Is collagen important for skin?

Collagen is a protein in plentiful natural supply in the body, and it is a major component of skin. Collagen creams and supplements are popular products which are thought to help improve the appearance of the skin as we age.

  • Collagen is a protein found in abundance, naturally, in the body.
  • Creams and supplements containing collagen are popular products.
  • Collagen is thought to help the appearance of the skin.

Collagen makes up around 30% of the body’s protein. Its role is to provide structure and support to connective tissues, muscles, bones, and skin. It also contributes to healthy organs.

The benefits of collagen in terms of hydration, strengthening, and elasticity mean it has become a popular component of skin care products. Many creams and serums have collagen as an added ingredient, and it can also be taken as a supplement.

One of the reasons for the interest in collagen as beneficial to skin is because as we age, our natural production of collagen diminishes, particularly post-menopause so it’s thought that slowing the decline or boosting the production of collagen may help keep the skin more elastic and ultimately younger-looking in appearance.

We can buy collagen supplements in the form of capsules or make drinks by adding collagen powder to water or other drinks. It may be porcine-derived collagen (from pigs), bovine-derived (from cows), or marine-derived (from fish). Obviously, personal preferences or allergies may be important for someone choosing to take an oral collagen supplement.

Collagen is also found in products intended for direct application to the skin such as fillers, creams, and serums. There are countless – probably quite similar – products on the market claiming to improve the appearance of skin.

Although studies suggest that supplements may boost collagen production, it is thought that creams may not be particularly impactful. Nevertheless, they are popular skin care products, it’s just not clear whether they do actually benefit the skin’s appearance so more research could help.

Regardless of whether someone takes collagen through supplements or applies it to their skin using products, not smoking, eating a diet high in vitamin and antioxidant rich fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and wholegrains, avoiding sun exposure, and using a high SPF facial sunscreen every day is still great advice for great-looking skin.

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