Collagen's role in the body
Collagen is a protein that is essential for the health of your bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen prevents our skin from sagging and gives us a lush, young appearance. Collagen is produced naturally by your body, but it decreases as you get older.
Collagen begins to deteriorate around our mid-twenties. In the first five years after menopause, women can lose up to 30% of their collagen production. Collagen is lost as we age; thus many people use collagen supplements as part of their anti-aging cosmetic routine.
Do collagen supplements work?
Collagen peptide powders, capsules, and liquid are commonly sold as supplements. However, it is unclear whether collagen supplements are beneficial to us.
The problem is that stomach acids break down much of what we eat and prevent it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. It's uncertain whether eaten collagen is absorbed or completely broken down in the stomach. To determine the long-term effects of this oral supplement, we still need an objective, large-scale study focusing on collagen.
What about collagen creams?
Retinol and tretinoin are topical therapies that have been clinically proven to increase collagen production. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, can also help to repair the inflammation that damages your skin's collagen.
Retinol or vitamin C skincare treatments are more likely to provide benefits than collagen-containing creams.
Protecting your natural collagen for healthy skin
Collagen is broken down by ultraviolet light from the sun, thus it's critical to use sunscreen every day. Antioxidant-rich diets, including
fruits and vegetables, can also help to prevent collagen degradation.