Is your skin showing signs of ageing by way of lines, wrinkles or liver spots? Do you suffer from any conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or rosacea? Is your skin actually really good, but you’re keen to care for it now, so that it stands the test of time?
Whatever the answer, as part of our skin series, we’re really lifting the lid on a greater understanding of this incredible organ and how to care for it. We’ll do that here by specifically looking at what collagen does for skin.
With one third of the protein in our body comprising collagen, this miracle molecule can help your complexion by:
- Boosting your own natural collagen production
- Enhancing structure, strength and elasticity of skin
- Improving gut health and mitigating auto-immune conditions that can affect the skin such as psoriasis and eczema
- Supporting cognitive function which may help psychodermatological issues (skin problems affected by emotions)
What does collagen do for skin?
You probably already know that collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Its name is derived from the Greek word for glue, ‘kólla’. This is for good reason - collagen is very much the figurative glue that holds our body together. So what does collagen do for skin? Well, it provides support structures, giving it strength and elasticity thereby creating plumper, firmer looking skin with less wrinkles and sagging.
When we’re young, we naturally produce plenty of collagen, which is why our skin typically looks in such good condition. Although it varies from person to person, by the time we reach our mid twenties, our production levels slow down. From this point, our levels decrease by approximately one percent each year. This is further exacerbated for women as they enter the menopause. As a result of this decline, tell-tale skin signs begin to appear by way of fine lines and then eventually wrinkles, sagging, liver spots and a less radiant complexion.
Other factors contributing to the reduction of collagen
Briefly, we should consider that ageing alone is not the sole contributor to skin health. The following can all have an impact, be it positive or negative:
- Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays
- Smoking and exposure to smoke
- Diet and nutrition
- Sugar intake
- Alcohol or drug consumption
- Stress/ anxiety
- Hormone imbalances
What does protein do for your skin?
Edible Health’s 100% hydrolysed collagen protein powder is designed to serve as a collagen supplement. For countless Edible Health customers, they take collagen powder to restore collagen protein in the skin, and achieve superb results. So many of our reviews about taking collagen for skin refer to the smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles, and the return of a more vibrant, glowing complexion. However, many customers report numerous other benefits too, which is all down to how the body decides to digest and assimilate this miracle molecule.
Collagen and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema
Have you heard the expression that our gut is our second brain? Science is increasingly turning to our insides in an effort to better understand the total health and well-being of our body and mind. This is certainly where things get really interesting, and the full and far-reaching potential power of protein begins to become evident.
In the most simplified of nutshells, our gut is the root of much of our well-being.
If things on the inside are performing as they should, then this is by and large reflected everywhere else - including on the outside. When it comes to a happy gut, collagen once more has a starring role. It maintains the integrity of our intestinal wall, helping to ensure everything stays where it should be! When this wall is compromised, conditions such as leaky gut are believed to occur. It is believed this happens when the wall effectively leaks toxins from the gut into the system at large and/or does not adequately absorb all the nutrients we ingest.
This may contribute to a range of health conditions, including auto-immune diseases (when the body turns on itself, believing its own tissue is a foreign invader that must be eliminated). Psoriasis and eczema are believed to be auto-immune diseases. As a result, collagen supplements may play a role in helping maintain gut health, thus reducing the chance of some autoimmune diseases developing and ultimately negatively impacting skin health.
Mind over matter? The connection between skin and psychology
There is compelling and growing evidence to suggest our skin health can directly correlate to our mental health, and vice-versa. Referred to as psychodermatology, this body of science explores skin problems affected by emotions, psychological problems arising from significant skin conditions, and even psychiatric disorders manifesting in the skin (for example, delusional parasitosis).
It is a growing area of scientific study and interest and certainly once more demonstrates how so much of our health and well-being needs to be holistically considered.
Whilst there is little clinical evidence to support such claims, many of our customers report an improvement in cognitive health when taking collagen. Given that this power protein contains the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine, along with the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine, plus glutamic acid - all of which have been proven clinically to be vital for brain health and function - it’s no wonder we receive reports of such positive mental health benefits.
We hope this series goes a long way in helping you better understand this incredible organ and how collagen may help to care for it now, and well into the future.
The information we have provided herewith, and all linked materials, are not intended nor should they be construed as medical advice. Moreover, the information herewith should not be used as a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions and consult your General Practitioner for advice specific for you.