A Guide To Collagen For Beginners
Everything you need to know about this essential protein
Collagen is the latest buzzword to come from the world of beauty and skincare – but what is it and how does it help us in the long run? Alexander Johnston, General Manager of John Bell & Croyden, tells us what we need to know and how we can start boosting our count using supplements.
A Guide To Collagen For Beginners
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is an essential protein that is naturally occurring in your body – in fact, it is the most abundant protein in the human body and is used to build connective tissues, repair the skin and keeps skin plump and elastic. From the age of about 20, our bodies start to produce less and less of this protein, on average about one percent less per year, meaning that, as we grow older, our skin can lose density and begin to droop.
How Can We Boost Our Collagen Levels?
The good news is that there is a whole world of supplements available that can ‘top-up’ your collagen supply and maintain fuller, tighter skin – as well as keep your joints supple and healthy. It can also help with skin that is prone to breakouts and hyperpigmentation.
Collagen supplements usually come in a liquid form, in tablets or in a powder, which can be taken in various ways by simply mixing with water or adding to smoothies or porridge, making it a very easy step to add to your morning routine.
Which Supplements Can We Use?
Most collagen supplements are usually derived from cattle (bovine) or fish (marine), as these are the closest in structure to that of human collagen. The protein is extracted and then hydrolysed, which means it is broken down into peptides that are small protein chains that easily dissolve in water.
There are five main types of collagen, with only types I, II and III being useful as a supplement to the human body – and it is here that opinions tend to split on whether bovine or marine collagen is the superior product.
Both contain type I collagen, which is makes up ninety percent of the human body and is used to provide structure for bones, skin, ligaments and tendons.
Bovine also has type III collagen, which is found in the gut and is essential for tissues that need to withstand stretching and rebounding. Many bovine supporters believe this gives this form of collagen the edge as it promotes greater elasticity in the skin.
Marine is very similar in size to human collagen which improves its absorption and bioavailability and is, some argue, far more effective than its bovine alternative.
There is also a third option, and these are entirety plant-based. While they cannot really be called collagen supplements, as they contain no actual collagen, they are formulated to boost your body’s natural production of collagen and are suitable for vegans.
What Should We Keep In Mind Before Shopping?
The most common form all of these supplements come in is a powder, sometimes flavoured, sometimes not, as this allows you to get the necessary dose of collagen that the body needs to show positive effects (which is around ten to fifteen grams per day).
But collagen alone is not enough, it needs to be taken with synergistic ingredients that ensure it is absorbed into the body correctly so that it can go to work. Look for brands that have hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, copper and zinc in the ingredients list, as these are the magic key to full absorption and efficacy.
Do not expect instant results one you start taking a supplement, it will take a number of weeks for your skin to show improvements, but, as long as you maintain your regime, you will see your complexion become brighter, clearer and tighter as time goes on.
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Featured image: Oleksandra Bardash, Unsplash
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