The concept of ingesting collagen supplements to encourage more youthful skin originated in Japan and is now catching on in the U.S. and Europe. The problem with anti-aging products, or any beauty products, is how do you know which ones are best for you and your skin? Not all skin is created equal, so not all collagen supplements will work best for all skin types. With the overwhelming amount of collagen powders, pills, and drinks available, how do you decide which is the right one for you? We’ve researched for you so you don’t have to spend your days exploring collagen powders. Read on to find the best collagen powder and the best collagen supplements for your skin.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein naturally found in the connective tissues of the human body. It gives skin support and elasticity while keeping it firm. The human body produces collagen naturally, but, as with many things, production slows around the age of 30. The decline in collagen production results in aging skin, wrinkles, fine lines, and a loss of elasticity and firmness. Now that you know the facts, it surely makes sense that women (and men) over 30 are looking for ways to hold on to their firm skin. The most obvious way to do this is by ingesting collagen supplements to make up for the decline in naturally-occurring collagen.
Types of collagen
There are 28 different types of collagen in the body, and the various types are better for different parts of the body. Type 1 is the most abundant form, is considered the primary building block of your skin, and makes up 80% of the skin’s dermis layer. Type 1 collagen supports healthy, stronger nails and hair and gives skin its structure. Type 1 is stronger than steel by weight due to its triple-helix design. Based on these facts, any collagen treatment you use for your skin should contain mostly Type 1 collagen.
Type 2 collagen is the best supplement for joints since it makes up 50% of the body’s cartilage protein. Type 2 collagen levels drop as you age, and the cartilage in your movable joints is weakened and stops regenerating. People who exercise a lot or play sports may suffer from joint problems earlier in life than the average person and could benefit from collagen supplements containing Type 2 collagen. Type 2 collagen is commonly used to treat the pain associated with arthritis as well.
Type 3 collagen also plays a vital role in the health of skin, hair, and nails since it is the second most abundant collagen in human tissue. Type 3 is more pliable than Type 1, which explains why babies and children have a lot of Type 3 with their soft and plump skin. As people age, Type 3 collagen is replaced with Type 1.
As a general rule, when it comes to skin health, look for collagen supplements that contain at least 90% Type 1 collagen and some Type 3 collagen.
Products and dosage
Collagen molecules in their natural state are too large for the body to absorb efficiently, which means they have to be hydrolyzed. Hydrolyzed Collagen is a processed form obtained by breaking collagen fibers down into small chains of amino acids called collagen peptides. This scientific process was invented and patented by a Japanese company several years ago and allows the body to ingest collagen and turn it into usable peptides.
There are many products on the market that contain peptides and amino acids but are not hydrolyzed collagen. This is where reading the ingredient label becomes essential. Though this whole process is very scientific, the main thing to look for on labels is Type 1 hydrolyzed collagen (collagen peptides) with high bio-availability.
Since all products are different, it is crucial to pay attention to the concentration per serving of your product when it comes to dosage. The proper dosage will also vary with age since younger people have more naturally occurring collagen than older people. As a rule of thumb, start with the recommended dosage on the specific product you are taking and adjust based on results. Older people may need a higher dosage than the recommended dose, and younger people may be able to take less than the recommended dose.
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