Collagen in a nutshell
We’ve all heard about collagen and how important it is to keep us looking youthful, without any filters from social media. Collagen is the most important protein in the body that forms the connective tissue or main structural support for our bones, joints, and skin. It makes up about 80% of our skin and is what makes our skin more youthful-looking. Imagine collagen as ropes of protein in our skin that is tightly bound. As we get older the ends begin to loosen and fray. So instead of firm-looking skin, they end up looking loose, saggy, and dull.
More production, less breakdown
In order to maintain our collagen levels, we need to reduce the breakdown. This can be done by minimizing exposure to excess UV light, pollution, not smoking, keeping stress down, and eating a clean and low-sugar diet. The other way to do this is to replace lost collagen through reproduction in food and supplements. Collagen can be consumed through the foods we eat like meat, bone broth, fish, eggs, algae, and spirulina. Interestingly, Vitamin C is important for collagen production and is a strong antioxidant that prevents the breakdown of collagen. Loading up on Vitamin C from citrus fruits and berries is a healthy way to do it.
So many options, how are they different?
Collagen in supplement form is more efficient because it has been hydrolyzed, meaning that the collagen long chains have been broken down into shorter chains called collagen peptides which are then more easily absorbed throughout the gut. This is what we called: increased bioavailability, and bioavailability refers to how much of what we consume actually reaches our bloodstream. The more bioavailable a dietary supplement is, the more efficiently it is absorbed, therefore triggering the benefits of the supplement.
There are many types of collagen supplements and creams available in the beauty and wellness industry, and that could be overwhelming. Collagen mostly occurs in the deeper level of the skin, called the dermis (which is lower than the epidermis), it is very hard for topical collagen in creams to reach this level due to the size of the particles. The capsule and powder form supplements have to be broken down by our stomach first, using digestive enzymes before they are absorbed by the gut and then are further metabolized by the liver or kidney before they can enter into the bloodstream. Sprays and other oral preparations on the other hand do not require to be absorbed by the gut and are instead absorbed directly by the oral mucosa and enter into the bloodstream. The advantage of the oral method of absorption is that it is faster to take effect and also will not be affected by our digestive system.
In the contemporary realm of skincare, a growing number of women are adopting a dual approach, combining both topical and oral methods to replenish collagen.
The Rise of Vegan Collagen
Due to its transformative evolution and increasing awareness of consumer choices, the skincare industry has pioneered cleaner and more sustainable methods to obtain collagen. A shift towards ethical and inclusive beauty practices can be seen in the ascent of vegan collagen.
The demand for superior quality collagen in topical skincare products has spurred a reevaluation of traditional sourcing methods. Vegan collagen in skincare is sourced from plant-based ingredients such as algae, fruits, and vegetables, while conventional collagen was once derived from animals. These revolutionary vegan collagen skincare products are meticulously crafted to emulate the benefits of collagen through a blend of plant-based ingredients rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. This synergistic combination works harmoniously to foster hydration, diminish fine lines, and elevate the skin's innate elasticity, providing a rejuvenating and nourishing experience.
Notably, vegan collagen skincare products are engineered for optimal absorption, ensuring the efficient delivery of essential nutrients to targeted areas of the skin. Despite debates regarding the bioavailability of plant-based collagen compared to its animal-derived counterpart, ongoing advancements in formulation techniques and ingredient combinations are actively working to enhance absorption and maximize the efficacy of these products.
Furthermore, vegan collagen can cater to a diverse audience by eliminating common allergens associated with animal-derived ingredients. This characteristic makes them a safe and confident choice for individuals with sensitivities or allergies.
Collagen is incredibly beneficial for our skin as it serves as the building block for our body to produce our own collagen, and then it also stimulates our fibroblasts which are the natural cells in our body that produces collagen to boost its production rate. Besides, it acts as an antioxidant that helps to prevent the breakdown of our existing collagen.
If we want to age gracefully, then collagen is necessary for us to replenish. We hope this article provides some guidance on choosing the right collagen products for you.