The importance of choosing the right collagen for skin
Collagen seems to be a hot topic in skin care circles and receives opinions for and against. In this article, we collected most common questions and answers about collagen: here's everything you need to know about the protein called collagen.
To begin, let’s explore the basics: what exactly is collagen?
Good question! Collagen is actually a protein that occurs naturally in the body. Collagen is the most important building block of the skin and the single most important wrinkle-preventing and elasticity preserving factor. The skin of a young person can contain up to 80% collagen.
So if the body produces collagen naturally, what is the purpose of different collagen products?
Around the age of thirty, the amount of collagen begins to decrease at an annual rate of 1-2%, accelerating the aging process of the skin. This can be seen, for example, as deeper wrinkles and loss of volume and elasticity.
Okay, so we need more collagen?
Yes - if the benefits such as keeping the skin firmer for longer, seem like something you want to pursue!
However, just any old collagen will not help. For example protein-rich food also contains collagen, but unfortunately, increasing the amount of protein does not lead to smoother skin. The effect of a daily collagen supplement on skin has been studied, and its effectiveness has actually only been demonstrated in studies with hydrolyzed collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen refers to collagen that has been broken down into smaller peptides, to a certain peptide length.
Collagen is also widely used in creams that are applied to the surface of the skin, but in this case the effect is local and only reaches the outer layers of the skin.
Therefore, the benefits of collagen are most comprehensive when digested.
Yikes! You lost me at peptide…
While you can ignore the fancy terminology, it's crucial to understand that the hydrolyzation process is necessary for the skin-smoothing effect of collagen.
So the effect has been studied, but can I know if these studies can be trusted in the first place?
You can start by checking out the studies done on hydrolyzed collagen here.
It is noteworthy these studies have been carried out according to so-called 'gold standard'. This means that they are (WARNING - more fancy science terms coming your way):
- published in recognized medical databases
If you want to understand these terms better, keep on reading. If you are not interested, or are fully on top of them, skip to the next question.
The study is placebo-controlled when the group receiving the active ingredient is compared to the group receiving a placebo (in this case, a powder that does not contain the active ingredient). This ensures that the measured effect is the result of the active substance and not of other factors that may have affected the skin, such as smoking, sun, other cosmetics, little sleep and/or stress.
When the participants in the study, and the researchers interpreting the results, do not know who receives the substances under study and who will receive a placebo, the study is double-blinded. In addition, it is completely random how the participants are divided into two groups. Therefore, the research result cannot be influenced consciously or unconsciously.
Independent researchers who have not participated in the study have reviewed the documents afterwards, in which case the study's implementation and findings have been peer-reviewed.
Publication in a medical database, on the other hand, requires certain quality requirements to be met in order for the publication to be permitted.
So what exactly was demonstrated in these studies?
The depth of lines and wrinkles in the subjects' skin was found to be reduced by up to 20% (more precisely 20.1%) during the eight-week study period (dosage of 2.5 g of Verisol® collagen or placebo once a day). In another study, skin elasticity improved by 15% in four weeks.
So adding a collagen supplement to your diet is not an overnight miracle cure, the results will require some time. However, if you stick to it, it seems undeniable that simply by adding a daily dose of collagen in your morning coffee, you can get significantly firmer and smoother skin in a few months.
Before and after picture, using The Solution from Oslo Skin Lab.
Who is collagen suitable for?
Since the structure of collagen peptides is very similar to the collagen naturally occurring in the body, it could be said that taking a collagen supplement is a very natural way to maintain a more youthful appearance. Benefits will be most prominent for those over the age of 30 and above, but a lot pf people choose to use it in a pre-emptive manner also. It is suitable for all skin types.
Collagen peptides have no documented side effects and collagen itself has no allergens. However, you should be watchful with different products. The Solution™ - collagen product contains only collagen: no fillers or preservatives have been added to it, and no synthetic solvents are used in its processing, thus it is safe also for allergy sufferers to use.
What can I expect - eternal youth?
Let’s face the facts, using a collagen supplement will not erase the consequences of a bad lifestyle. If you smoke, sleep too little and eat poorly, this will inevitably show on the outside as well, no matter what. Neither is it meant to cover all your skin care needs, for example regular cleansing and moisturizing and adequate sun protection will be necessary regardless.
What is does, though, is treat the skin all over, unlike topical treatments, which creates a great basis for other skin care, and gives your skin that extra boost from the inside. Those results from the studies show real improvement in terms of skin smoothness and elasticity.
There is nothing wrong about wrinkles and lines, and the collagen supplement is not meant to erase them completely. But if your goal is to look your best regardless of age and age gently, a high quality supplement of hydrolyzed collagen, such as Oslo Skin Lab’s The Solution, is a highly recommended addition to your routine!