When looking for skin care products that protect against the common signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles, one of the most commonly-seen words you are likely to encounter is 'collagen'. This is because collagen levels in the body play a vital role in helping to maintain skin elasticity and structural integrity.
However, while many people are aware of the basic link between collagen in the body and younger-looking skin, few have a deep understanding of the precise role it plays in the ageing process and the ways in which supplements, pills and capsules can help to boost collagen levels and improve the appearance of skin.
In this article, we take a closer look at the role that collagen plays and explain how people can boost collagen within the body. Moreover, we will outline some of the ingredients to look out for when trying to stimulate collagen production for skin care purposes, and point out some of the ingredients that are best to stay away from.
Collagen is one of the human body's most important and abundant proteins, and is present in tendons, cartilage, bones, blood vessels and all connective tissues and organs. There are around 30 different types of collagen all in all, but Type I collagen and Type III collagen are the most significant when it comes to the skin.
What are the benefits of collagen
The benefits of collagen are numerous. It is the substance which provides skin with its elasticity and it connects tissues to each other and to the skeleton. There are also a variety of hair and nail benefits associated with the protein too, but all of these benefits subside over time, as we age, because collagen production slows.
In fact, this reduction in the amount of collagen produced by the human body occurs at a rate equivalent to around one percent each year and this slowing typically begins in a person's 20s, although it can start even earlier than that. As this loss accumulates, skin starts to sag, wrinkle and show other signs of ageing.
Collagen benefits for the body
Since collagen is present in the connective tissues (tendons and ligaments) as well as the skin and joints, it’s crucial for keeping the body supple and moving well. It acts as a shock absorber in our joints. Collagen is springy and rubbery in nature, and its presence helps to stop the bones in our joints rubbing together, causing pain and inflammation.
As we get older, we begin to lose collagen, which means that our joints can become stiff and painful. This can also lead to osteoarthritis, a painful bone condition characterised by brittle, painful bones that are susceptible to fractures and breaks.
Collagen benefits for the skin
While ageing is a natural process, its visual symptoms can be unwanted or even distressing. For this reason, many people opt to take supplements and these come in topical, pill, capsule and powder form. Generally, this form of collagen supplement has more noticeable and immediate results than topical collagen treatments.
Collagen boosting ingredients
Although there are collagen creams and topical treatments, which can be effective, many people find that the benefits are more immediately noticeable when using collagen supplements that come in pill or capsule form. Indeed, scientific research has found that such supplements can reduce wrinkles in a matter of weeks.
However, there are a huge number of supplements on the market, all with different ingredients lists and all proclaiming to be the best option available, so it can be difficult to know which ones are reliable. Yet, the decision over which supplements to buy can be made easier with some basic knowledge of ingredients to look out for.
Silica aids the production of collagen
Silica aids the production of collagen and has the added benefit of calming irritated skin. Another ingredient that can be useful when contained within collagen supplements is hyaluronic acid. This is a naturally occurring substance, which is found in our joints, skin and other tissues. One of its primary functions is to help skin to retain its moisture levels, so that it remains flexible, but it also helps to retain collagen too.
What are the benefits of collagen supplements
Since our connective tissues and joints, plus our skin, benefits from the presence of collagen, there is now evidence that taking collagen supplements has benefits for many areas of the body.
Reduce joint pain
In terms of the body, collagen supplements can help to relieve joint pain and reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Athletes with joint pain through overuse injuries can also benefit from collagen supplements. Studies show that taking the supplements over a 24 week period can “reduce the pain that has a negative impact on athletic performance”.
The authors of another study say that collagen from supplements can accumulate in the cartilage of the joints to stimulate these tissues to manufacture more collagen. This leads to less inflammation and pain and better-supported joints.
Reduce skin dryness
Case studies on the use of collagen supplements for the skin are also just as positive. One study found that women taking collagen supplements for eight weeks reported reduced skin dryness and a “significant increase in skin elasticity”. Dryness and less elastic skin can cause the skin to appear older, so improving these two factors is great for looking more youthful.
Reduction in wrinkle depth
Another study attributed increased skin hydration and a “significant reduction in wrinkle depth” to taking collagen supplements. Plus, further research has found that taking collagen supplements can also help to promote the production of elastin and fibrillin, other proteins that help to keep the skin plump.
What is the best form of collagen?
If you’re looking for collagen supplements, look for pills, powders or drinks that contain ‘hydrolysed’ collagen. This means that the collagen has already been partially broken down, meaning that it’s easier for the body to absorb and utilise.
What is the best type of collagen supplement
Collagen supplements come in various different forms including pills, powders and drinks. They’re all designed to reach your bloodstream much more effectively than applying collagen creams to your skin.
So when it comes to collagen pills vs powder or choosing a collagen drink, the choice of which collagen supplement to try is down to personal choice.
What are collagen supplements made from?
On the other hand, it is important to note that most collagen powder and super collagen supplements make use of either animal or marine collagen, meaning they contain animal products and are unsuitable for vegans. Some experts say bovine collagen peptide is best avoided regardless, because it takes longer to absorb than alternatives.
Recommended collagen supplements
For those who are seeking to boost their collagen production through supplements, it is important to choose wisely. In general, you should look for high-quality products, which are paleo friendly and gluten free, in order to reduce the chances of encountering unwanted side effects.
Use silica supplements to stimulate collagen production
Sönd's supplements come in capsule form and contain silica, which stimulates collagen production in the body, counteracting the body's natural tendency to produce less collagen with age. This, combined with calcium, magnesium and vitamin E, helps to nourish the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The Jump Start Silica Supplements are suitable for those who need a gluten-free diet, or those who adhere to a paleo diet, because they contain natural ingredients. Unlike most collagen supplements on the market, they are vegan-friendly as well.
Another plus point is the ease of use, because all you have to do is take two capsules every morning with a glass of water. For best results, the supplements can also be combined with Sönd's range of alkaline skin care products.