Collagen is a power protein that makes up a huge amount of your body, including your joints, skin, nails and hair. It acts as a cushion, giving your joints the ability to handle movement throughout the day, and it gives your skin a youthful, hydrated appearance. Since collagen is the main component of the scaffolding upon which your dermis develops, inadequate production of this protein can lead to visible signs of ageing.
While our bodies produce the majority of the peptides we need, that ability diminishes as we age. This is especially true for people who do not get an adequate amount of collagen in their diet. Insufficient dietary or supplemented collagen for skin in addition to ageing produces wrinkles, saggy or droopy skin, age marks and diminished hydration and plumpness. All of these contribute to an overall aged appearance that most people would like to avoid.
We’re going to look at some of the biggest benefits to supplementing your diet with marine collagen, a particularly beneficial form of this protein for those who want to combat the signs of ageing.
5 Anti-ageing Benefits of Collagen-containing Supplements
1. Improved skin structure
Marine collagen is derived primarily from kelp and other seaweeds, and from the bones and cartilage of marine animals like fish. When you consume these proteins, your body can use them as peptide precursors from which it can create its own proteins. Marine collagen in particular is especially good for improving the dermal layer, which provides skin bounce and plumpness.
These attributes reduce the visibility of wrinkles and improve skin resilience, slowing the process by which new wrinkles form. Some studies show that women in their 40s and 50s who took collagen-containing supplements daily have significantly improved skin health.
2. Improves skin elasticity
One factor in both the formation of wrinkles and the ability for skin to deal with ageing and damage is elasticity. Skin that is low in less collagen-dense will be rougher, less able to deal with wounds or sun damage, and wrinkle faster.
A study on women ages 35-55 showed that supplementation with 5 grams of marine-derived proteins daily had improved skin elasticity within 4 weeks, and these improvements continued until 8 weeks where they levelled out but stayed significantly higher than before the trial began.
3. Collagen for skin supplements improve skin hydration
Dry skin is more easily damaged, more prone to wrinkling and changes from sun exposure. Hydration can be improved through topical creams, but without the necessary density to help keep the moisture in the skin, these efforts will produce minimal results.
Supplements improves skin hydration in several ways. First, collagen-containing foods and supplements increase the skin’s natural ability to absorb water in general. Additionally, skin that is rich in this protein also holds water at the surface better than in a person who isn’t getting enough of these proteins.
A study focused on supplementing to improve skin hydration provided a collagen-containing drink to participants for 2 months. Water absorption capacity was evidently increased in the group receiving the drink after just 1 month and continued to improve over the duration of the trial.
Collagen-containing supplements also improve hydration by increasing skin density, which reduces dryness and scaling. A higher intake improves density and elasticity, and also increase the ability of the skin to hold hydration in a general sense.
4. Supplementation improves resilience to sun damage
While getting a tan naturally can have some beneficial effects, including better synthesis of vitamin D, prolonged sun exposure can cause significant skin damage. Photo-ageing is the damaging effect of the sun’s rays on skin cells, causing them to appear more aged, wrinkled and dry. In addition, extensive exposure to the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer.
A study of collagen-containing products on skin damage related to sun exposure suggests that a dietary supplement could help not only improve sun-damaged skin but also reduce further damage.
One of the biggest factors in skin healing – whether from general damage or from sun exposure – is having adequate protein to regenerate the damaged cells. Without a diet rich in collagen-containing foods or supplements, this damage compounds over time and can lead up to the negative consequences we’ve discussed.
Supplementation increases skin density and reduces furrowing wrinkles
Repeated facial movements over time give us the tell-tale signs of ageing we’re used to; crow’s feet, smile lines and brow furrows. These deep creases increase over time if skin isn’t adequately taken care of through collagen-dense foods or supplements.
Research suggests that by supplementing collagen-containing products, you can visibly reduce these creases. This is done by both increasing dermal scaffolding with collagen-proteins and through boosting skin elasticity and density. With more resilient skin, these repeated creases and wrinkles will not be as evident day-to-day.
As we spoke of before, hydration also plays a role in making sure that skin wrinkles, damage and furrowing are less visible over time. Products that are formulated to combat these ageing signs are widely available, with the marine varieties of these proteins being the most beneficial for skin over other types (bovine or plant for instance).
5. Now is the time to improve your skin care routine
Taking a collagen-containing supplement is a sure-fire way to get adequate amounts of the this utterly vital protein. Not only is it critical for all the anti-ageing reasons we’ve listed above, but it’s also crucial in a healthy gut and immune system.
Most skin care routines focus on the epidermis, using creams or lotions to keep up the appearance of hydration or masking wrinkles. The fact is that with most problems like skin ageing, treating it from within is just as important if not more-so than topical treatments. A body that is sufficiently supplied with collagen-rich foods or supplements can produce a tremendous amount of these necessary proteins on its own.
Healthy skin requires maintenance and proper nutrition; there’s no reason to put off this incredibly vital step to an improved appearance and healthier, glowing skin.
Browse our collagen recipes here:
- Turmeric & Collagen Keto Smoothie
- 10-Minute Tomato Collagen Soup
- Keto Collagen Coffee
- Green Cleansing Collagen Smoothie