After my second pregnancy and entering into my 30’s, I could tell my body was going through some changes. My hair felt limp and wouldn’t grow. My skin began to feel rougher, and I went from being super oily to dry and bland. Because of these oh-so-fun challenges, I started researching the benefits of collagen peptides. The research was amazing so I started adding 1 scoop a day to my coffee and I have seen such amazing results! There are so many great benefits of collagen for your hair, skin, and nails, I have to share them with you!
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. According to Dr. Axe, it is found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, the digestive system, and tendons. It is what helps gives our skin strength and elasticity, and it replaces the dead skin cells in our body. When it comes to our joints and tendons, in simple terms, it is the “glue” that helps hold the body together. Collagen protein makes up 30% of the total protein in the body, and 70% of the protein in the skin (1). That’s pretty significant!
As we age, our bodies naturally begin to produce less and less amounts of collagen. And as a result, we start getting wrinkles, our hair gets thinner and weaker, our nails aren’t as strong, and joint pain can start to occur. The added factors of eating a diet high in sugar and significant amounts of sun exposure can also contribute to a decrease in collagen levels. However, there is good news! This is where the benefits of collagen come in. Increasing your collagen consumption can help your skin cells to renew and repair normally.
Benefits of Collagen for the Skin
One of the most noticeable benefits of collagen is to the skin. As we age, the outer layer of our skin thins and loses its elasticity. This is when wrinkles, cellulite, and skin dryness start to become more prominent.
- In 2013, a study was conducted to investigate the anti-aging properties of collagen. In a double-blind, placebo controlled trial, 69 women, ages 35-55 years were randomized to receive 2.5g-5.0g of collagen hydrolysate, once daily for 8 weeks. Skin elasticity, skin moisture, and skin roughness were all measured throughout the 8 week period. By the end of 8 weeks, those that received collagen hydrolysate, had significantly improved skin elasticity, skin moisture, and a decrease in skin dryness and roughness, compared to those that received the placebo (2).
- In 2014, a double-blind placebo study was conducted and found that women who took collagen hydrolysate (the peptide form) regularly for 8 weeks saw a 20% reduction in wrinkles compared to those that took the placebo (3).
Skip all of those expensive creamers and start taking collagen!
If you look at most anti-aging creams, treatments, and shampoos, most of them boast the ingredient of collagen. However, it has been found that the real benefits come internally, and not from topical treatment. According to Steffen Oesser, PhD, Director of the Collagen Research Institute, topical beauty products can temporarily help reduce wrinkles, however, these lotions only target your epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. When you consume collagen, it is absorbed, distributed, and accumulated into the skin.
Added Benefit of Collagen: Reduces Joint Pains and Degeneration
As we lose collagen in our bodies, our tendons and ligaments start experiencing stiffness, swollen joints, and more (4). Remember I said earlier, collagen is like the “glue” that helps hold our bodies together. Think of collagen as the WD40 for your body. It helps your joints move more easily, reduces joint pain that typically comes with aging and can even reduce the risk of joint deterioration.
A study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences found that people with osteoarthritis joint pain treated with type 2 collagen, showed significant enhancements in daily activities such as, walking up stairs, sleeping, and other general improvements in their quality of life (5).
Where To Find Collagen
There are numerous collagen products on the market today. When looking, make sure it is obtained from grass-fed and pastured humanely raised sources that come from a reputable company (6). Many experts recommend Vital Proteins Collagen Powder. I personally use and recommend this as well. This grass-fed collagen has been verified and is:
- Sourced from pasture-raised and grass fed animals
- Packaged in BPA-free containers
- Whole30 Approved
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
If you buy Collagen Powder directly through Vital Protein, they have free shipping on all of their products. In addition, they have a great auto-ship plan that saves you 10% on your collagen (better deal than Amazon).
How to Consume Collagen
It is important to read the directions of the collagen you decide to buy. With Vital Proteins Collagen Powder, I pour one scoop of collagen into my coffee every morning. If you prefer creamer in your coffee, Vital Protein, just recently came out with collagen creamer! There are three different creamers available: vanilla, coconut, and gingerbread. They are made from organic coconut milk and are free of dairy, soy, carrageenan, gluten, artificial sweeteners, and added sugars.
If you aren’t a coffee drinker, there are numerous other ways you can consume.
- Blend into smoothies or juices
- Add to a hot cup of tea
- Mix with oatmeal, soups or sauces
- Add into baked good recipes
I wish I had done a before and after shot of certain areas of my skin. Maybe I will, yet. But I love collagen, and have seen personal results in so many ways and I hope you do too!