What is Collagen? What does it do to your Skin?

Beauty and skin care routine are becoming more and more mainstream and women are increasingly approaching it with a scientific mind. While buying skin care products you must have come across the term ‘collagen’ which is believed to be great for your skin. 

What is collagen? 

Before you decide on using a product containing this element, you should know what the term means and how it is associated with your skin. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins, not only in humans but in every mammal. It is particularly useful for giving our skin the required strength and elasticity,

This protein is in charge of a lot of your body functions, which includes giving structural support to the skin. Collagen also plays a major part in maintaining gut, joint and bone health, keeping up a healthy weight, reducing anxiety, improving mood, and supporting nail and hair growth. A healthy diet rich in nutrients like Proline, Anthocyanidins, Vitamin A & C and copper helps your body synthesise this versatile protein.

Collagen is the substance that holds the body together. It is an insoluble, flexible, strong and fibrous protein constituting one-third of total protein in a human body. Molecules in collagen usually remain stacked closely forming long and thin scaffolding and fixing one cell with another. Almost 16 types of collagen exist having diverse structures and functions. But most of them can be classified into types 1, 2, or 3. In fact, experts believe collagen fibrils like gram-for-gram to be stronger than steel. Breaking down and reduction of these proteins often lead to numerous health problems.

Collagen can also be classified as endogenous (the natural type), synthesized primarily by connective tissue cells, or as exogenous (the artificially made). Procured from an external source, it is commonly known as supplement and is used in repairing body tissues. 

Though collagen is responsible for a number of functions, in this article we will deal with its relevance for skin.

Also read: Dry? Normal? Oily? Do You Know Your Skin Type?

What is collagen for skin? 

Collagen is formed throughout your body, but the collagen for skin, is the most critical one as it is a major component of your skin. The naturally produced collagen is vital for the skin as it keeps it agile and youthful while providing elasticity and hydration. 

However, with age the production levels diminish. As this happens, the skin loses its potential to recuperate back to shape or retain elasticity. Soon the structural integrity of the skin dwindles, leading to wrinkles. Collagen production also declines due to high sugar consumption, smoking, overexposure to UV rays, autoimmune disorders and genetic changes.

Some foods, including bone broth, are rich in collagen. Those who want wrinkle-free skin take such foods as supplements. Collagen supplements are also available in the stores and also online in the form of capsules, tablets and powders.

Also read: Non-Surgical Skin Treatments Every 30 Something Should Try!

What does collagen do to your skin?

Collagen plays a significant role in forming a fibrous network of cells in the middle layer of your skin called dermis. It is on these fibroblasts that new cells grow. Elastin is primarily found in the dermis; hence collagen and elastin are deeply connected.

Collagen for skin is also essential in substituting and refurbishing dead skin cells. Women witness marked drop in collagen production post menopause and by the time they are 60, a substantial decrease in collagen production is usual. The good news is that it can be restored. It can be deconstructed, remoulded into compacted solid or lattice-like gel which is then absorbed by the body. 

Also read: All About Skin Disorders: Here are the 20 most common ones

Collagen supplement options

Collagen can be used as skin fillers. Skincare specialists often use collagen injections to improve the contours of the skin and to fill-up gaps or scars on skin. Fillers rich in collagen are applied cosmetically to get rid of lines and wrinkle from face and to improve scars. Besides, collagen rich supplements are known to be beneficial in osteoarthritis cure. 

However, these processes of supplementing lost collagen could be complicated and you might not be ready to avail it. Not to worry! Recent studies conducted in different countries, have better news in store. 

Research shows that creams, powders and serums with collagen peptides or supplements help control skin aging and reduce wrinkles. These products also revitalize the skin by increasing its levels within the body. 

Vitamin C enriched serums are now available in the market. These serums contain antioxidants and a variety of fruit extracts which have a hydrating effect on your skin and helps in maintaining the skin texture. They are especially good for pigmented and sun-damaged skin. If you are dealing with any such issue then you can include a vitamin C serum or retinol serum regularly to your skin care routine.

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