If you were to listen to your skin to hear what it was trying to tell you, it would say something like this:
“Not to be dramatic or anything, but if you do not actively go out of your way to pamper me, I will make you look like a shriveled raisin before you can even reach 40.”
“And I’m a huge fan of that collagen stuff. Mmhmm. Keep sending that my way.”
“Also use sunscreen, pretty please.”
“And have I told you that you’re gorgeous, and I love you?”
The sunscreen is self-explanatory. We all know the dangers of UV exposure. But what is the collagen your skin is craving?
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a complex protein found in the skin, and it makes up a lot of it: about 75-80% of your skin if we’re throwing out numbers here. (Can you see why your skin is practically begging for good collagen?)
It is also an important part of the rest of your body. It makes up over 30% of the protein in your body and can be found building and supporting all the areas where collagen is found, including tissues, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, organs, bones, cartilage, hair, eyes, and the digestive system.
Benefits of Collagen
So we know there’s a lot of this protein collagen hanging out in your body. But what are the benefits of collagen? Let’s take a look.
- Helps with joint aches and pains. Collagen is an important part of the connective parts of joints, so it makes sense that adequate collagen can alleviate pain and aches in your joints. Not having enough collagen can lead to osteoarthritis.
- Smooths wrinkles and boosts skin elasticity. When collagen starts diminishing, your skin begins to sag. The firmness of the skin is compromised, and wrinkles start to appear or deepen.
- Improves gut health. Collagen is in the connective tissue throughout the GI tract and colon. There may be a correlation between low collagen levels and irritable bowel disease (IBD) as multiple studies have shown that in patients with IBD, there is an imbalance between the breakdown and formation of collagen fibers.
- Keeps bones healthy. Women post-menopause need to be even more aware of the need to keep bones healthy, as their bone density decreases faster. Collagen, it is hypothesized by researchers, may both stimulate bone formation and slow down bone loss.
- Improves heart health. Collagen can be helpful in strengthening artery walls, which can be helpful in preventing coronary artery disease (when too much plaque builds up in your arteries).
- Keeps muscle definition. Without collagen, muscles would shrink, weaken, and lose their definition.
So pretty much every part of your body would be on board with your skin’s plea for more collagen. They all need it to function properly, keeping you not only looking good but also feeling your best.
Your body produces collagen throughout your life, but once you hit 30 it starts to taper off on the collagen production. That’s when your skin starts hissing, “Pssst. I was not kidding about that pampering stuff. Send. Collagen. My. Way.” A few factors can cause it to break down even faster. These include:
- Extended UV exposure
- Alcohol use
- Poor diet
While most of these interferences are choices, menopause is not. Menopause causes bone density to decrease, so women in and after menopause should consult with their doctors on the best way to keep their bones as healthy as possible.
Give Me All the Collagen!
The good news about collagen is even if your collagen production has started slowing, getting more collagen can help improve your body in all the areas collagen benefits, but most notably in your skin. Adding collagen can help your skin resume some of its former elasticity and can help reduce those wrinkles.
Collagen can be found in many different sources, from foods high in protein (meat, fish, dairy, and beans), to collagen supplements (in powder or capsule form), and even collagen moisturizers.
Our collagen supplements are made with all clean ingredients and you can take daily to promote collagen. While you should be sure to run any supplement use by your doctor first (especially since supplements are not FDA regulated and you want to find something safe if you are going to be ingesting it).
Go ahead, make your skin happy. Chances are it will be so thankful, you might even hear it humbly whisper, “Sorry about all that teenage acne!”