Our founder James describes collagen as “the glue that holds us all together”, and that’s a great way to sum up how important collagen is to our bodies. At Proto-col, we’ve put over 18 years of research into developing collagen supplements that harness the power of specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides®, with different molecular sizes to target particular parts of your body. But what are collagen peptides, and what do they do? In today’s post, we’re going to look at the various ways in which collagen peptides can benefit the largest organ of your body: your skin.
What are collagen peptides, and how do they work?
Collagen is your body’s most abundant protein, making up around 6% of your total body mass. It’s found throughout your body, but in greatest volume in your skin, where it makes up 90% of your skin proteins. It also provides structural support, as it’s a major component of skeletal and connective tissue - so James really wasn’t exaggerating when he called it “the glue that holds us all together”.
Collagen fibres weave together to form a framework where new cells can grow, and collagen peptides are tiny pieces of collagen that build up in your skin and cartilage when you take them in a supplement, replacing the collagen lost naturally to the ageing process. Research suggests that this is what seems to improve the appearance and elasticity of your skin. Interestingly, the way this works is that by ingesting collagen, you create a rush of collagen that your brain interprets as losing collagen. This triggers natural collagen production, meaning even more collagen to support your skin.
Our supplements contain clinically proven Bioactive Collagen Peptides®, which have a true digestibility of 98.4% thanks to their unique single helix structure, which is narrower than other collagen peptides and absorbed almost intact by the cells in your gut. These peptides have a strong bond, making them more able to survive the digestive enzymes that would break down weaker peptide bonds. This means that when you take them, you get more collagen from each dose as well as triggering your body to produce its own.
So, how can collagen peptides help your skin? Let’s look in turn at three of the main areas where collagen can help transform your skin.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles are a fact of life, and unfortunately, that’s especially true for women, who lose collagen at a faster rate than men as part of the ageing process. Collagen loss gets even faster during and after the menopause, with the resulting reduction in oestrogen bringing about a number of unwelcome symptoms visible in the skin, including thinning, dryness, reducing suppleness, easier bruising and slower healing times.
Luckily, thanks to collagen, these aren’t things you have to sit back and put up with. In clinical trials looking into the effects of collagen on wrinkle volume, the results were compelling. After 8 weeks of collagen supplementation with 2500mg of the Bioactive Collagen Peptide VERISOL®, researchers recorded a 65% increase in procollagen I production, an 18% increase in elastin and a 20% decrease in wrinkle volume. Translation: collagen helps you achieve smoother skin with visibly reduced wrinkles.
Elasticity and Firmness
That 18% increase in elastin is also indicative of another great benefit of collagen peptides for your skin: they help to increase the suppleness and firmness of your skin, slowing down another unwanted side effect of the ageing process. Clinical trials reported a 15% increase in skin elasticity after 4 weeks of supplementation with 2500mg or 5000mg of VERISOL B®, and the results were more pronounced for women aged over 50. In other words, if you’re after suppler, more youthful skin, collagen supplements can help you achieve it in a matter of weeks.
As we’ve mentioned, one of the unfortunate side effects of age-related collagen loss is that your skin takes longer to heal if it’s been damaged. That can mean that problems such as acne can hang around longer than you’d want them to. In addition to taking collagen supplements, our plant-based skincare collection is a great way to tackle acne both by deeply cleansing your skin and by harnessing the power of collagen.
Our Foaming Facial Wash, for example, contains plant collagen along with a number of other ingredients designed to balance acne-causing sebaceous activity and help you attain blemish-free skin. If you’re suffering from acne, combine it with our Hydrating Collagen Toning Mist, which reduces redness and inflammation and calms irritated skin. Take a look at our collagen skincare range if you’re serious about tackling acne with collagen and other powerful ingredients.
Beauty from the inside out
At Proto-col, we believe in an ‘Inside Out’ beauty philosophy, taking a 360 approach to incorporating collagen into our daily skincare routines. As we’ve seen, our skincare collection contains everything you need to complement your collagen supplement regime, so you can work towards healthy, younger-looking skin from the inside as well as on the surface.
When it comes to collagen supplements, the good news is that it doesn’t matter what format you take your collagen in - it works the same way however you take it. That means it’s totally up to you whether you want to take it in capsules, such as our Pure Collagen, in a sachet like Complete Collagen, or as a drink, as with our Collagen Shots and Collagen Cordial. In short, whatever best fits into your daily routine.
If your goal is healthy skin, it’s also worth thinking about choosing a supplement that combines the best collagen peptides with other ingredients designed to benefit your skin. Skin Plus is a great choice, combining Bioactive Collagen Peptides (VERISOL®) with vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc and hyaluronic acid, all of which help to promote healthy, supple skin.
If we’ve piqued your curiosity about collagen, you can find out even more about the many benefits of collagen or have a browse of our quick guide to help you choose the best collagen supplements for your own health and beauty goals.
Written by guest blogger Rachel Ramsay.