Collagen is an important building block of all of your connective tissues – including your bones, ligaments, cartilage, and skin. Collagen is naturally produced in your body, but you can also supplement with extra collagen in the form of supplement capsules or liquids, or by eating collagen-rich foods.
But, just what can taking a collagen supplement do for your skin?
In this article, we will cover some of the research out there on collagen supplements, where to buy collagen supplements, and if there are any side effects to adding collagen into your routine.
Collagen Skin Care Benefits
One 2014 study with 3 arms had participants take a hydrolyzed collagen supplement for 130 days, and measured skin firmness, hydration, and wrinkle depth before and after supplementation.
After treatment, 82% of the hydration arm of the study had significant improvements in skin hydration, about 25% of participants in the wrinkle arm had improvements in class 2 & 3 wrinkles, and 37% of participants in the skin firmness arm had improvements in skin firmness after taking the collagen supplement.
A 2011 study done in rats fed the animals a collagen diet or a control casein diet daily for four weeks and then compared the amount of collagen found in the skin. At the end of the trial, the collagen fed rats had a significant increase in the amounts of collagen 1 & 4 as compared to the rats eating the control casein diet.
Another animal model study gave rats a diet of either collagen-based food, or a control food and then exposed the rats to UV rays for 14 weeks. After the study, the rats which were eating the collagen-based foods showed significantly less wrinkle formation, thickened skin, or water loss from the exposure as compared to the control rats.
These studies show that there may be some significant skin benefits in terms of reduced wrinkle formation, hydration improvement, skin firmness, and UV protection from taking a hydrolyzed collagen supplement regularly.
Other Potential Collagen Benefits
Skin benefits may not be the only thing that collagen supplements have to offer, as many other potential health benefits may come along with supplementation.
Taking a collagen supplement regularly may provide additional health benefits in joint pain reduction, bone loss prevention, muscle mass increases, or heart health benefits.
Collagen Supplement Side Effects
Collagen is a naturally found building block of tissues and is commonly found in food items such as meats, bone broths, and animal-based foods.
For most, ingesting extra collagen in the form of a supplement should not have any side effects. However, if there is an allergy to meats, fish, or eggs, you may want to stay away from collagen supplements as these items may be present.
Rarely, there may be a lingering bad taste in your mouth or gastrointestinal upset from taking collagen supplements.
Where to Find Collagen Supplements
Hydrolyzed collagen supplements can be found at most drug stores or supplement shops. You will want to make sure you are buying your supplements from a reputable seller to ensure you are getting a high-quality product.