Collagen is a protein that we produce everywhere in our body and that gives firmness to the body and skin. Collagen supplements would help against wrinkles and skin aging, but is that really the case?
Collagen supplements against wrinkles and skin aging?
Collagen supplements are especially popular because of the rejuvenating effect on the skin. A number of studies support these claims. For example, a 2021 review study in individuals ages 20 to 70 found that use of hydrolyzed collagen improved skin hydration, elasticity, and wrinkles compared to placebo treatments. It should be noted that many of these studies were sponsored by companies that produce collagen supplements.
Hydrolyzed collagen is a type of collagen that is created through a process of hydrolysis. This process breaks the protein down into smaller pieces, making it easier for the body to absorb. According to dr. Tjinta Brinkhuizen, dermatologist at Maastricht University Medical Center and Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven, hydrolyzed collagen is the only form of collagen that can have a positive effect on the skin. And even then she considers the chance that those small pieces of collagen successfully travel the long way through the body and reach exactly the right spot in the skin.
Creams with collagen would have even less effect. The reason is that it appears to be very difficult to transfer active ingredients from such a cream into the skin.
Collagen: pills or powder
You can find collagen in both pill and powder form. Both forms are good in principle, but a pill cannot contain high doses of collagen. With a powder you can easily take a high dose.
Mind you, there are many different types of collagen. Not every form has been scientifically studied, so we can't say that they all work. If you decide to buy a collagen supplement, make sure that the product has been scientifically researched. Also check whether the provider is reliable and whether he sells quality products. A good collagen supplement is also dosed high enough. In the studies suggesting positive skin effects, subjects took doses ranging from 2.5 to 15 grams. It is recommended to take a collagen supplement for at least eight weeks.
Cost of collagen supplements
How expensive a collagen supplement is often depends on durability. A sustainable product will normally have a higher price tag.
Also, the price depends on the source of the collagen. Collagen can come from animal (bovine, chicken, pig or fish), but also from plant sources. Vegetable collagen is actually not real collagen. It consists of separate amino acids, while it is just assumed that it is the cohesion of the amino acids in animal collagen that creates the positive effect.
Finally, a collagen supplement can also become more expensive if the manufacturer adds certain substances such as hyaluronic acid. This substance is also said to have a rejuvenating effect on the skin.
Can Collagen Supplements Be Dangerous?
Collagen supplements are generally safe. If side effects do occur, this is often due to other ingredients in the collagen supplement, such as herbs or high doses of vitamins or minerals. For example, herbal effects can affect the way certain medications work. And high vitamin or mineral levels in supplements can have certain effects on your health. So always read the label carefully.