- Collagen is the most common protein in the human body, and plays a key role in skin elasticity.
- As we age, our collagen stores are depleted, leading to signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.
- Collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed properly, but collagen peptides, made by breaking collagen molecules down, can penetrate the skin and help stimulate new collagen growth.
Collagen peptides are made by breaking down full-length collagen molecules. Because they’re shorter than regular collagen, they can more easily enter the top layer of the skin when applied topically, or the bloodstream in the case of oral supplements.
Most collagen peptides on the market contain collagen extracted from hides, bones, or fish scales. Once applied or ingested, they deliver a range of anti-aging benefits by helping stimulate collagen growth in your body.
What Is the function of Collagen?
Collagen is the most important structural protein in the body, made up of the long-chain of amino acids (proline, hydroxyproline and glycine) which build our skin, connective tissue, organs, and bones. It also plays a role in forming clusters of cells, or fibroblasts, which allow new cells to replace dead ones. This makes collagen critical to skin firmness, elasticity, and an overall youthful appearance.
Although your body produces collagen on a regular basis, it slows down with age. Smoking, too much sun exposure, an unhealthy diet, or certain health conditions can also reduce your body’s collagen levels. Without enough collagen, you may begin to notice wrinkles and sagging skin, dryness, or even experience joint pain.
Collagen vs collagen peptides
Although collagen peptides (also known as hydrolyzed collagen) are made of the same amino acids as collagen protein, they are more bioavailable, meaning they circulate more easily throughout your body.
Because they’re shorter, collagen peptides supplements can more easily traverse your outer skin barrier and are better absorbed into the bloodstream than collagen. This makes collagen peptides better suited to providing the fibroblasts needed to create new collagen.
Collagen Peptide Benefits for Skin
Collagen peptides can defend against these signs of aging where products containing simple collagen are ineffective. With regular use, a product containing collagen peptides can provide your skin with a number of tangible benefits.
Reduction of wrinkles
By stimulating collagen production, peptides can give your skin the appearance of being more plump and firm, significantly reducing wrinkles.
Increased skin elasticity
The regular application of collagen peptides can boost skin elasticity, thereby reducing pore size and improving overall complexion.
With age, collagen production decreases, in turn causing causing skin dryness. Collagen supplements can stimulate collagen growth and improve overall skin hydration.
Antioxidants found in collagen peptides, particularly fish scale-derived peptides, can calm and soothe your skin, leading to less inflammation and protecting from harmful UV radiation.
Collagen peptides have been shown to repair skin from the inside out, accelerating the wound healing process.
Other Benefits of Collagen Peptides
Many people take supplements containing collagen peptides for reasons other than, or in addition to skin care. Additional health benefits of collagen peptides include:
Improvement of joint pain
Hair and nail care
Research on the effects of collagen on human hair is limited, but your body may be able to use the amino acids in collagen to encourage hair growth and strengthen your roots. Peptides may also strengthen nails and prevent them from getting brittle.
Most of the gut microbiome and collagen research is still in its infancy, however there is some evidence that amino acids in collagen such as glutamine may reduce GI inflammation and improve digestion.
Forms of collagen peptides
There are many collagen peptide products on the market, most of which come in the form of moisturizers, pills, and collagen powders. Any of these forms may be beneficial to your skin, hair, nails, or joints, but before you choose a collagen peptide product, be sure you’re using the best type for your specific goals.
For instance, If you’re looking to maintain joint health, type ii collagen is the kind you want, whereas the more common type i is suitable to skin concerns.
If you’re interested in using collagen peptides to improve your hair quality, consider bone broth or collagen supplements mixed into food or drinks.
Collagen peptide supplements in the form of pills, or powders that can be added to smoothies are touted as beneficial to skin care concerns.
Collagen peptide creams that are left on the face without being washed off and applied regularly can lock in hydration and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
Are There Any Side Effects?
There are not many known risks to taking collagen peptide supplements and they are typically considered safe.
However, since some supplements are made from potential food allergens such as fish, shellfish and eggs, it’s best to avoid collagen peptide products made with these ingredients if you suffer from allergies.
Your body’s natural collagen production declines with age and exposure to factors such as smoking and UV light, increasing your chances of developing sagging, fine lines, wrinkles, or dry skin.
The use of collagen peptides, either orally or topically, is an effective way of letting your skin know it has depleted its collagen stores and needs to make more in order to ensure the health and texture of your skin.
Collagen peptides come in a variety of different forms and are generally considered safe for integration into your daily skin health routine. However be sure to always follow the instructions on your chosen product carefully.
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