The reality is that taking supplements, or drinking collagen for skin replenishment is not very effective. Collagen needs to be applied directly onto the skin if you want to see effective results.
However, collagen supplements have been known to help repair the whole body. The body will absorb the collagen and distribute it to where it’s needed first.
Are There Any Benefits To Drinking Collagen?
There are many health benefits to drinking collagen. You may choose to add collagen to smoothies, shakes, bone broth.
Plant-based collagen has been found to assimilate with the human body better than bovine collagen. When choosing collagen for health reasons, think about what type of collagen protein you are consuming.
Our bones are predominantly made up of collagen protein, these are called fibrils. Collagen may be more effective than calcium at keeping the bones strong.
Our whole body is made up of different types of collagen protein. From the organs to the connective tissues, muscles, and tendons, skin, hair, and nails, etc.
Think of collagen protein as the scaffolding that provides support and structure to every part of the human body.
When it comes to the skin, the collagen protein gives it elasticity and firmness. As for the other parts of the body, the collagen protein makes bones and muscles strong.
Additionally, collagen protein helps to repair damaged tissue.
When we are young, our skin is firm and smooth. A youthful glow, as they say. Many of us don’t understand what collagen is, or that one day we might miss it.
Towards our late 20’s and early 30’s, we start to notice the changes in our complexion. This is because, from the age of 20, we start to lose our collagen stores at a rate of about 1% per year. This doesn’t seem like much, but it’s the compounding effect.
Over time the body’s collagen production diminishes, which is why crow’s feet and fine lines start to appear around the eyes, nose, and mouth.
The skin’s plumpness and youthful glow can also become dull. These are the signs that the body’s collagen production is slowing. Although the results are noticeable on the skin, collagen reduction affects the whole body.
Can drinking collagen for skin slow the aging process?
There are many cosmetic companies that claim that you can slow the signs of aging by using their wonder product. Some of them are good, and others are just very expensive short term gap fillers.
In saying this, if you were to apply collagen directly onto the body’s largest organ, your skin, it will lap it up. This, of course, raises some questions.
Can collagen my levels be replenished?
Well, kind of. Human collagen cannot really be replenished after it has diminished to almost zero. However, we can supplement human collagen by consuming products that contain collagen peptides that simulate human collagen.
The best way to replenish collagen is to find a natural, preferably plant-based, collagen. Why plant-based? Because it has a similar structure to human cells and is easier for the body to absorb.
How do you get collagen protein that can be applied to the skin?
There are a few options for getting collagen protein that can be applied to the skin.
As mentioned above, there are several cosmetic companies that offer collagen creams and lotions. Personally I prefer to go straight to the source.
I use Irish Sea Moss Gel, which I make at home. When it comes to drinking collagen for hair, skin, nails, bones, cartilage, tendons, muscles, and all the other organs. Irish Sea Moss is one of the best forms of collagen I know of.
How To Use Collagen
Collagen is quite the buzz in the wellness and skincare space. The claims are almost endless for what collagen can do, from beauty to gut health, strengthening organs and general health benefits all around. According to researchers, the results are out and collagen is undeniably good for you.
Once it has been processed into powders or gels, it becomes very versatile. In the cosmetic world, they add collagen extracts to various lotions, and potions.
Whereas in the health industry, people use powders and gels which can be added to just about almost anything you want. Soups, gravy, smoothies, juices, salads, whatever you feel like.
Which collagen type is the best?
It all starts to become a bit tricky when deciding which type of collagen is best. Do you go for Bovine Collagen over Marine Collagen?
Not only that, but there are so many brands that tout that they’re the best on the market. Some brands claim to have different types of collagen. So, how do you choose? Hopefully, we’ll be able to help you come to a decision.
Bovine, Marine or Plant-Based Collagen
Which collagen is best?
Some people claim that there is no difference between bovine, marine, and plant-based collagen. Then again, Your decisions will essentially come down to your values.
Bovine collagen is taken from cows. After a cow has been slaughtered, the human food-grade meat is sent off to the butchers. What is left is sent off to various places to be turned into pet food, or collagen.
The cowhides, bones, cartilage, horns, intestines, ligaments, tendons etc, are used to turn into collagen. The offcuts are boiled down into a stew, processed and then turned into gelatine.
Sometimes the offcuts are dried and ground into powders. Add a bit of flavoring and then this is bottled for human consumption.
