As a skincare blogger, there is a trend that caught my attention in the past few weeks in Singapore… the hype about collagen drinks. International beauty brands have been spending a lot of advertising dollars in roadshows and promotions of collagen supplements in major personal care chain stores.
Do these collagen drinks really help in improving your skin? Are they worth the investment? Let us first understand what collagen is…
Roles Of Collagen
What are the roles of collagen for the human body? Collagen is a natural protein component of the skin that is the main building block for cells, tissues and organs.
Collagen fibres, in the dermis layer (the middle layer) of the skin, support the skin’s mechanical strength and texture. Hence the quantity and quality of the skin’s collagen plays a major role in the appearance of young and healthy skin. It repairs, restores and regenerates your skin.
The body naturally produces the collagen that it needs, but this production is gradually disrupted as part of the natural aging process. Women generally produce collagen less slowly than man, and the collagen is lost at rate of 1% a year from the age of 25. This means that a woman has naturally lost almost half of the collagen from her skin by the age of 50.
Collagen production is also negatively affected by sunlight, air pollution, lack of sleep and exposure to toxins such as cigarettes and low quality skincare products. With lower levels of collagen, the skin loses its natural elasticity and firmness, and fine lines, wrinkles and sagging appear.
So Here’s The Truth About Collagen Supplements…
Most collagen drinks and other related supplements claim to offer a range of benefits, including reducing wrinkles, skin whitening, reversing the age of skin etc.
The truth is that currently, there is little or no dermatological evidence that collagen supplements have any effect on skin appearance at all. Collagen is a type of protein which when ingested, is broken down by the digestive system into individual amino acids to be recombined by cells according to their needs. It is almost like eating proteins from your beef, chicken and egg dishes.
In other words, there is no guarantee that the collagen that you ingested will be utilised onto specifically your face to make you look younger.
What about collagen in skincare products that are applied externally? Most collagen molecules applied to the skin in lotion, cream or gel forms are far too large to be absorbed into the dermis – they merely lie on the surface and get washed or rubbed off.
3 Ways To Improve The Appearance Of Your Skin
The abundance of collagen supplements on the market shows that most of us are genuinely concerned about our skin health. So, based on the best dermatological and anti-aging expert advice, what can be done to ensure that we look young and beautiful to impress our friends at our 20-year school reunions?
- Slow down the loss of collagen
To ensure sufficient collagen in the skin, first prevent loss of the collagen that you already have. If you are not already on a proper sun care regimen, that should be your first priority. Studies have shown that sun protection is one of the most important ways in which you can combat aging. Cigarette smoke and alcohol, like sun exposure, has also been shown to greatly degenerate collagen, and there is also evidence that lack of sleep has a negative effect on skin health.
- Maintain good nutrition
Eating the right foods and getting good sources of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables is very important for collagen production. Brightly coloured produce such as tomatoes, grapefruit and watermelon contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene, which helps prevent collagen degeneration.
Fruits such as oranges, strawberries and red peppers also contain Vitamin C, the key for the optimum condition of the skin. Vegetables such as broccoli, leafy greens and cauliflower provide our skin with glucosinolates, which fight the free radicals that attack our collagen.
Omega-3 fatty acid known as eicosapentanoic acid or EPA, which has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects to help protect and heal the skin. Omega-3 is found in food sources such as oily fish and spirulina.
Lastly, avoid starchy foods and sugary substances; this helps reduce inflammation which interferes with the body’s natural collagen production processes. Read more about skin healing foods in this post.
- Use proper skincare products
The right skin care helps regulate the optimum skin condition so that it is protected from extreme stresses. Your priority is to avoid skincare with the following 7 harmful chemicals:
- Synthetic fragances
- Chemical preservatives
- Heavy metals (Lead, Mercury Arsenic)
Regular exfoliation with a gentle exfoliator scrub, or with alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) can help to ensure healthy cell renewal. Other skin care products that have been proven to help combat aging include products that have antioxidant properties, examples of which include green tea extracts, coffeeberry and DHEA.
In addition, use skin care with micronized collagen, like Maione Youth Original Essence. This product employs the unique US Peptide Chain Technology to make the collagen molecules to be small enough to be absorbed by your skin into the dermis layer, where the elastic fibres are.
Unlike consuming collagen supplements, Maione spray also allows you to target the troubled skin areas that you want to improve, e.g. face, neck or hands.
So do you have any experience with collagen supplements? Share with us in the comments box below!