If you’ve searched for anti-aging solutions at any point in the last few years, you’ve likely come across some sort of collagen product promising smoother, firmer skin. Like kale was the powerhouse health staple in the early 2000s, collagen is the new “it” ingredient—particularly in the skincare world. That’s because collagen is to skin like calcium is to your bones or vitamin C is for immunity. Why? A whopping 75% to 80% of our skin is made up of collagen, and it lays the groundwork for youthful, uplifted, firm and bouncy skin.
But here’s the thing—consuming any food source or supplement containing collagen won’t bestow the results you can see and feel. People are flocking toward bone broth and collagen powders without considering one crucial factor: the collagen’s ability to actually reach the skin and effect visible change once it’s consumed. You see, collagen molecules in their natural state are too large to be digested and absorbed—and they’re certainly not getting to the skin.
In simple terms, your body can’t deliver regular collagen to where it needs to be. What you need to look for is a very specific type of collagen with excellent bioavailability; in other words, you need collagen that actually enters your body’s circulation system so it can effectively work its magic.
What Collagen Does in Your Skin and Why You Need It!
Although your skin appears to be a single protective layer that covers your body, it helps to zoom in microscopically to understand why collagen is paramount for healthy skin. In general, your skin comprises three layers: the epidermis (the uppermost layer you can see with your naked eye), the dermis (the middle layer containing collagen, elastin, connective tissue and nerves as well as hyaluronic acid, another imperative structural substance that can hold 1,000 times it own weight in water) and the subcutaneous fat layer (the bottom layer also called the hypodermis).
In the dermis, collagen exists in abundance. In fact, it’s made up of 85% Type I and 15% Type III collagen. Collagen is what makes skin maintain its elasticity, youthful resilience, plumpness and strength. In short, collagen is responsible for holding your skin together. Given its sheer presence in the skin, you can only imagine what happens once collagen deteriorates: sagging, wrinkling and crepeyness.
Most experts estimate that even as early as 20 years old, we begin producing 1-2% less collagen each year. By the time we’re 50, we experience up to 40% decrease in collagen—which is why the loose and wrinkled skin is a lot more apparent. And you don’t lose collagen only because you’re getting older and wiser. Your lifestyle choices can also deplete collagen production, namely consuming a lot of sugar, smoking and overexposure to UV rays. So it goes without saying: a healthy lifestyle is equally important to keeping your skin healthy and beautiful!
Replenish Your Skin Collagen With A Effective Collagen Supplement and What Happens Once Collagen Gets Into Your Skin
The good news is not all collagen isn’t mere hype—there are new advancements that allow your body to digest and absorb it efficiently enough to prompt collagen production in your skin. In case you are interested, you can also read 7 tips to buying the best collagen supplements that work for your skin.
Taut® Premium Collagen’s breakthrough technology, originally invented by Japanese scientists, allows the collagen to get absorbed by the intestinal barrier and into the bloodstream. The resulting collagen peptides and amino acids are then distributed throughout the body, including the dermis, and it’s even been shown they can stay in your skin for up to two weeks. The amino acids act as building blocks for the collagen, while your body recognizes the high concentration of collagen peptides in your bloodstream, triggering a wound repair response and activating a group of specialized cells called fibroblast to begin producing collagen.
The key to this patented technology is the breakdown of large collagen molecules into smaller, low-molecular weight collagen peptides—a process called hydrolysis. (For comparison, a regular collagen molecule is about 300,000 Daltons, or atomic mass units, while Taut’s is about 5,000 Daltons.)
Science Backs Up (the Right Kind of ) Collagen Supplements
When your friend swears by her newly radiant skin after taking a supplement, it’s tempting to try it for yourself, but it helps if science substantiates those claims too! There are plenty of experts who doubt that, say, sipping on bone broth—a popular food recognized for its collagen content made by steeping bones, tendons and muscles of animals—will deliver collagen’s benefits directly to the skin. Reason being the collagen molecule in its native state is simply too large for our body to absorb. There is, however, mounting evidence for supplementing with hydrolyzed collagen peptides, particularly those derived from fish collagen.