Don’t think that animal-based collagen is restricted to cows. All animals that are farmed for human consumption are used to make animal-based collagen. If it has a beak, or hoofs, a snout or fins. You guessed it. All offcuts and less aesthetically appealing parts are used to make collagen.
Fish are farmed or harvested intentionally for the purpose of becoming marine collagen. The manufacturers use the ‘ends’ being the guts, scales, bones, and the like, and grind it up or boil it into gelatine. And voilà, you now have marine collagen.
The sad thing about this process is the treatment of the animals. In order for the processors of marine collagen to get the best yield, they tend to starve the fish they are farming. Starved fish are known to produce higher levels of collagen.
Yikes! Talk about animal cruelty.
For a long time, people believed that there was no such thing as plant-based collagen. However, in more recent times, Scientists have found an abundant source of plant-based collagen from sea vegetables.
Yay! No animals are harmed in the making of this plant-based marine collagen.
Structurally, animal-based collagen is comprised of larger molecules. They are called triple-helix collagen protein, which basically means that there are three strands of protein. Animal-based collagen is bigger than human collagen which is understood to be difficult for the human body to assimilate.
To overcome this, Scientists weave some magic to modify the animal-based collagen protein by adding cold enzymes.
They extract what they think is important, and break down the triple-helix collagen protein molecules in the interests of making it easier for us to consume. Now we have hydrolyzed collagen, and then they turn this form of collagen into a supplement. Apparently, hydrolyzed collagen is easier to absorb.
In summary, hydrolyzed collagen is processed collagen which is extracted from animals. Irrespective of which animal the collagen comes from, structurally the collagen is the same.
On the flip side, marine vegetables are packed full of collagen and lots of minerals that the body needs.
Plant-based collagen has a much smaller molecule size compared to animal-based collagen. It has been found to assimilate better with the human body making it easier to digest and absorb.
Can Cosmetics Replace Collagen?
Look, I won’t lie to you and say that using cosmetics will help you retain your youthful beauty. But I’m also not going to deny that there are benefits to using certain cosmetic products.
Personally, I think that there is a lot of great marketing that goes on behind the products to make us believe that expensive cosmetics are going to solve your problems. Lots of fancy words and beautiful images are creatively used to help convince the Consumer.
There are some amazing products available on the market which promote anti-aging effects, reduction of dark skin spots and treat acne.
Ideally, you would want to seek professional advice from a Dermatologist that can prescribe something suitable for your skin.
Hopefully, the product they recommend contains retinoids, Vitamin C, glycolic acid, amino acids, and copper peptides. After that, the treatment for skin concerns becomes rather expensive. From various types of laser treatment to lead lights.
When it comes to buying products containing collagen i.e. powders, gels or lotions, you must do your own research.
Many people claim that there is no such thing as Vegan collagen sources. However, I have found this to be untrue. There are in fact several options to replenish collagen and support collagen production.
When it comes to marketing, companies tend to use words that bamboozle their audience. For instance, their ingredients may contain, amino acid hydroxyproline, Prolyl-hydroxyproline, and hyaluronic acid. I mean seriously people, What the???
Vegan Collagen Sources
So, if you are Vegan (or not) there are a few Vegan-friendly options.
- Tobacco leaves
- Leafy greens and vegetables
- Green Tea
Tobacco leaves are dried and primarily used for smoking. Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, shisha, and e-cigarettes are all different paraphernalia for smoking tobacco. Given the bad press around tobacco, we’re led to believe that tobacco could potential to cause more harm than good…
Until recently, I wasn’t aware that tobacco was used as a spice in culinary dishes. Apparently it’s used for smoking meats to give it a different smokey flavor, added to chai for another dimension of spice, Tobacco tincture, added to cocktails and even deserts.
Wow! So versatile, I had no idea. Nicotine is still a factor to take into consideration, but small amounts may be okay. What do you think?
Green Tea and Matcha have been found to help support collagen levels in the body. However, they’re not effective at increasing collagen protein levels.
Then we come to Seaweed. There are an estimated 35,000 known species of Seaweed. Humans currently consume about 30 odd species. Each species of seaweed contain different levels of minerals and collagen!
There are so many benefits to consuming seaweed which far exceeds the collagen component. You can read more about the benefits of seaweed here.
Which Collagen is best?
If you were to find a natural, chemical-free, plant-based collagen, I would be supportive of giving it a try. Which is exactly what I did. There are lots of cruelty-free ways to consume collagen.
I use Sea Moss Gel which provides many benefits. From drinking collagen for skin, nails, hair, bones, tendons, and muscles to support all my organs.