Collagen creams and supplements: a ‘Fountain of Youngsters’ or an Edible Scam?

Collagen creams and supplements: a ‘Fountain of Youngsters’ or an Edible Scam?

Collagen, a protein produced naturally by the body, is a popular supplement and cosmetic ingredient that promotes skin health. Collagen products are advertised as having the ability to improve skin suppleness, minimize visible wrinkles, and boost skin blood flow.

The importance of collagen in the human body

Collagen is a protein that is essential for the formation of bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen prevents the skin from sagging and gives it a lush, young appearance. Collagen is produced naturally by the body but declines with age.

People begin to lose collagen around their mid-twenties. In the first five years after menopause, women can lose up to 30% of collagen production. Collagen vanishes as humans age, and thus, many individuals use Collagen creams and supplements as part of their anti-aging cosmetic routine.

Types of collagen

Collagen comes in 28 different varieties, but here are the four most common:

  • Type I: It is the most common and present in all connective tissue.
  • Type ll: found in joints and intervertebral discs (the shock-absorbing cushions in the spine).
  • Type III: It forms the main component of reticular fibers and is located in skin and blood vessels.
  • Type lV: It is a protein found in the kidneys, inner ear, and eye lens. 

Do collagen pills have any effect?

Collagen peptide powders, capsules, and liquid are available in the market as supplements. Do they, however, work?

Collagen supplements may or may not be beneficial to us. Much of what we eat is broken down by stomach acids, which prevent it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. It’s unclear whether ingested collagen is wholly absorbed or broken down in the stomach. To evaluate the long-term effects of this oral supplement, an objective, large-scale investigation focusing on collagen is still needed. Taking collagen is still up in the air. However, there’s probably very little damage in trying a safe collagen supplement.

Collagen creams

Retinol and tretinoin are topical therapies that have been shown to stimulate collagen production in studies. Antioxidants like vitamin C can also help to heal the inflammation that damages the skin’s collagen.

According to researchers, retinol or vitamin C skincare treatments are likely to provide more benefit than a collagen-containing cream and sold as Collagen creams

Collagen-enriched foods

Collagen can be found in foods containing gelatin, including bone broth. Cooked collagen yields gelatin, which is a protein compound. Animal connective tissues include collagen. Collagen is also present in chicken, pork, beef, and fish meals.

Because vitamin C is necessary for collagen formation, foods high in this vitamin, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and bell peppers, should be consumed regularly. More research is needed to see if eating collagen-rich foods will assist enhance collagen levels in the body, as they may not have the same effects as supplements.

After being broken down into amino acids and peptides, Collagen is the food—digestive enzymes act. Collagen in supplements, on the other hand, has already been broken down (hydrolyzed), which is why it’s supposed to be absorbed better than collagen from foods.

If one is unsure about starting a new skincare routine or utilizing anti-aging beauty products, a dermatologist can help them figure out what’s best for their skin.