Collagen: we’ve heard of it, we know it’s in some moisturisers and beauty products, but what is it, why’s it important and what’s the best way to add it to your beauty regime?
- Collagen is a protein responsible for giving skin structure and elasticity. It sits within the middle layer of our skin (the dermis) and along with elastin acts like a ‘glue’ holding the skin’s structure together. It’s collagen that provides that ‘bounce backability’ that you get with youthful complexions whenever skin is moved or stretched.
- Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body. There are at least 16 different types of collagen within the human body and it’s found in bones, joints and muscles. Collagen is also a building block protein for hair, nails and teeth, along with keratin.
- Collagen is known as a “complex protein,” containing around 19 different amino acids.
- Our bodies produce collagen naturally, but from our mid 20s onwards production declines, resulting in loss of structure (and sagging), fine lines and wrinkles.
- Lifestyle factors can also affect collagen production and deplete levels, including poor diet, smoking, pollution and UV exposure.
- You can eat a collagen-rich diet: add high protein foods like beef, chicken and fish to your menu – bone broth is a great source – gelatin provides raw materials for collagen.
- Collagen supplements contain hydrolysed collagen – meaning the collagen is more easily absorbed.
- A good collagen supplement should also contain vitamin C because it is required in the process of collagen production.
- Collagen is a large molecule – too big to be absorbed and pass through the skin. To get the benefits from collagen, it should come from within. Taking a hydrolysed collagen supplement means the collagen is absorbed into the bloodstream as amino acids and small collagen peptides. These are then distributed throughout the body, including the dermis, where they stimulate collagen and elastin production – the key to youthful skin.