The new trend in beauty to hit town is targeting inside-out beauty with food and supplements. One of the key ingredients popping up everywhere is collagen. But what is it, how does it work, and how effective is it really?

In order to get to the nitty-gritty, it’s really important to understand a bit more about the skin first. Skin is the largest organ of the body is made up of 3 main layers; the epidermis, the dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. Collagen is the major component of our skin’s connective tissues, and the breakdown of these is what causes wrinkles.

As we age, we lose the collagen that keeps our skin intact causing it to collapse. The body’s ability to replenish collagen naturally decreases by about 1.5% per year. This collapse in the collagen matrix is how we develop fine lines and wrinkles. As our production decreases, the remaining collagen fibers start to stiffen and break, along with thickening and fraying of the elastin fibers. 

This consequently impacts the skin elasticity, structure, and firmness, resulting in the appearance of aged, wrinkled skin and fine lines. 

Now, research can give us a fresh look at how beauty is created. We see skin beauty clearly does come from better skin function, from eating the right skin nutrients. Taking a collagen supplement allows the skin to rebuild itself and return to a more youthful state.

So what is it really?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. It makes up one-third of the total protein found within the body and makes up three-quarters by weight of dried skin.

Collagen has predominately been used in the past in skin care creams, only now, with science behind it, we have a different approach to using collagen.

It is important for people to know that not all collagen is the same! The best collagen has been hydrolysed into small chains of amino acids called peptides that escape digestion and pass directly into the bloodstream, heading to where they’re needed the most.

Collagen supplementation is one way to support the body’s ability to produce collagen. Hydrolysed collagen consists of small peptides with low molecular weight, making it easily digestible, absorbed and distributed in the human body.

Hydrolysed collagen is derived from the naturally present collagen within the bones, skin and connective tissue of animals (i.e. cows, pigs, and fish).  The process of hydrolysis is very important, as in this case, size does matter, the smaller the better. 

What are Hydrolysed Collagen Peptides?

Hydrolysed Collagen Peptides are amino acid chains from collagen (protein) that have been ‘hydrolysed’ to break them into smaller pieces called peptides. 

These small chains of amino acids bypass digestion and enter the body so they can be used to build collagen, replenish collagen stores, and stimulate collagen production, so you can see why the smaller the chain the better.

It is therefore important to ensure your collagen supplement has been produced optimally to ensure bioavailability and scientifically researched to ensure it is only the highest quality product.

So, the next obvious question is, do collagen supplements really work? Research showing the benefit of collagen supplementation is growing, some of the studies have shown collagen supplementation can;

• Improve skin elasticity and skin smoothness, plus decreases the number of facial wrinkles, wrinkle areas and wrinkle depth after 8 weeks

• Increase the moisture content of the skin after 6 weeks, resulting in decreased dryness, decreased oiliness and decreased acne

• Decrease potential of premature aging from UV exposure

• Improve hydration and elasticity and decrease the appearance of wrinkles in human skin at a dose of as little as 1g once daily

Is it time to add Collagen to your skin care routine?

By Cheryl Stewart, Morlife Co-Founder