Collagen for the skin – The definitive guide

In this article I’m going to share the major benefits of collagen for the skin and the science behind them.

By the end you’ll have all the info you need to understand why , if , and how to supplement collagen.

COLLAGEN FOR THE SKIN: INTRO

WHAT FOODS CONTAIN COLLAGEN?

Foods naturally rich in collagen are bone broth (grass fed), chicken and fish.

There are other foods that don’t contain collagen but help with collagen production or prevent breakdown. These are, for example, garlic, nuts, leafy greens, broccoli, egg whites, tomatoes, and berries.

Berries are fantastic because not only they’re low in sugar and contain vitamin C    ( crucial in collagen production); they’re also rich in Ellagin  which reduced collagen breakdown within the body. 

Garlic contains caffeic acid which inhibits the degradation of procollagen type 1 ( click here to read the study).

Tomatoes and citrus fruits contain vitamin C which is required to give collagen its final structure, thus making it fully functional..

berries boost collagen

Collagen for the skin: these are the benefits

Collagen is a protein and one of the most abundant ones in the body. 

Collagen is what gives your skin elasticity & structure but  its benefits are not limited to the skin. Nails, hair, and all other connective tissues benefit from collagen too!

Simply put collagen is what makes our skin to look youthful, firm, and healthy. 

As we age collagen begins to deplete fast and this is when wrinkles and saggy skin appear.  Pollution and cigarette smoking  contribute to collagen degradation too.

A double blind placebo controlled study published on the Journal of Skin Pharmacology & Physiology showed an increase in skin elasticity in the group of women who took collagen every day for 8 weeks.

This increase in skin elasticity was due to the increase in pro-collagen 1 and elastin. 

Elastin is another crucial protein that provides the skin with structure. Elastin allows the skin to go back to its shape after each movement.

Collagen & elastin are both important for anti-aging.

How much collagen should you take ?

As with any other protein there’s no a one size fits all approach. The amount of collagen you should take EVERY DAY depends on your specific goal. 

Are you taking collagen just to improve your skin? In this case even just 10 grams a day might be enough.

If you’re taking collagen to increase your daily protein intake and increase muscles you’re probably gonna need around 30 grams a day. 

The amount of collagen you need varies also considering that our ideal daily proteins needs varies. As a general rule consider that you should have (at least) 1 gram of protein for each lbs.

For example I weigh 103 lbs and take approximately 100g proteins a day. These of course are not just collagen; I also take whey after a workout. The majority of my proteins come from real food.

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When it's the best time to take collagen?

No need to stress about this! Take collagen any time during the day, from breakfast to dinner or as a healthy snack. 

Is collagen vegan?

Collagen is a protein found in animals and it’s not vegan by definition.

All companies selling you “vegan” collagen are misleading you. These products might boost your body collagen production , but they’re not real collagen.

Marine vs Animal Collagen: which one is better?

When should you start taking collagen?

Because collagen is essential not just for the skin but also for muscles, nails, hair, and joints,  you can and should take it starting in your 20’s. Disclaimer: as with any other supplement, consult with a physician before taking collagen if you have health issues.

How long does it take for collagen supplements to work?

This is impossible to tell as it depends on each individual, but what’s sure is that it doesn’t happen overnight !

Nothing changes overnight. Give it a least a month.

Collagen for skin whitening: does it work?

Collagen is NOT a skin whitening agent or ingredient. However it can contribute to improve overall skin tone.

There are some supplements on the market that contain collagen & glutathione. In this care the whitening agent is glutathione so if you’re planning to take collagen for skin whitening purposes, don’t. There are better alternatives like our vitamin C & niacinamide serum.

How to choose collagen supplements for the skin.

There are 28 kinds of collagen and supplements contain a variety of them so if you’re feeling overhwhelmed and don’t know what to choose here are a few tips.

  1. Choose a supplement that has only one ingredient: collagen. Avoid artificial flavoring and, of course, sweeteners like acesulfame potassium that spike your insulin.
  2. Opt for hydrolized collagen. This means the whole protein of collagen has been “cut” into smaller fragments for fast absorption. In fact all proteins we take orally are digested in the stomach and since they’re quite long chains of amino acids this process is not quick (this is also why eating proteins makes you feel full longer compared to carbs).
  3. Find a supplement that includes different kinds of collagen; these are the one to look for: collagen I,II, and III. In particular look for Type I collagen (the most common) found in all connective tissue including the skin.

    Type ll: typical of joints and intervertebral discs. 

    Type lll: skin and blood vessels
    Type lV:  kidneys,  ear, and eye lens.

So after reading all this are you gonna start taking collagen for glowing skin? Let me know in the comments below!

13 thoughts on “Collagen for the skin – The definitive guide

  1. Miriam Farhi Rodrig says:

    Yes Louize, I’m going to order your collagen peptides. Just let me know how to measure 10 gram of your peptides. Thank you. Also, you say I can take it anytime, do you have a preference for breakfast or lunch or supper and before during or after?

  2. Grace Ganga says:

    Thank you, this information is well appreciated I started using collagen because of cervical spondylosis. My doctor recommended Type II, however after reading the benefits I bought the hydrolyzed multi collagen peptides. One scoop contains 9 grams, would you suggest I increase the number of scoops?

  3. Allie says:

    Very informative. How much is your collagen? Can you take collagen in pill form and receive the same benefit as the powdered collagen?

    • Luisa says:

      Yes, pills work just like the powder, no worries! My collagen is a special blend from 5 different animal sources and costs $35. If you buy 2 you get a 10% discount.

  4. Mary says:

    Very helpful. I have a problem with my cervical spine and knees plus sagging skin especially laugh lines, mouth area and hollow under eyes. Which collagen is good for me.

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