In one study published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, researchers demonstrated that fish-scale collagen peptides effectively entered the epidermis and dermis and were able to “activate fibroblasts and accelerate collagen synthesis” to considerably improve moisture and elasticity in skin. In another study featured in the International Research Journal of Pharmacy ,scientists concluded that fish-derived collagen peptides possessed higher bioavailability and digestibility relative to other collagen sources.And there’s more where that came from! If you want to get scientific and read more research, put on your lab coat and head on over to Clinical Studies
Where Collagen Is Sourced From and Which Is the Best
The collagen in supplements comes from animal sources, specifically the skin, muscles and bones of cows, pigs and chickens; the whites and shells of eggs; and the bones, skin, fins and scales of fish. While each of these sources offer their own types of collagen (fish collagen, for instance, offers Types I and III while bovine and chicken collagen primarily offers Type II), fish-sourced collagen is by far the highest performing type for beautiful skin.
Why does collagen derived from fish reign supreme? Here are some of the top reasons:
1. Fish collagen has been proven to deliver superior bioavailability thanks to its smaller particle size. In fact, it is absorbed up to one-and-a-half times more efficiently compared to other sources.
2. Collagen from fish is full of Type I collagen, which is known as the foundation for healthy skin.
3. Your collagen is largely comprise of amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Fish collagen is rich with all three—a complete collagen chain (collagen peptides) in the ideal amounts, composition and ratios. Their presence in the blood signals skin cell stimulation and collagen production.
What Age Should You Start Taking Collagen Supplements and How Much?
When you’re considering how much and for how long to take collagen supplements, it’s helpful to reference clinical studies on hydrolyzed collagen, which had subjects take 10,000 mg every day for an eight-week period to see a visible reduction in the appearance of wrinkles. So, consuming a mega-concentrated amount of of fish-sourced (marine) hydrolyzed collagen is ideal for boosting the health of skin if you’re already seeing some fine lines or visible sagging and deep wrinkles. One bottle of Taut® Premium Collagen Drink every day for 4-8 weeks will do the job.
So what if you’re not seeing any wrinkles yet? It’s never too early! If you’re in your 30s (when collagen levels begin steadily dipping—regardless of your lifestyle) or taking collagen simply for maintenance, you can take 5,000 mg to 7,000 mg per day.
Finally, similar to using anti-aging products for premature aging, you can take collagen supplements as a preventative measure. For this reason, many people in their 20s will start incorporating collagen supplements into their routine. Since your skin is still in pretty good shape in this age range, you can benefit from supplementing less than 5000mg a day.
My Personal Favorite Collagen Supplement for Skin: Taut Premium Collagen Replenishment Formula
Already popular and featured in many leading beauty magazines, Taut® Premium Collagen Drink checks off all the criteria for what makes an premium effective supplement. You simply drink one bottle on an empty stomach each day to flood your body with 13,000 mg of 90% Type I and 10% Type III marine hydrolyzed collagen (for reference, this is a whopping two to six times more than other brands).
On top of that, instead of offering only amino acids (remember, these are what collagen is made of), Taut’s hydrolyzed collagen is able to deliver high concentration small collagen peptides maximally into the dermis to trigger collagen production. Due to this concentration of collagen, your body quickly identifies the presence of collagen peptides and activates fibroblasts to repair and produce collagen in the dermis.
Taut® Premium Collagen Drink is also boosted by other key ingredients that are vital for healthy skin, including hyaluronic acid to deeply nourish and hydrate skin, vitamin C to support collagen formation, elastin to support skin elasticity, grape seed extract for skin cell support and protection, and ceramides to maintain optimal moisture. Imagine getting all the nutrients your skin craves in one liquid shot—that’s what this is. Best yet, the fish collagen is sourced from Wild Red Snapper, and the formula does not contain any preservatives and it's sweetened with natural plant sugar!
This tasty orange-flavored liquid supplement is easy to stomach and offers more than a 90% absorption rate—and most importantly, for some it can show on your skin after a few days. Your skin feels hydrated, smoother, supple and luminous. As for fine lines and wrinkles? Just keep taking for four to eight weeks and you’ll watch them soften up. You have to see it to believe it!
Collagen isn’t just a momentary trend, after all. Just get the one that does it right and you’ll be the next person to sing its praises. Remember, it's never too late or too early to start supplementing your skin collagen, turn back your clock and preserve your youthful skin.