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Collagen is one of the most powerful superfood supplements on the market when it comes to skin health and anti-aging. Collagen supplementation can result in smoother, more hydrated skin, fewer wrinkles – even less cellulite! But what about applying it topically? Can you benefit from adding your collagen powder to a facemask? Do all the masks and creams boasting high levels of amino acids really promote more collagen in your skin? Read on to find out.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- How your body uses collagen for younger looking skin
- Why most topical collagen products won’t work
- How to boost your collagen production for better, brighter skin
- How to get started
When you consume the collagen and other cofactors that trigger collagen synthesis in your body, your skin cells produce tiny molecules called procollagen. Procollagen molecules then bind together to form small strands of vitamins and minerals called fibrils. Fibrils then grow into large, more complex fibers that attach themselves to skin cells. Once the fibers are formed and attach to skin cells, the magic of collagen synthesis is in play. This is the scaffolding that provides structure, elasticity, and moisture to your skin.
It’s important to note that all of this happens naturally when you consume collagen from a peptide supplement, bone broth, or by gnawing on the connective tissue of animals. Vitamin C is also a critical cofactor to collagen production.
Knowing exactly how you synthesize new collagen, the idea of topically applied amino acids from collagen doesn’t make a ton of sense.
There’s some budding evidence that collagen injections and topical formulations can supplement your skin’s collagen for short periods of time. But it’s likely that your body will end up breaking that collagen down into amino acids and absorbing it. These products may provide some temporary results, but do nothing to stimulate new collagen growth.
Other products claim to have formulated transdermal collagen, peptides that can cross the skin barrier to stimulate new collagen growth and help maintain existing collagen. However, these are specially formulated products that run into the hundreds of dollars. Not quite the same as slathering collagen powder on your face.
The consensus? It won’t hurt you to use collagen topically, but it’s unlikely that it’s the amino acids that are making your skin look younger and much more likely that it’s the other ingredients in your cream or mask.
The best and most cost-effective way to stimulate new collagen growth and maintain the collagen you have is to take a daily collagen supplement. Read on for other proven, cost-effective ways to keep your skin looking vibrant.
Collagen Supplements + Vitamin C
Several studies that show an increase in skin elasticity, increased hydration, and fewer wrinkles after consistent collagen supplementation. You can get more collagen protein from bone broth, bone broth powder, and collagen peptide powder. Add a vitamin C supplement to aid in collagen synthesis. About 1,000-2000mg of vitamin C per day with your collagen is safe and effective.
Increasing blood flow helps stimulate collagen production, so daily exercise, along with collagen and vitamin C supplementation is key for glowing, younger-looking skin.
LED Light Therapy
Regular LED light therapy is an effective and non-invasive way to stimulate collagen production to reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, and tighten the skin. There are several personal devices on sale, which is great news because you’ll only see results after consistent use.
Microneedling is a procedure that creates tiny injuries to the skin to stimulate your natural healing process, which results in higher cell turnover and an increase in collagen production. You can get similar effects at home with a dermaroller – just be aware that the needles won’t go as deep and, therefore, don’t have quite as a dramatic effect.
Topical Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a compound that your skin cells produce naturally to maintain moisture levels. More moisture means fewer lines and wrinkles. It turns out there is some pretty substantial evidence that topical hyaluronic acid promotes better moisture retention and skin elasticity. It’s also more affordable than transdermal collagen peptide creams.
For more info on the difference between bovine collagen and marine collagen, check out this article.