Exactly What You Need to Know About Collagen and Your Skin
The first signs of ageing to show up on our skin can be confronting. Skin that was once vibrant, elastic (and managed to bounce back after days of heavy makeup), may slowly start to appear dull and dry.
Whilst steps in our skincare routines like moisturising and applying serums are all proactive (and fun) ways to help ward-off signs of ageing, it's important to ensure you have a wider biological understanding of just what's happening to your skin over time.
Collagen (a protein our body produces naturally), is such a integral element that determines the way our skin looks, and is a massive factor in the ageing process. Unfortunately, as we get older our bodies start to produce less of it, increasing our susceptibility to wrinkles and lines. But fear not — just because our bodies are producing less of it, doesn't mean there aren't extra things we can be doing to help support its production.
So, to get a greater understanding on just how important collagen is to skin, we asked a member from the Swisse Science Team to explain its role in our body.
POPSUGAR: What exactly is collagen?
SWISSE: Collagen is a protein that is naturally found in our body. It is everywhere — in our connective tissues such as bones, joints, tendons, cartilage, as well as muscle, blood vessels, and is a main component of the skin. It is responsible for skin strength and elasticity, and its decline leads to wrinkles that accompany ageing and, collagen plays an important role in the ageing process.
PS: How does collagen work?
S: Your body is made up of small proteins called amino acids that act as building blocks to form new tissue and muscles as you grow. Collagen breaks down into specific types of building blocks whose main role is to help keep your connective tissue strong and maintain good skin structure.
After you eat a meal rich in collagen, your body will digest the meal and slowly break down the collagen into smaller collagen peptides which can be used around the body.
PS: How do I know which are the key types of collagen?
S: With a total of 28 different types of collagen found so far, but the majority of our bodies natural collagen is type 1 and 3.
Type 1 collagen makes up 80 percent and Type 3 collagen 15 percent of the dermal collagen found in young skin, whereas with age, there is a decrease in collagen Type 1 and an increase in collagen Type 3.
PS: When and why might someone choose to start taking collagen?
S: The ageing process occurs mainly through oxidation of the skin, causing a decrease in collagen production — for additional support try including a collagen-based product in your daily routine.
PS: What can I include in my diet that'll further support the benefits of taking a Collagen supplement?
S: Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) acts as an electron donor for eight enzymes including collagen hydroxylation. In cells deprived of ascorbic acid, this can affect the process of pro-collagen formation (precursor to collagen). Therefore, it is always preferred to consume a nutritious and balanced diet, abundant with fresh fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water.
PS: Is there a difference between taking liquid or tablet collagen supplement?
S: There is no difference, as the capsules or tablets are filled with hydrolysed collagen powder. The choice between liquid or capsule comes down to personal preferences.
Swisse Beauty Collagen Renew Powder ($29.99)
PS: What can collagen supplements be beneficial for?
S: Collagen is the most abundant protein found in humans, it has great tensile strength, and is the main component of cartilage, ligaments, bone and teeth. It can help support collagen production, skin elasticity and maintain healthy glowing skin.
PS: How long does it generally take to notice the changes collagen will make to my body?
S: We would like to kindly advise we can appreciate everybody is different, and that there are many factors which can influence how supplements work in the body. These can include pharmaceutical medications, underlying health conditions, hormonal balances, diet, exercise and genetics.
The time frame of efficacy also depends largely on variable influencing factors. Some factors that may affect the efficacy time frame for supplementation can include absorbability, deficiency, administration, indication, prior and current state of health and supplement suitability.
We always recommend consulting your primary healthcare practitioner when considering changes to your supplementary routine, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking pharmaceutical medication. Your General Practitioner (GP), Naturopath or Nutritionist may be able to provide further information on individual suitability and implement a more tailored health plan.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.
This content originally appeared on Popsugar Australia here.