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Are Collagen Supplements Really Worth It?



Are Collagen Supplements Really Worth It?

In our quest to remain youthful, the appearance of our skin is high up there in our considerations. We might have all sorts of lotions and potions adorning our bathroom shelves and dressing tables that promise to turn back the years – some more successfully than others. 

But what about improving the texture, tone and plumpness of our skin from the inside? Could we consume something that comes with all the same promises as the products we lather on each day?

Collagen supplements are one such product – but do they work?

What is collagen?

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the human body and it’s responsible for many biological processes, including the suppleness of our skin. It acts as a ‘biological scaffold’ just underneath the skin, where it forms a criss-cross shaped platform for the skin to sit on.

When we’re young, our collagen reserves are plentiful, hence why our skin is youthful and plump. As we approach our mid 20s (yes, that young!) we begin to gradually lose our natural collagen stores. This results in the fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and sagging that we might notice in our skin as we move through our 30s, 40s and beyond. 

For this reason, topping up our collagen levels with supplements could be beneficial. 

What are collagen supplements?

Since collagen is a protein, it’s made up of long chains of amino acids. There are three types of collagen – type I, II, and III. Type I is the most abundant, and is the form of collagen found in the skin. Therefore, most collagen supplements contain type I collagen. 

The majority of collagen supplements are made with animal based collagen, usually from pig or cow derivatives, or marine collagen which is made from fish derivatives. But vegan collagen supplements do exist that are made from yeast and bacteria. 

Collagen ‘boosters’ are also available that contain the micronutrients such as vitamin C and zinc that the body requires to make collagen. Consuming foods such as bone broth that is rich in natural collagen can also be beneficial as can amino acid rich foods such as tofu, beans, nuts and seeds. 

What are the skin benefits of taking collagen supplements?

Some research has found that collagen supplements can slow down the ageing process by restoring some level of plumpness, elasticity and hydration within the skin. This helps to ‘fill in’ fine lines and wrinkles, reducing their appearance, and prevent dry, sagging skin. 

Do collagen supplements work?! 

The science is in its early stages, but so far, the results have been positive. There is no absolute fix for ageing skin, but collagen supplements can support a slower ageing process.  If you’re looking for collagen supplements, make sure they’re made with hydrolysed collagen – as this is the best form for absorption into the body. Collagen supplements are available as liquids, powders and tablets, and the research suggests that the liquids have a higher absorption rate. 

As with anything, if you’re going to see results, it takes commitment – these supplements need to be taken daily, for at least nine weeks before any difference may be noticeable. Then they need to be taken continuously for the results to remain. Some people report no improvement but it all depends on your personal skin type and level of ageing. 

But if you’re curious, then why not give them a go? They could work for you! 

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