The cosmetic industry has generated a multi-billion dollar market based on the promise of recreating youthful-looking skin with fewer wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. And millions of women and men buy into this promise, spending hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars every year on creams, laser or microdermabrasion treatments and more drastic procedures like Botox injections or plastic surgery.
But what if you could get similar results at a fraction of the cost — just by taking a supplement? Recent studies shows that it’s possible to regain the appearance of more youthful, radiant skin just by taking a readily available collagen supplement. So do the claims hold up?
The Collagen Connection
Collagen is a sponge-like framework upon which skin is built. Because its primary role is to support the structure of skin, collagen is what makes the skin look taut and youthful. Inside this framework exist chambers that are occupied by substances called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which—along with fat—also keep the framework plumped up.
Experts estimate that up to 80% of adults are deficient in an essential mineral that is responsible for over 600 vital metabolic reactions throughout your body.
So I’m going to give you some easy tips for identifying a deficiency, and tell you about the safe, natural and inexpensive way to increase your levels of this nutrient to help you avoid unnecessary health issues.
Fibroblasts, cells that live in the skin, are constantly breaking down old collagen fibers and supplying fresh collagen and GAGs to keep the framework strong and robust.
In our younger years, this breakdown/rebuild cycle is perfectly balanced, but as the years go by the production of new collagen and GAGs starts to slow down, while the breakdown of old collagen continues at the same pace—leaving a definite imbalance in favor of the breakdown process. Overtime, wrinkles and creases become more pronounced and skin loses its firmness.
Fortunately, research shows that the breakdown/rebuild cycle can be balanced once again by giving the skin nutrients it needs, namely, Types I and III collagen.
The Most Effective Types of Collagen
There are at least 16 different types of collagen, but of the five that are most common, only two provide health benefits you can both see and feel. Here’s a mini breakdown of the five most common types:
Type I Collagen: Type I collagen is the most prevalent collagen in the body. It is the largely responsible for skin’s structural integrity and smoothness, but it also plays an important role in supporting healthy nails, hair tendons and bones.
Type II Collagen: Type II collagen is abundant in cartilage and tendons, and is great for the health and repair of cartilage.
Type III Collagen: Often found working in synergy with Collagen I, Collagen Type III supports the skin, ligaments, and internal organs.
Type IV Collagen: This type of collagen is primarily found in the basal lamina, an extracellular matrix layer secreted by epithelial cells.
Type V Collagen: Type V collagen supports cell surfaces and is a minor component in tissues containing collagen Type I.
Benefits of Collagen
The benefits of collagen seem to be endless. From smoothing skin and reducing the appearance of creases to promoting healthy skin and hair to supporting joint health, collagen is receiving accolades from all who have tried it for 4-6 weeks.
But its biggest claim to fame is by far its skin health benefits.
Unlike topical creams that contain collagen, which only penetrate the skin’s outermost layer, or epidermis, bioactive collagen peptides work from the inside out. They are significantly more effective at penetrating the deeper dermis layer of the skin to stimulate collagen production for noticeably firmer, smoother, more hydrated skin along with reduced fine lines and wrinkles.
If you’ve tried a collagen powder with successful results we’d love to hear about it. Share your experience in the comments!