If you are trying to keep your skin looking its best, you’ve likely considered collagen supplements. Many of you have asked our thoughts. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve found.
Because I know your time is precious, I’ll give you the spoiler alert up front! Read on to all the details.
Take collagen! But find one that is safe, and effective, and then take it as recommended (likely daily).
Collagen is a protein found throughout the body. Skin, hair, nails, joints, muscles. Collagen production starts to slow in our 20’s. I know –kind of devastating. This decreased production impacts our skin by decreasing elasticity and hydration. But fear not. Simple steps we can start at anytime can help preserve our collagen and promote production.
- Eat well (think vegetables, fruit)
- Foods with collagen: Bone broth, Gelatin
- Wear sunscreen: ~80% of our premature aging is caused by the sun
- Avoid smoking and other environmental stressors: this breaks down our collagen
There is research showing that collagen supplements did help in improving skin elasticity, hydration, and skin collagen density. Would/should you expect to notice a visible difference in your skin? From my own collagen experiment (30 day collagen challenge), I couldn’t tell a visible difference in my skin, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t receive benefit from adding a daily shot of collagen to my routine.
Various parts of the body require different amounts of time to reap the benefits.*
- Skin support benefits: 1 – 3 months
- Muscle mass and strength (combined with resistance training): 3 months
- Less soreness after physical training: within a few days
- Joint health support: 4 – 6 months
- Tendon support (combined with strengthening exercise): 3 – 6 months
- Bone-density support: 12 months
- Nails: 24 weeks
- Hair: unclear
Supplements aren’t well regulated in the States, and the types of collagen on the market vary widely. But if you do decide to try a supplement, focus on some key components while choosing a collagen.
- Hydrolyzed collagen (collagen hydrolysate, found to be more effective in helping improve wrinkle depth and hydration)
- Types I and III for skin health
- Grass fed bovine derived
- Complex amino acids
- Ideally the brand does its own testing/research, or testing by a 3rd party
A solid choice is Vital Proteins. Accessible (yes! Costco), not over the top pricey, and is well rated across multiple third parties.
Vegetarians may have a difficult time finding options that are comparable to animal derived. Those that are considered vegetarian are comprised of other amino acids and formula.
*mbg A Guide To Collagen Supplements: Benefits For Hair, Skin & More
**A good article, Chemist Confessions: Collagen Supplements – Yay or Nay?