Three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and the signs of aging. As we smear on our multiple, anti-aging skin care products, did you ever stop to wonder what exactly causes those wrinkles and fine lines in the first place? Also, what’s the deal with so many health and beauty brands promoting “collagen” as the ‘cure’ to prevent or get rid of them? Before I answer that, let’s define what ‘collagen’ actually is.
As the most abundant protein in your body, collagen is the building block for bones, muscle, and skin. Speaking of skin, it can be found in the middle layer known as the “dermis,” and a surprising 80% of your skin is made up of it. Working hand in hand with another protein called “elastin,” both help keep your skin strong and—well, elastic. As we grow older though, we begin to lose both. All hope is not lost though! While we can’t reverse time, we can instead replenish our collagen to help keep those signs of aging at bay for just a little longer. Whether you choose to take collagen orally (via supplements) or topically (from skin care products), not only will it help promote a more youthful appearance, but has numerous health benefits to boot.
Sadly, once we reach our mid twenties, our bodies start to break down more collagen than it can make. In fact, you lose 1% of collagen a year after age 25. Que horror! Less collagen means less strength and elasticity in your skin, which produces those wrinkles and fine lines. Taking in or applying collagen keeps the supply level high enough to balance everything out, ‘fill in’ those emerging wrinkles, and restore plumpness and firmness to the skin.
Promoting growth is one way collagen can help with your crowning glory. Nasty free radicals, either caused by smoking, air pollutants, or overexposure to the sun just to name a few, can damage hair follicles and lead to premature hair loss. But having enough collagen in the body strengthens those follicles and can even increase your hair’s volume. If you have chemically-damaged or dry hair like I do, sufficient collagen restores your hair’s moisture levels, repairs dry and brittle strands, and maintains its overall health.
Many celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, credit collagen for keeping them looking young and glowing. While it does wonders on the ‘outside,’ collagen is chock full of benefits that work on the ‘inside,’ too. Just some of the things it can do include reducing joint and knee pain, improving digestive health, and helping build and strengthen muscle. Certain studies claim that with a regular intake of collagen, it’s also possible to restore hormonal balance, as well as prevent heart disease and possibly Alzheimer’s.
Collagen Products You Might Like:
Ari has been blogging since 2012 about all things beauty with a sprinkle of different topics here and there. She loves makeup just as much as she loves almost anything nerdy like video games and comic books, and is big on Japanese culture.