A literal fountain of youth may not exist, but if it did, collagen would somehow be involved. Perhaps deep beneath the “fountain’s” surface, you would find a bedrock of collagen. Why? Well, the cornerstone of youthful radiance is the most abundant protein in your body: collagen. It is responsible for keeping your tendons, ligaments, bones, muscles, and skin together. These protein fibers hold things in place. Collagen helps your skin glow, feel soft, and appear smooth. It also helps to repair the skin after injury. There are many benefits of collagen for hair and skin. 

A few telltale signs of collagen loss in the body include skin folds, loose skin, worn-out cartilage, decreased flexibility in tendons and ligaments, and the appearance of wrinkles. Even though your body’s natural collagen synthesis production may decline, there are many ways you can boost and rebuild collagen for younger-looking skin, shiny hair, and an overall radiant appearance. 

There are actually 28 different types of collagen! The most common are Type I, found in all connective tissue, Type II found in joints, Type III found in your skin and blood vessels, and Type IV found in your kidneys, inner ear, and eye lens. 

A Closer Look at Collagen Supplements

Most people take collagen supplements simply to add additional collagen to their diets. Collagen supplements go through a hydrolyzation process that breaks the collagen down into peptides, allowing the body to absorb the protein easily. You can purchase collagen supplements as tablets, powders, and capsules. There are also foods you can consume as a collagen supplement including bone broth and pork skin. 

So, what are some of the health benefits of collagen supplements? Well, for starters, collagen boosts benefits from the inside, out. Collagen can alleviate symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, helping to seal parts of the intestines where toxins previously passed through. Collagen also helps support your liver and detox your system all while protecting your heart and cardiovascular health.  

There are a whole host of benefits collagen provides. For example, collagen can help decrease joint pain by supporting the cartilage in your body. In fact, it can even slow down bone loss as you age and may be useful against joint disease. 

What about collagen for skin benefits? Wrinkles, looser skin, stretch marks, and cellulite can all occur due to a decrease in collagen. This special protein firms the skin, making it appear supple and smooth. Collagen also acts as an anti-inflammatory. Collagen peptides or supplements containing collagen may help slow your skin’s aging by not only reducing the appearance of wrinkles but also improving skin dryness. 

Some people see benefits in taking supplements with collagen for hair. This powerful protein can help your hair grow longer and be stronger. It does the same for your nails as well. 

The Downside of Collagen Supplements

Fortunately, most collagen supplements are highly digestible and very safe. Talk with your healthcare provider before incorporating any new supplements into your diet. The main side effects of collagen supplements are diarrhea, a general feeling of heaviness in the stomach, bloating, nausea, heartburn, and rashes. Many supplements are made with common food allergens like fish, shellfish, and eggs, so read the ingredients carefully before taking any supplements if you have any food allergies. Also, most supplements are created with bones and animal proteins, making them not vegan or vegetarian-friendly. 

Beware of False Advertising

Since collagen is such a sought-after protein, there are many gimmicks and products on the market that claim to enhance collagen production, when they really don’t. For example, it used to be widely believed that collagen itself could be applied topically to the skin to increase the production of youthful protein. This is false, as collagen synthesis occurs below the skin’s surface. In fact, collagen molecules are big, and they have a difficult time penetrating the lower layers of the skin. 

Additionally, some products may say that collagen helps you lose weight. There is little evidence to back up this claim. 

Collagen Boosting Procedures

In addition to supplements, there are also a variety of collagen-boosting procedures that can be done to increase collagen for skin benefits. Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive procedure that can minimize the signs of aging, help reduce pigmentation, refine the texture and tone of skin, and treat acne scarring. It can also be used to treat scars from trauma or surgeries as well as stretch marks. 

Microneedling introduces small, micro-injuries into the skin using very tiny needles, penetrating the first layer of the skin, which signals the skin to repair itself. This results in increased collagen and elastin production, promoting a thicker and more even skin texture and tone. The procedure can help your body generate healthier-looking skin. It is extremely safe and a relatively comfortable procedure. 

Chemical peels are another option to boost collagen for skin benefits. A chemical peel is a technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the skin. It is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a chemical solution made up of naturally occurring acids, is applied to the skin to remove the very top layers. A facial chemical peel also aids in the improvement of fine lines, texture, age spots, as well as pigmented scars. Like microneedling, chemical peels can stimulate collagen production and allow the newer, brighter layers of your skin to shine through once the treatment is complete. 

Collagen with Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a fascinating molecule that is incredibly safe and boosts powerful rejuvenating properties. While it can also lubricate your joints, prevent bones from grinding against one another, and ease specific osteoarthritis pain, the primary use of hyaluronic acid is to elevate your skin’s health. From supplements to serums, scrubs to gels, hyaluronic acid provides abundant health benefits.

Exposure to cold and dry environments, harsh UV rays from the sun, prolonged smoke, and excess pollution can also decrease the production of our naturally occurring hyaluronic acid in the skin. This makes it harder for our skin to stay hydrated properly without a boost from products or treatment options containing hyaluronic acid. This powerful anti-aging naturally occurs in your body, but as you age, you may need a boost as collagen and hyaluronic acid go hand in hand. 

You can find many topical products containing hyaluronic acid and additional nutrients your skin may need. 

3 Factors That Can Inhibit Collagen Production

Aging is a factor in decreased collagen production, however, there are three things that will lower your collagen levels quickly. 

Sunlight – Exposure to UV rays will make collagen fibers unravel, rendering them useless. So be sure to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days or during the winter months. 

Smoking – Smoking is the second thing that can lower collagen production. Smoking can make your skin sag and wrinkle over time. Make a commitment to your health and try a smoking cessation program. Your lungs and skin will thank you. 

Refined Sugar – Finally, too much sugar can cause the collagen fibers to crosslink and even tangle. This makes your skin loose over time. A well-balanced diet is essential for collagen production, especially one containing lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables. Collagen production also requires vitamin C, zinc, and copper as well with vitamin C being one of the most essential nutrients needed. 

Find the Collagen Boost That is Right for You

If you eat a well-balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, and wear sunscreen regularly, your body is most likely making the perfect amount of collagen it needs. However, if you’re concerned about your collagen levels, or you notice a lack of elasticity of your skin, it may be time to consider what collagen-boosting supplement or procedure is right for you. 

There are so many collagen for skin benefits, It can be easy to want to produce as much as the protein as possible. However, every person is different, therefore, every body is unique. The best way to make sure you’re making the most out of your collagen-boosting supplements or collagen-boosting procedure is to talk to a professional about your skin care goals. 

Consider booking a consultation with First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic. The knowledgeable practitioners are always eager to answer any and all questions you may have and put your concerns to rest. 

Collagen is essential for skin health, you just may need a little boost to keep production at adequate levels.