- Collagen is the most common naturally occurring protein present in the human body, and it plays an integral role in skin elasticity.
- As we age, our collagen level decreases, leading to commonly known signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin–as well as other symptoms, such as joint pain.
- Although skin care products collagen molecules are too large to be adequately absorbed, collagen peptides are able to properly penetrate the skin and facilitate the growth of new collagen.
Commonly considered the most important structural protein in the human body, collagen is composed of long-chain of amino acids known as proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine, integral to building skin, connective tissue, organs, and bones. As such, collagen is critical to skin firmness and elasticity.
The human body produces collagen on its own, but this process slows naturally with age. Other factors such as smoking, UV exposure, poor nutrient intake, or certain health issues can also contribute to lower collagen levels.
What Are Collagen Peptides?
Collagen peptides are made by breaking down full-length collagen molecules. In their shortened form, collagen peptides can enter the top layer of your skin more easily when applied topically. In the case of supplements, collagen peptides enter the bloodstream more quickly than traditional collagen can.
Collagen peptides most often contain collagen derived from bovine hidejoin, bones, or fish scales. Once applied or ingested, they deliver a range of anti-aging and other health benefits by helping to stimulate new collagen growth.
What do collagen peptides do?
By stimulating your body to create more collagen, collagen peptides can better combat signs of aging and other health issues than products containing collagen can.
From reducing wrinkles and firming up skin texture, to improving joint health and strengthening hair and nails, there are many reasons to incorporate collagen peptides into your daily routine.
Is there a difference between collagen and collagen peptides?
Although collagen peptides are made from the same amino acids as collagen protein, because they are shorter than collagen, they are more bioavailable, meaning they circulate more easily throughout your body. Collagen peptides can better travel through the outer skin barrier and are easier for the body to absorb than regular collagen.
This makes collagen peptides better suited to providing the fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) required in the creation of fresh collagen than simple collagen protein is.
Collagen Peptides Benefits for your Skin
With regular use, a skin care or health product containing collagen-stimulating collagen peptides offers a number of tangible benefits.
Collagen peptides can give your skin the appearance of being more firm, reducing wrinkles, boosting skin elasticity, and improving your skin’s hydration levels.
Due to their antioxidant properties, collagen peptides can also soothe inflamed your skin, offer protection against UV rays, and even accelerate wound healing.
Other Benefits of Collagen Peptides
Supplements containing collagen peptides are popular for numerous health reasons other than skin care. Additional health benefits of collagen peptides include the promotion of healthy joints, the strengthening of hair and nails, and the improvement of gut health.
Whether for skin, hair, joints, or other issues, proven health benefits of collagen peptides are all the result of the fact that collagen is a vital protein fundamental to building the firmness, strength, and durability of skin, connective tissue, organs, and bones alike.
What does the research say on collagen peptides?
By increasing skin hydration and elasticity, collagen peptides have been shown to have reduce the appearance of wrinkles, stimulate collagen growth, and boost levels of elastin for more youthful-looking, resilient skin.
Insofar as the research on collagen peptides has been shown to effectively reduce wrinkles, boost elasticity, and protect against the sun’s harmful rays, the anti-aging hype surrounding their use is very true.
Collagen Peptides vs Collagen Supplements
Collagen peptides are composed of the same amino acids as collagen is–they are merely a broken down, shorter version of collagen which is easier for the body to absorb because they are shorter and have less trouble traversing your skin barrier (or your bloodstream, in the case of supplements).
Hydrolyzed collagen is just another name for collagen peptides. Full length collagen is broken down into collagen peptides through a process called hydrolysis, so collagen peptides are frequently referred to as hydrolyzed peptides or hydrolyzed collagen.
Should You Take Collagen Peptides?
If you’re seeking a new addition to your anti-aging skin care routine, you should consider collagen peptides, as they may help improve the overall health and firmness of your skin, increase your skin’s moisture levels, and improving its elasticity.
Those who spend a lot of time in the sun are also good candidates for collagen peptide products, as they have been shown to offer protection against UV exposure.
People recovering from injury or other inflammatory conditions may benefit from collagen peptides as well, due to their anti inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial powers, all of which work to speed up wound healing.
Are collagen peptides FDA approved?
The law does not require cosmetics to be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), so topical skin care products containing collagen peptides are not regulated.
Furthermore, the FDA considers collagen a dietary supplement—and the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements are also not regulated by the FDA.
The FDA does, however, keep tabs on supplements and they take legal action against those who have been shown to make false claims or whose products are unsafe.
When choosing any type of supplement, it’s crucial that the manufacturer hasn’t been reprimanded by the FDA for any of these violations. It can be worthwhile to conduct a bit of research on your chosen product before making a purchase.
How to Take Collagen Peptides
Although most collagen peptide products are dietary supplements (pills) which must be taken orally, there are a wide variety of collagen peptide products available. Other common forms include moisturizers and powders. Any of these forms may be beneficial to you depending on your specific needs.
Collagen peptide powders
Collagen peptide powder generally comes in a tub or packet and is versatile in that it can be added to smoothies, food, or your morning coffee as desired. It works very well to transmit peptides into your bloodstream effectively.
Simply use the scoop that comes with most collagen powders to measure out your daily dose as instructed on your product. Although some find the taste of powders undesirable, there are unflavored powders available, or pills may be more suitable.
Collagen peptide pills
Collagen peptide pills or oral supplements do not need to be stirred into any drink or recipe, however due to the amount of collagen your body needs, pills tend to be on the larger side, and you’ll need to take several each day.
If you struggle with swallowing pills, consider a powder instead. If opting for pills, follow dosage instructions carefully.
While it is possible to obtain some collagen through your diet, it is not possible to obtain collagen peptides this way, as collagen must first be broken down in a special process known as hydrolysis in order to create collagen peptides for use in products.
Side Effects of Collagen Peptides
There are few known risks to using products containing collagen peptides. They are typically considered very safe.
Since some supplements are made from potential food allergens like fish, shellfish and eggs, however, avoid collagen peptide products made with these ingredients if you suffer from allergies on known intolerances.
Your body’s natural process of collagen production slows down with age, exposure to cigarette smoke, and UV light. Less collagen can increase your chances of developing sagging skin, fine lines, wrinkles, or problems with dryness.
The use of oral or topical collagen peptide products can be an effective tool for communicating to your skin that it needs to make more collagen in order to ensure the health of your skin.
Collagen peptides come in a variety of forms. Be sure to always follow the instructions on your chosen product carefully, and when incorporating a topical peptide supplement into your skin care routine, always do a spot test first and discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur.
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