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The science behind collagen

Collagen is a word we hear on the regular in the skincare world and rightly so. Collagen is an essential protein for healthy skin. The natural protein is one of the most abundant proteins in our body, so do we really need more of it? 

The science 

Collagen is a fibrous protein which is made up of amino acids. Essentially, collagen provides structure and shape to the body. Collagen is found in all of our fibrous tissues including skin, blood vessels and ligaments. Without collagen, the human body would be shapeless. 

The mighty collagen occurs naturally in all mammals, accounting for around 30% of the protein in the human body. When paired with good nutrition, adequate sleep and a tailored approach to skincare, collagen production is one of the most significant factors of radiant, young skin. 

How collagen production works 

Thanks to its fibrous structure, collagen works to plump up our skin, resulting in increased elasticity and firmer skin. Although collagen production is at 100% in our youth, the production process progressively slows as we age. To compensate, our skin needs extra collagen support to repair and regenerate. 

Our bodies naturally make its own collagen by breaking down dietary protein into amino acids. Amino acids build various types of protein in our bodies, including collagen. Unfortunately, simply sipping on a collagen drink won’t increase our collagen.

As our ability to naturally produce collagen slows age we age, there are things we can do to prevent further collagen damage. For example, you can get the specific building blocks for collagen by eating a balanced diet of protein-rich foods, fruit and fresh vegetables. With that said, they don’t directly boost our collagen levels. Instead, consuming a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables boosts our antioxidant levels which in turn protect our body from oxidative stress which degrades collagen. Protection is key! 

The million-dollar question…

Do I need collagen supplements?

There is so much information on the internet surrounding collagen production and supplements. So, this question is hard to answer. However, according to nutritionist Lily Soutter: “while delaying collagen break-down may reduce skin ageing, there is no robust evidence to link collagen consumption with increase collagen in the skin.” 

To put it simply, no guarantee ingesting expensive collagen supplements will necessarily increase the collagen levels in our skin. So, instead of taking this approach, we should trust science. 

As with most things in life, particularly skincare, prevention is always better than treatment. As our natural collagen begins to diminish in our early twenties, factors such as genetics, ageing, UV damage and lifestyle will also contribute. By taking care of our skin, we can reduce these factors and therefore protect our collagen levels. Want to know how? Stay tuned for the next blog post! 

In the meantime, I offer several non-invasive treatments that are effective in boosting collagen production. No fad-products here, just straightforward science that genuinely works. Want to know more? Get in touch or book in for a free consultation here. Here’s to glowing, healthy skin! 

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