Collagen is a protein that our body naturally produces, and it’s a popular supplement known for a wide variety of benefits.
More recently, collagen is being especially touted for its beauty benefits – and for good reason.
It’s popping up as both a stand-alone supplement, as well as an ingredient in many beauty products as it can enhance hair, skin, nails, and more.
This article will explain what collagen is, list the top five beauty benefits of collagen, and explain how collagen supplementation can enhance our beauty routine.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It’s found in our bones, skin, muscles, and connective tissue.
Collagen can be thought of as the “glue” that holds our bodies together, as it helps provide structure, strength, and support (1).
Although there are four types of collagen, the most common type is called Type I.
We naturally produce collagen, but the amount we produce declines with age, which is why supplementation can be quite helpful. In fact, the more collagen you have, the better your body is at producing and maintaining its collagen stores.
Continue reading to learn about the top five beauty benefits of collagen.
1. Boosts skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles
Collagen is a major component of our skin. It’s important for keeping the skin strong, elastic, and hydrated.
As we age, our bodies begin to produce less collagen – even as early as age 25 – leading to dry skin and wrinkles.
Research shows that supplementing with collagen may reduce wrinkles and help skin look more plump and hydrated. Collagen helps the skin better hold onto moisture, leading to a glowing, more youthful appearance (2).
In fact, some studies show that supplementing with collagen can encourage our body’s natural ability to make collagen. Yes, that’s right: taking collagen can help us make more collagen.
2. Treats and reduces acne
Although more research is needed in this area, it’s promising that collagen supplements can help treat acne.
It’s known that collagen is a key component of skin and can help heal wounds.
Our body recognizes a pimple as a “mini wound”. This means that collagen is needed to help repair the skin around the affected area. By ensuring we have adequate collagen in our body, our skin can be more prepared to quickly address and heal a pimple or breakout.
Plus, collagen can help prevent and reduce the appearance of scarring that often comes along with acne.
Not to mention, glycine, a key amino acid found in collagen protein, exhibits anti-inflammatory effects, soothing and reducing redness and inflammation on the skin.
3. Improves the appearance of dark circles
Many of us reach for our under eye concealer as a go-to step in our daily beauty routine, in efforts to brighten up under-eye dark circles. These dark circles often become more apparent as we age, in part due to our natural decline in collagen.
As we age, the skin around the eyes becomes weaker, which can lead to a shift in fat to the lower eyelids, creating the appearance of dark circles and even puffiness.
Thankfully, collagen peptides can help improve elasticity around the eye area, helping the skin to appear less thin, and thereby improving the dark circles.
4. Supports strong, shiny hair
Beyond supporting beautiful skin, collagen can help hair to become healthier and shinier.
Collagen contains amino acids that the body needs to stimulate hair growth. Collagen may even be able to act as an antioxidant and prevent hair damage caused from heat and the environment, however more research in this area is needed.
What’s more, collagen protects the roots of hair, and may be able to prevent hair loss and thinning hair that is often associated with aging. In fact, collagen may be able to slow down the graying process, although most of these claims are merely anecdotal.
There is also some evidence to suggest that collagen supplements can increase hair volume, shine, and strength, all which are important to a beautiful head of locks.
5. Helps build strong nails
Lastly, collagen may increase the strength of your nails. It can prevent nails from becoming brittle and breaking, thanks to the strong protein structure of collagen.
Collagen supplements can also help nails grow longer and quicker.
So, if you’re someone who struggles to keep your nails looking long and strong, adding in a collagen supplement to your beauty and wellness routine may in fact do the trick.
It’s important to remember that as we age our collagen production begins to decrease, giving even more reason to supplement with collagen. To keep our skin, hair, and nails looking great and youthful, it’s a great idea to incorporate a collagen supplement into your beauty routine.
Adding collagen into your beauty routine
Clearly, collagen has many benefits – especially for cosmetic purposes – as it can help skin look more glowy and youthful, boost hair healthy and shine, and improve the strength of our nails.
If you are considering adding collagen into your beauty routine, you can easily mix collagen powder into your favorite beverage, smoothie, oatmeal, or even baked goods.
It’s recommended to take anywhere from 5-20 grams of collagen daily to see a benefit.
However, as with many wellness or beauty efforts, consistency is key. So, be sure to find a pattern that works for you whether that means adding collagen to your daily coffee or superfood smoothie.
Adding collagen supplements into your routine is a natural, easy, safe, and effective way to boost your beauty routine, nurturing you from the inside out.
After all, who doesn’t want a natural beauty product leading to shiny hair, glowier skin, and an overall more youthful appearance?