Looking to boost the health of your skin? Adding a collagen supplement into your daily routine may do just the trick.Collagen, a widely touted supplement, especially in the cosmetic world, is a protein that is naturally made in the body. It’s also found in certain foods such as poultry, eggs, fish, and other seafood products.From making skin and hair more youthful, to improving workout performance, and nourishing the gut lining, collagen’s list of health claims is quite long.Taking a collagen supplement may be able to provide us with more collagen than we could get from our diets, leading to improved health benefits such as boosted skin health.Continue reading this article to learn more about the benefits of collagen for skin.
What is collagen’s role in the body?Collagen is the most abundant structural protein found in the human body.It is mainly found in connective tissue in tendons, ligaments, muscles, and skin. It’s also found in bones, teeth, and blood vessels. Due to collagen’s cross-linked structure, it provides strength and structure to the tissues it is found in (1).In addition to supporting strength and structure, collagen helps us move, bend, and stretch. It can also provide elasticity to our skin, and may help make our hair and nails stronger and shinier.
Collagen’s role in skin healthWhen it comes to our skin, collagen is what keeps skin from sagging and wrinkling, giving it a plump and youthful appearance.As we age, our body’s production of collagen slows down. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle, appearing less firm and bouncy. Therefore, supplements are often helpful to make up for this natural decline in collagen.Although there are few studies on how collagen may boost skin health, some research suggests that supplementing with collagen results in improved skin appearance and elasticity (2, 3).Studies also show that supplementation with collagen can improve the hydration and moisture of skin as well. After adding collagen to a daily supplement routine, women experienced smoother, more hydrated skin (2).Additionally, collagen can help promote and increase other proteins in the body that benefit skin health, including elastin and fibrillin.Some say that collagen supplements can reduce or prevent acne, too, however, more studies need to be done to further support these claims.
Why we lose collagen as we ageAs we age, our body produces less collagen – and of lesser quality, too (12).In fact, as early as our mid-20s, collagen production may begin to decline.Because of this, many people are using collagen protein powder as part of an anti-aging beauty routine.What’s more, some people may lose collagen production more rapidly than others depending on their lifestyle habits. Smoking, drinking alcohol, lack of exercise, and a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars, can impair the body’s collagen production..Luckily, there are healthy habits that we can adapt to improve our collagen production, even as we age. For example, eating a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods, consuming protein, and meeting daily hydration needs, are just a few habits that can improve our body’s ability to produce collagen.
What happens when we lose collagen productionRecall the importance of collagen in the body. It is an essential part of connective tissues. Therefore, the loss of collagen production can lead to the skin appearing less elastic and youthful.With less collagen production, the skin loses thickness and there is typically an increase in wrinkle formation.Plus, because the skin is weaker with less collagen, it can also be more susceptible to damage from both our diets and the environment.
Supplementing with collagenBecause we lose collagen as we age, many people use collagen supplements as part of an anti-aging beauty regimen.Research continues to suggest that collagen supplements can be helpful, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, to improve skin health.Luckily, collagen supplements are super easy to add to foods and drinks.Collagen powder doesn’t change the texture or taste of whatever you add it to, unlike many other supplements. It can be added to cold or hot drinks, soups or stews, smoothies, and even baked goods.If you’re wondering how much collagen you should be taking to notice a benefit, understand first and foremost that consistency is key.You can likely see results after a few weeks of taking 10-20 grams of collagen daily.
Collagen skin-health smoothie recipeThe following smoothie recipe is loaded with superfood ingredients that will support clear, vibrant, and youthful skin.In addition to the collagen in this tasty smoothie, the anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids from the chia seeds will help moisturize the skin.What’s more, the vitamin C-rich strawberries and mangos will help support the body’s natural collagen production. Because, after all, vitamin C is a necessary precursor for collagen in the body, meaning vitamin C is needed for collagen to be made.Ingredients:
- 2 scoops of Naked Collagen
- ¼ cup frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup frozen mango
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2-3 ice cubes