What is Collagen and what it does?
Collagen is a protein compound that is naturally found in the tissue of animals and humans like bones, ligaments, muscles etc. Collagen is needed to strengthen the cells of the tissues and as the collagen production starts to decline with age, the cells get weaker and it shows-up in the skin, which looks aged and saggy.
Why’s there so much focus on Collagen in anti-aging products?
The most important reason is that collagen is a natural compound found in the skin of young people, and thus it needs to be replaced by internal or external means. The problem is that, collagen molecules are naturally quite big and it’s almost impossible to penetrate the epidermis—they just sit on the top layer and do nothing long-term. Lately, we have seen a few companies launching products with nano-particles of collagen but there is lack of evidence suggesting that they really work.
Collagen in the market is available in two formats: Pure collagen as an ingredient cosmetic e.g. in creams, gels and serums applied topically and Collagen-boosting internal and external methods. These include injections, lasers, machine operated beauty treatments and other para-medical invasive methods, which either try to insert collagen to the skin or trigger the natural collagen production. These methods are usually quite expensive and bit of risky, but they are more invasive so they can produce more evident results, compared to less invasive and inexpensive methods. There are also some lesser expensive methods to boost collagen production and these include the use of micro-needles and massagers externally and the use of supplements as internal means to boost collagen synthesis. Some companies had the idea to make collagen available in oral form, so that the body could better absorb it. Collagen is derived usually from animal sources and is being sold in many cases for over $100, which is not a price everyone can affect. This has a point, but there is still lack of evidence that supports the idea that collagen can be replaced by being consumed orally in pills or liquid form. A few studies have found that collagen molecules are broken down into acids when they are digested, and thus, cannot directly affect the skin.
Now What Options do we have?
Although collagen cannot be replaced directly, fortunately, we can boost natural collagen production internally by consuming certain nutrients. Some certain nutrients are able to trigger the repairing mechanisms of the skin and these include among others, DHEA, MSM, Vitamin A, and Amino acids. Some other natural ingredients that have shown promising results in boosting natural collagen production are Vitamin C/ Ascorbic acid, Copper Peptides and Co-enzyme Q10. Over time, these nutrients can help restore the lost collagen and plump-up the skin so it looks more fresh and youthful, especially in conjunction with high quality anti-aging treatments like creams and serums. If invasive methods like injections and lasers are not your thing, try boosting your natural collagen production with these nutrients along with a high quality anti-aging product packed with natural collagen boosting ingredients such us Kollagen Intensiv.
The bottom-line is collagen supplements that contain only collagen molecules do not seem to work significantly for the reasons stated above, but as an alternative, products with some natural ingredients / nutrients can help encourage collagen production from the inside out.