Inside the Collagen Craze

Collagen // Photo Credit: iammotos/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It acts like glue, working to hold the body together and giving skin its strength and elasticity. In other words, it’s a big deal when it comes to skin and body health.

The good news is that the body naturally produces collagen, but the bad news is that collagen decreases with age and exposure to ultraviolet rays and other environmental factors and lifestyle habits, ultimately resulting in sagging and thinning skin, wrinkles, and fine lines. Luckily, skincare manufacturers have developed formulas that either contain collagen, synthetic collagen-like peptides, or a combination of ingredients that work to boost the natural collagen in the body. These formulas help to firm and plump skin and leave it looking younger and healthier.

“Research shows that supplementing collagen to the skincare diet can improve skin elasticity, increase hydration in the skin, help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and increase the density of the skin,” says Kimberly James, corporate educator at Image Skincare. “Having the ability to provide these benefits to the skin makes collagen a hot topic among the current trends in skincare.

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By supplementing collagen in our skincare diet, both topically and internally, we can help to prevent the effects of aging and improve the appearance of the skin.” In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Tissue Reactions, found that when a synthetic collagen-like hexapeptide was applied to wrinkles on the eye area of 20 healthy women twice a day for four weeks, the total surface of wrinkles was significantly reduced and there was a decrease in the number and average depth of wrinkles.

Worried about your collagen health? Here are three facts you need to know:

  1. There are many types of collagen, but three types (1, 2, and 3) make up 80 to 90 percent of the body, each serving separate purposes.
     
  2. Types 1 and 3 help minimize fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin’s elasticity and circulation, and slow hair loss, while type 2 supports cartilage and joints.
     
  3. Among the most common sources of collagen supplementation are bovine (from cows), marine (fish), chicken, and porcine (pigs).


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