Often times in the beauty world it feels like a new miracle product pops up every couple of months—one that’s finally going to clear up your skin and make you look like a baby again.
Recently, collagen is being touted as one of those “miracle solutions in a bottle.” You’ve probably heard of the beauty ingredient that is said to transform your skin to a youthful, plumper skin.
But does it actually live up to the hype? To learn more, New York City dermatologist Michelle Henry gives a 101 on collagen and everything you need to know about the protein and its many benefits.
What is collagen?
“Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin,” explains Dr. Henry. “Collagen makes up one-third of the protein in the human body and it gives the skin its elasticity and strength, contributing to a youthful appearance.” You can find it in a number of products from serums and moisturizers to injections, waters, and even beers.
What are the benefits of collagen?
Adding collagen restores damage from sun exposure and other environmental factors, adding a youthful boost to the skin. It’s also been used to restore brittle, broken nails, lessen back pain, and even prevent and help treat heart disease.
What about ingestible collagen?
Dr. Henry confirms it’s very safe to ingest collagen. “We process it as a we do any other type of protein,” says Henry. The current studies are mixed on whether the collagen we consume orally will be effectively stored in the skin to improve elasticity and strength. Before you start adding collagen to your daily regimen, you might want to look into more beneficial ways to increase collagen.
What should you look for in collagen?
Dr. Henry explains that there are many products on the market that can easily confuse customers. It’s important to read the labels and look for three main ingredients: collagen, elastin, and keratin. When the three ingredients work together in a solution, they provide the plumping and rebuilding of dead cells that deliver the youthful looks.
Dr. Henry also recommends being wary of collagen creams as they are unlikely to raise the skin’s collagen levels as collagen molecules are large and not readily absorbed through the skin. That’s not to say no creams work, you just have to make sure to do a bit a research before you purchase your dream cream.
So there you have it folks. Hopes this answers your curiosity about collagen.