Does Ingesting Collagen REALLY make a difference in your skin?
Welcome, welcome, WELCOME everyone! Okay, let’s cut the chit-chat today because this is such a GREAT topic that really, everyone could benefit from knowing. If you have been living under a rock for a few months, then you may not have seen the collagen trend. But, if you have, I'll fill you in: Ingestible collagen and foods high in collagen are ALL the rave right now for glowing skin. If you type in “Collagen” in Google, you get all types of articles for tips and tricks on how to take care of your skin.
First, what even is collagen?
“Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is formed by the linking and winding together of amino acids to form collagen fibers,” Alyssa R. Golas, MD, plastic surgeon at NYU Langone Health.
Melanie Adams (An Instructor at Texas Laser and Aesthetics Training Academy for all things skin)(Most credible person to talk about skin)(@Meltheskinslayer on Instagram) messaged me the other day with a response that she had given a woman about the question “Does drinking ingestible collagen help with wrinkles?”, and she was generous enough to send it over to post it on here!
“Ingestible collagen has been around forever. Heck, jello is ingestible collagen. You can’t put collagen back into your body or skin, you are born with the amount of collagen/elastin at the highest abundance it will ever be at when you are a baby. You can only reproduce daughter cells from your fibroblasts (the cells that stimulate collagen and elastin). When you hit around your 20’s, your collagen and elastin supply that you had starts degrading at a more rapid rate. All you can really do to stimulate new collagen is to create a controlled injury to it, (like microneedling, fractional resurfacing, lasers, etc.), but even that won’t do much if you’ve already burned through your supply. That’s why protecting that supply is HUGE, because every time your skin has to divide into new cells to heal the trauma of the things that damage it (UV rays, free radicals, oxidative stress, etc) that cell division is never as good as the original collage we once had. There are also different types of collagen that we can stimulate, and the ones that come at a high cost of inflaming the skin don’t have nearly the same integrity to it long term.
Going back to putting collagen back into the body or skin, it simply doesn’t work that way. Collagen molecules are very large and applying it topically won’t penetrate past the dead skin layer, let alone all the way down to your dermis, which is where your collagen lays in the skin. Even if it could, it wouldn’t know what to do with foreign collagen that isn’t yours. It can be used as an emollient ingredient, making your skin feel temporarily soft and silky until it’s washed off... That’s about it.
Ingesting it, on the other hand, goes through your digestive tract and then is excreted through your waste. I think there is some research for it helping to temporarily increase joint lubrication until you excrete it out, but that’s about it. It wouldn’t make it anywhere near your layers of skin. But hey, placebo is strong!”
Ah, such a beautiful and accurate response! That about summed up everything needed to be said, haha! Thank you guys for coming back! Until next time!
Written with all of the love,
The Laser Loft Team