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Updated on October 14, 2022
Collagen for Skin Health: How It Can Slow Aging & Smooth Fine Lines
Is your bathroom counter starting to overflow with anti-aging creams, serums, and masks? Do you find yourself spending more time trying to cover up dark spots, massage away loose skin, or shelling out hundreds on neurotoxins for those wrinkles?
Those things may be helpful, but they’re only masking or temporarily treating the issue rather than tackling it directly. The issue at hand? Collagen loss.
As you age, your collagen levels decline, leaving you with sagging, dull skin. Luckily, addressing this issue head-on and restoring your body’s collagen levels with a high-quality collagen supplement can be the best answer.
Collagen supplements can help reduce loose skin, deep wrinkles, and even your skin tone from dark spots caused by aging.
If you’re wondering what collagen can do for your skin, look no further. This article will uncover the impact collagen has on your skin health and how you can start turning back the hands of time today.
Collagen for Skin Health: Why Is It Important?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and is responsible for the overall structure of your skin. In addition to giving your skin a plump and youthful look, collagen helps ligaments stay elastic and flexible by providing a nice cushion between your joints (1).
Collagen provides structure, stability, and strength to the many dermal layers of your skin. Collagen proteins have a shape similar to a rope—wound tightly together holding water and moisture as well as providing elasticity to your skin. It also helps give your skin a nice even, glowing tone.
You’re born with a healthy amount of collagen. (That’s why babies have perfectly smooth, full-looking skin.) However, once you hit your mid-20s, that natural production starts to slow down. And on top of that, things like sun damage, smoking, and exposure to free radicals can further decrease your natural collagen production (2).
Free radicals do this by interfering with your collagen production and breaking down existing collagen. This can leave your skin looking dull, sagging, and prone to wrinkles. Free radicals can be from external sources like air pollution and chemical exposure, or things like inflammation and strenuous exercise. Unfortunately, free radicals cannot be totally avoided, making the aging of skin inevitable.
What Happens to Your Skin When Collagen Declines
As you collect more birthdays, you may notice you’re collecting more wrinkles too. This isn’t due to the stress of your kids or your job…it’s because the amount of collagen in your skin is decreasing as you age.
When collagen protein starts to decrease, water and moisture leave with it—leaving your skin drier and more prone to sagging and wrinkles. Collagen also helps provide the bright glowy look of youth and protects against dark spots (liver spots/age spots) that seem to come out of nowhere.
How Collagen Supplements Can Enhance Skin Health
Thankfully, research is showing a collagen supplement can improve skin health.
The benefits of supplementing with collagen for skin include the following (3):
- Plump, fuller skin
- Reduction of loose skin (increased elasticity)
- Reduced appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles
- Reduced appearance of dark spots
- Increased hydration of the skin
- Reduced skin roughness
A study that included women aged 35 to 55 years old showed women who received hydrolyzed collagen had improvements in skin elasticity and skin moisture after just four weeks of use and again after eight weeks of use (4).
Collagen supplements can also help reduce dark spots by acting as an antioxidant. This helps your body fight free radicals, and more importantly, repair past damage.
Oral collagen supplements are more effective than topical collagen because collagen fibers are usually too big to penetrate deeply into the skin when applied topically. However, when you take hydrolyzed collagen as an oral supplement, your body generates more collagen and elastin from within, bringing the benefits exactly where they need to be.
Finding the Best Collagen Supplement for Skin
Once your body stops naturally producing collagen in your 20s, you may be wondering how you can obtain collagen elsewhere…
Collagen is found in animal and vegetable sources, with beef being the most popular source. Collagen is typically found in the bone marrow, ligaments, and grisly parts of meat that most people tend to avoid. This is what makes a collagen supplement the ideal choice: You get all the benefits of collagen, without the hassle of eating a bunch of grisly meat every single day.
That said, when purchasing a collagen supplement, there are three things to look for on the label…
1. Certified Grass-Fed Collagen
When looking for the best collagen, make sure you find one that is from a grass-fed source. Diet can greatly affect the quality of the collagen. It can also affect the absorption, effectiveness, and even safety of the collagen supplement. The best collagen supplements are from Certified Grass-Fed sources that have never been exposed to toxins such as pesticides, hormones, chemicals, or antibiotics.
2. Hydrolyzed Collagen or Collagen Peptides
You want to make sure your collagen is in a hydrolyzed or peptide form. This simply means that the collagen has been broken down into the smallest available proteins, making it easier for you to digest and easier for your body to start seeing benefits.
Hydrolyzed/peptide collagen is also much easier to mix. It dissolves quickly so that you won’t even notice a difference in your favorite hot or cold beverage. You’ll know right away if your collagen supplement isn’t hydrolyzed…it’ll be like a sticky, gelatin-like clump floating in your beverage.
Hydrolyzed collagen benefits your skin in two ways:
- By being a tiny building block for collagen and elastin.
- By stimulating the synthesis of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. (It does this by binding receptors in fibroblasts (a type of connective tissue that provides structure to your skin) to make more collagen and improve skin health.)
Long story short, taking a hydrolyzed collagen supplement improves skin health by increasing collagen production and suppressing the enzymes that actively break collagen down.
3. Type 1 and 3 Collagen Fibers
Collagen is made of nearly 30 different types of fibers found all throughout the body. However, Types 1 and 3 are the two most abundant types, making up over 90% of the collagen in your body (5).
Type 1 is the most prevalent and can be found in the skin, bones, teeth, ligaments, and other tissues; while Type 3 can be found in the skin, muscles, uterus, bowel, and large blood vessels (6, 7). Type 1 and Type 3 have both been studied and are thought to be the most effective in addressing joint, bone, and skin health.
The best collagen supplements use these two highly effective collagen fibers and don’t add any additional filler collagen (like Type 2, 4, 5, and so on).
The Bottom Line
At NativePath, we created a collagen supplement that checks all three of the features above.
✔ Certified grass-fed, guaranteeing safety and purity.
✔ Hydrolyzed, making it easily dissolvable in any liquid while being easily absorbed by the body.
✔ Type 1 and 3 collagen fibers that give your skin the support it needs to stay hydrated, plump, and youthful.
So, when looking for the best collagen supplement for skin health, NativePath Collagen Peptides is the way to go.
As a doctor of Physical Therapy, Senior Wellness Expert, and co-founder of NativePath, Dr. Walding has helped millions of people improve their quality of life from the inside out—by speaking, writing, and educating others on how to live life a little more #OnThePath.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.