What is collagen?
It’s an elastic fibrous protein that’s naturally found in the skin. As we age, collagen production slows, with a loss of up to 30% of our natural resources by our mid to late 20s. This causes the skin to lose structure, resulting in sagging, fine lines, and crow’s feet. Genetics often come into play with how we age, but so too does lifestyle. Using sun protection and taking good care of your skin will slow the loss of collagen.
So how do collagen beauty products help?
Beauty companies are tackling the issue by adding collagen from bovine and marine sources to their formulations. By putting collagen back into the skin’s dermal layer, the products promote firmer, softer skin. It’s also believed that using or taking collagen can kick-start your own collagen production.
How do I take it?
Collagen supplements and creams are now widely available, and beauty salons also offer treatments featuring a collagen component – such as the Lifting Code Diffusion Filler by Bio Line. Most products also contain a host of other antioxidants that all work in synergy to create a high-performing anti-ageing formulation. The amount of collagen present in supplements can vary from 100mg right up to 6000mg, depending on brand and the type of collagen being used. Topical products have a lower percentage of active ingredients, sitting around the 5% mark.
Is capsule better than cream?
Although topical skincare products containing collagen will give you results, Rachel Dawson, naturopath for Radiance Healthcare, says you are likely to see more improvement by taking an oral supplement. This is simply because of the delivery system and the higher percentage of active ingredients in the product. “I think the biggest myth around collagen is that you can slather it on your skin and expect similar results to those experienced by people who take it orally,” Rachel says.
How soon will it work?
Within 12 weeks you can expect to see improved elasticity and a softening of wrinkles and fine lines, Rachel says. “As well as this,” she adds, “you are likely to notice improved moisture, a reduction in roughness and signs of sun damage – including redness and pigmentation – and less brittleness of nails and hair.”