What Is Collagen?
Collagen is often referred to as the body’s scaffolding, and the reason for that is because, as we mentioned above, it’s the most important structural protein in your skin. Not only is collagen made in our bodies, but it can also be derived from plants and animals. It’s available in topical and ingestible forms, and in the past, it was also a popular injectable (we’ll dive deeper into the different forms a little later on). As far as topicals, collagen is found most commonly in creams (aka collagen creams), but depending on your intended goal, your collagen skincare products might not be as effective as you would think or hope.
Hayag says not only do we naturally produce less collagen starting in our 20’s, but we also lose collagen with age and other factors, like sun exposure, smoking, or sugar. In other words, as we age, we lose more collagen than we make. So what’s the fix? One idea is to apply collagen to the skin with collagen skincare in an attempt to replenish it, but here’s why Graf says that doesn’t quite work: simply put, the entire collagen molecule is very, very large, and way too big to penetrate the epidermis of the skin. Click here to buy Pevonia Marine Collagen Cream.
Benefits of Collagen for Skin
According to Graf, putting collagen into your skin isn’t going to stimulate other collagen, sadly enough. However, collagen is known for having great moisturizing benefits when applied topically, so if your nightly routine consists of applying a collagen cream, it’s not a total loss. As Hayag puts it, topical collagen creams are said to improve fine lines and wrinkles by replacing the lost collagen, but in reality, the collagen mostly moisturizes it. Hayag says this can make the skin can feel softer and smoother, but as far as actually building collagen?
How to Use It
Whether it’s an ingestible or topical form of collagen skincare, Graf says you can use it any time of the day, morning or night. As a moisturizer, collagen cream can be applied either once or twice a day, according to Graf. For either form, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
As we mentioned before, collagen is also available in an oral form to improve hair, nails, and in the interest of this article, skin. Despite the claims, which range from glowing skin to improved wrinkles and skin elasticity, Hayag says the studies to back them up are limited; however, between collagen creams and collagen supplements, Hayag believes the oral version would be the most beneficial to the skin. With that said, there are things to keep in mind when selecting a product. As is the case with all supplements, oral collagen isn’t FDA-regulated, which is why it’s important to always consult your physician before making any changes to your regimen. In general, Hayag says to be wary of any products that contain animal by-products and look for supplements with collagen types I and III that comes from a cage-free, free-range, and antibiotic-free source.
So what’s the final verdict? Do you actually need to be taking a collagen supplement? The answer isn’t totally clear. According to Hayag, if you’re eating a normal balanced diet that includes protein-rich foods, like meat, eggs, dairy, and beans, oral collagen supplements likely aren’t necessary. Graf, on the other hand, says they could potentially be beneficial. “It does benefit the skin, but it also benefits other things internally, like joints, that a topical doesn’t,” Graf explains. And if you don’t need it, well, Graf says your body won’t absorb it and will excrete any over-supplementation.