What is Collagen?
Is it possible to eat (or drink) your way to better skin? Perhaps. What we put into our bodies has an impact on our skin and of course our health, and some people are turning to collagen supplements to improve their complexion. Collagen is one of the most buzzed about beauty ingredients since bee venom. It’s showing up in gummy bears, powders and as a shot in smoothie bars. It’s a darling of the wellness set. But what exactly is collagen, and how does it work?
Collagen is the main structural protein in our skin. It is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, and are needed to repair bones, joints and muscles. It also supports healthy skin and nails. Think of collagen as the scaffolding that holds up skin and bones.
Collagen makes up about 70-80% of the dermis and is what gives skin a plump, supple look. It also helps skin retain moisture. But as we age, collagen production naturally slow down. By some estimates, the skin loses 1 percent of its collagen every year starting in the mid-thirties, which leads to the formation of wrinkles and flatter looking skin. As collagen production dips dramatically nearer menopause, sun spots, brittle nails and dry hair make an appearance. Joints become less limber. The connective tissue between skin becomes thinner and the layer of fat underneath it becomes more visible, leading to cellulite.