Whether from the media, newspaper articles, or even beauty influencer… it’s likely that you’ve already heard the buzz around collagen. We usually hear that collagen is good for aesthetic reasons, as it helps support our skin, hair, and nails. You can find collagen in anti-wrinkle creams, skin moisturizers, and overall beauty products. Collagen is also sold in powders and peptides, and it’s even present in flavorful gummies that taste like delicious candy.
But did you know that collagen is way more than a beauty supplement? Let’s take a deep dive into what collagen really is and all the benefits it has to offer!
Yes, you read right: collagen protein. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body; it makes up one third of all that protein! It’s found in your skin, hair, and nails, and even in your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen is known as the “glue that keeps the body together” because collagen’s fibers are what hold things together in your body, such as your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin.
There are 16 types of collagen in your body, but over 90% belong to type 1, 2, and 3. Below is a quick summary on these different types of collagen:
• Type 1 collagenis the most abundant in humans. It can be found in your hair, skin, bones, tendons, nails and organs. Type I is commonly associated with beauty product as it has been shown to help with hair and nails, making them strong and healthy. Type 1 collagen is so densely packed together that its even stronger than steel!
• Type 2 is found in your cartilage, which is the connective tissue that protects your bones and joints. Type 2 is extremely important for joint health.
• Type 3 collagen is usually grouped with Type 1 collagen as they both work together to support the skin, hair, nails, bones, and muscles. Type 3 is usually found in your skin and organs.
Collagen is essential in our bodies for a number of reasons. Collagen provides structure to our bones, skin, and connective tissue. It’s responsible for our skin elasticity, the strength of our hair and nails, and even the flexibility of our joints. Since collagen is a protein, it helps improve our muscle mass and prevent bone loss. Collagen is also linked to our gut and cardiovascular health, as well as mood and anxiety.
With the help of Vitamin C, your body naturally produced collagen. However, as you get older, your collagen production starts to decline. Collagen starts to decline around your late twenties, in which case the collagen you produce isn’t as effective as the collagen produced during your youth. Collagen production is also affected by sun exposure, smoking, sugar consumption, air pollution and inadequate diets. When collagen starts to decline, our overall elasticity declines as well. You start losing the “glue” that is keeping everything today. That’s when you begin to see fine lines and wrinkles which usually go alongside joint pain, dry hair, and brittle nails.
Should You Take a Collagen Supplement?
What Else Can You Do to Help Collagen Production?