot because it doesn’t get better as it cools. Or use it in your cooking and avoid the whole cup o’ broth scene entirely.
Do Collagen Supplements Actually Work?
Ok, now for the results. I will admit, I didn’t see the skin firming action I’d hoped for. Maybe I need to use the supplement longer to reduce wrinkles and give skin back some springiness, but for now I have noticed that my skin feels a bit less dry. Not a bad thing and maybe the first step to a collagen-boosted face.
If you feel like taking the collagen plunge, there is little risk in giving it a try. Although, people with sensitive digestive systems may experience discomfort. It’s always best to discuss with your primary care physician before adding any dietary supplements to your regimen.
3 Collagen Boosting Beauty Products
A beauty-full ingredient rich supplement with probiotics, antioxidants, and vitamin-rich fruits. Add to any drink you prefer.
Not an actual collagen supplement, but the powerful ingredients in this powder help to support collagen production. I do see visible results on my skin with Beauty Dust, and they are almost instant. Love it!
A powerful rosehip oil blend high in antioxidants to moisturize and protect the skin, and boost collagen production. Rosehip oil is also great for reducing the appearance of dark spots and evening out skin tone. This beauty includes sea buckthorn oil for a happy glow.
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