One of the hottest trends right now are collagen supplements which claim to help you repair and revive your skin from the inside out. Sounds like a unicorn, right?!
As we age, we naturally produce less collagen and elastin but can these oral supplements make up for it and provide actual results? Our experts dove into the collagen supplement trend to break down everything you need to know – and if you can actually expect any results.
What Are Collagen Supplements?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our bodies and recently, both capsules of collagen, as well as powders, have hit the market claiming they’re the next “big thing” in skincare. Could it be just another snake oil salesman?
Most of the collagen peptides you’ll find in stores and online today contain a “hydrolyzed” type of collagen which is extracted from hides, bones, or fish scales. Hydrolyzed simply means the particles are in smaller units, which is what allows you to mix in the powder with both hot and cold liquids.
What Are The Benefits?
The purpose of a collagen supplement is to get your body a healthy dose of collagen to keep wrinkles at bay, similar to the promise of high-performance skincare, but with far less science to back it up. Like with any new product, there are benefits promised, and then what you can actually expect to see.
The companies pushing these collagen products promise to help with digestion, reduce wrinkles, and improve the health of your hair, but recently experts spoke out against these claims. “The science is truly in its infancy,” says WebMD. “There’s a lot of conflict of interest, and not enough quality control.”
Is It Worth It?
The short answer is no. While we believe that there is a benefit to getting collagen in your body naturally through foods like fish, pork, beef, and chicken, the type of proteins that are usually included in collagen supplements get lost in your digestive tract and never provide any benefits. Instead, stick with a topical moisturizer that delivers the proteins and collagen directly to your skin.
The human body doesn’t absorb collagen whole, so the idea that taking a supplement can directly promote skin or hair health isn’t true. Assuming just because you swallow something it will benefit your body in its same form is not only incorrect, it can have long term negative effects with the lack of proper research surrounding this new craze.