Physical Health, Skin Deep, Wellness / Self-Care

Does ingesting Collagen really work?

Bottoms up.

words by: Alee Kwong
Feb 17, 2021

There are so many benefits to collagen that I think a lot of people tend to forget. It keeps your skin looking supple and young, fortifies your bones, helps keep your hair and nails strong, and keeps your joints pain free. If you want to talk about a multitasking supplement, collagen is it and the beauty/wellness community has taken off with it full steam ahead.

 

Collagen makes up 80% of our skin in conjunction with elastin. As we grow older, our collagen production begins to decrease and the physical signs of aging start to show. In an interview with the New York Times, Dr. Whitney Bowe, a board-certified dermatologist, described our body’s collagen as “ropes of protein in the skin.” When we are young, these ropes are taught and tight, but as we age, we will start to see the rope fray at the ends. The decline in collagen production starts in our 20s, starting with a 1% collagen loss each year.  External factors like smoking, sun exposure, and pollution can encourage and accelerate collagen breakdown as well.

 

So does ingesting collagen actually work? Can we just drown ourselves in bone broth and powder supplements to prevent/reverse this critical sign of aging? There have been some studies that have shown collagen supplements to improve skin elasticity and increase bone density, but a lot of these studies were conducted by small companies that were producing the product – so you can imagine the amount of bias these studies have. Not enough reliable studies have been conducted to prove its effects on bone health, but there is no harm in taking collagen to improve your skin’s elasticity and firmness. Like with any vitamin supplement, consistency is key. Many dermatologists recommend sticking with powders due to the ease factor. You can add collagen powder to your daily smoothie, coffee, or water.

 

So if you’re looking for a new anti-aging step in your routine, give collagen supplements a try. It might not help with your joints, but it’ll keep you looking young enough to get carded at the club.

 

Photo via Unsplash