Within the array of skincare ingredients that promise firmer, more youthful skin, collagen can be purchased in multiple forms. In addition to appearing in formulas for skin moisturizers and serums, some spas offer collagen facials. Medical grade collagen can be injected under the skin by a licensed practitioner. Those who prefer an internal, but less invasive approach may add collagen powder to a beverage or take collagen supplement capsules. There are even collagen fruit chews and gummies. Why does there seem to be a great obsession over collagen?
What Is Collagen?
A protein found in the body's bones, skin, and connective tissues, collagen supplementation offers a wealth of benefits that extend beyond the beauty industry. Some people who take collagen supplements have experienced a decrease in joint pain and a reduction in inflammation. Collagen also has been shown to increase hydration and elasticity in the skin and even prevent and reduce the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles. The body’s production of collagen appears to become less efficient after age 30. Fortunately, the growing evidence on the effectiveness of collagen supplementation is good news for the skin and health industries and for consumers as well. In fact, positive research regarding collagen has played a significant role in triggering the recent mainstream interest in the health benefits of drinking bone broth.
Choosing a Collagen Supplement
There are 28 different types of collagen supplements available. When shopping for a collagen supplement one of the first descriptors people may notice is that some products come from land animals while others come from fish. Both varieties may perform well, depending on the quality of the product. Therefore, consumers do not necessarily need to stress themselves at this point in the decision-making process unless they have a preference or dietary restriction. There is currently no vegan source of collagen supplementation, although scientists are working on identifying a plant-based product that performs similarly. Many products mention Types 1, 2, and 3. Again, there are products made from each of the three types that yield results. Therefore, any of the three, or a combination thereof, may work. People who are new to using collagen supplements should start with hydrolyzed products, which have enzymes added to break down the collagen into a form that is easier to digest. It is also worth noting that collagen that is sourced from China is inexpensive but also lower in quality. While different product labels may indicate the collagen may have been sourced from different parts of the animal, all supplements perform the same in the sense that the product will be broken down by the body into amino acids and used to replenish collagen in parts of that do not necessarily correspond to the parts of the animal from which the collagen was originally taken. Therefore, a supplement that was sourced from animal bones can be absorbed and used by the body to replenish collagen in the skin.
Quality and Proven Results Are Key
While studies and testimonials have produced some positive findings on collagen, researchers do not unanimously agree that all forms of collagen supplementation are effective in all areas. Overall, consumers should look for 100% natural products that are well-reviewed and are produced by reputable manufacturers.