Collagen, one of the building blocks of healthy skin (as well as hair, nails and bones), plays a key role in creating plump, healthy and supple skin. But like all good things, it does come to an end, and as we age – from our mid-twenties onwards – the body finds it harder to produce, which prompts a loss of elasticity, firmness and radiance. “We can’t prevent [the loss of collagen], but we can slow it down,” says cosmetic surgeon Dr Benji Dhillon. Yes, applying vitamin C and SPF is important, but experts now agree that taking a collagen supplement could help, too.
Is collagen worth taking?
In short, yes. Taken daily, clinical trials have shown a collagen supplement has the ability to slow down the body’s breaking down of its own collagen. In fact, the marine collagen in Beauty Pie’s Collagen Super Powder reduced it by a huge 31 per cent. “With daily ingestion at an effective dose, you can expect to see plumper and more dewy-looking skin,” says Kay Ali, official nutritionist at Beauty Pie. It can also promote hyaluronic acid production thanks to an “ability to stimulate HAS2 receptors in the dermis”, which means skin will also look more hydrated. The older we get, the greater our collagen depletion, which suggests supplements are an excellent idea after 40.
For a long time though, the jury was out, and some skin experts remain unconvinced by their efficacy. But it seems that in the last couple of years, as more innovative formulations have become available, many agree that they are worth taking, and not just for skin, but for hair and nails too. That said, not all are made equal: “I am a big believer in the drink options out there, like Skinade,” says Dr. Dhillon. “The brand has a fair amount of clinical research demonstrating great results, which is why I believe in it. In a lot of cases with other products, consuming collagen just means the collagen gets broken down by the body’s digestive processes.”
Which form of collagen is most effective?
“A collagen supplement delivers various types of collagen protein when taken daily, in either a powder, gel, drink, capsule or tablet format,” explains Ali. “While 28 different types have been identified, type one collagen is most commonly found in skin, bone, teeth, tendons, ligaments, vascular ligature and organs. It’s typically extracted from marine, porcine or bovine sources.”
How to choose a collagen supplement?
Ali is keen to point out that many of the collagen supplements on the market don’t provide anywhere near the amount of collagen required to slow down its breakdown in the body: “Ten grams is the average amount required,” she says, pointing out that it’s important to purchase hydrolysed collagen formulas, as these can be absorbed effectively by our digestive systems and can get to where they need to be.
Is it good to take collagen everyday?
Yes, it needs to be taken daily for good results. Make sure to follow the instructions on your collagen product.
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk