The truth about collagen and skin: it's not what you may think
May 2022


The truth about collagen and skin: it's not what you may think

Collagen is an important component of healthy skin. Unfortunately, and as with many topics in skincare, it has become a buzzword we hear thrown around by a wealth of brands to help them sell goods.


It seems most everything currently contains collagen—even food and drink. As with many types of consumer products, not all can be trusted. Marketing collateral usually tells us just what we want to hear in order to push us into purchasing collagen-laden items. 


We’ve sorted through the chaos to provide you with the truth about collagen… and it’s not what you may think. We’ll cover how it works, why we need it, and the kinds of collagen products that actually work.


What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most copious protein contained in the body. Used to create the connective tissue that strengthens and bonds other tissues together, it is a component of muscles, tendons, cartilage, bone, and skin. Skin is the largest tissue of the body, and collagen plays a major role in maintaining its resistance and strength. 


While the body naturally makes its own collagen, the natural process of aging causes us to produce less as time goes on. And unhealthy habits like smoking, consuming excessive sun and alcohol, and lack of exercise and sleep further decrease collagen production.


What Does Collagen Do for Skin?

Our skin requires the proteins collagen and elastin to maintain its strength and resiliency. The two work together to ensure skin is flexible and elastic so that it continues to protect the rest of the body. When collagen is lost, our skin becomes thinner and less supple, often presenting as lines and wrinkles. Collagen may actually be the most important factor in keeping skin from becoming loose.


A lack of firmness in the skin means that collagen is being lost. This occurs naturally with age and intensifies due to unhealthy habits. Hormonal changes, such as menopause, also play into collagen production and loss.


Thankfully, the loss of collagen is one downside of aging we don’t have to simply live with. It is possible to support the renewal of collagen with the right products. 


Which Collagen Doesn’t Work

Not all products on the market that boast collagen-strengthening properties are proven to do what they say. There has been an upswing of collagen edibles marketed to boost collagen production. Some producers of drink powders, supplements, and broths (which may be restorative in other ways) promote their products as having collagen protein and have invested heavily in advertising that they possess the ability to firm skin and diminish lines and wrinkles. 


To support these claims, the companies boast results from studies that point toward ingestible collagen benefiting the skin and lessening signs of aging. Unfortunately, this type of research is usually funded by those same companies. If we want to eat better for better skin, there are proven ways of doing so, but the truth is that there is no hard evidence that consumable collagen reverses signs of aging. 


Scientists currently say that the digestion process breaks down whole collagen and lessens the likelihood that it can reach the skin in order to provide any real benefits. So be careful not to buy into the new trend of edible collagen. 


Which Collagen Does Work

We know that the right topical skincare is proven to increase collagen production and reduce signs of aging. Some products support skin in a way that helps it to preserve existing collagen, while others boost collagen production. Extra hydrating creams that help the skin maintain moisture act as protection from free radicals, promoting collagen retention.


Skincare that contains vitamin C supports the synthesis of collagen by encouraging the production of enzymes that are necessary for collagen to be produced. And studies show that the best collagen skincare ingredients are retinoids and peptides, which increase cell turnover. Renewed cell turnover means more collagen production. Firmer and more supple skin results.


Where Dermsilk Skincare Comes In

We also know that not all skincare is alike. Dermatologists and estheticians agree that quality-grade brands offer the best collagen skincare because of their concentrated formulas approved by the FDA and made to penetrate skin barriers. This makes them more effective, as they can deliver the active ingredients deeper in your skin. Continued use of quality-grade skincare will provide the increase of collagen production so many of us are seeking. 


Browse our curated collection of collagen supporting skincare

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