If you’re reading this then it’s probably because you’ve heard a friend or seen a social media post raving about collagen products and wondered what all the fuss is about.
We’re here to give you the rundown on what collagen does for your skin and how to make sure you're getting the most from your collagen products.
So what is collagen?
Collagen is one of the building blocks of your body and is found everywhere from your bones to your hair and nails. Your body uses collagen as a kind of scaffolding to hold cells together, stop them from losing moisture, and retain the shape of tissues and organs.
Our bodies naturally produce collagen for most of our early years. However, when we hit our early 20s our collagen production goes into decline.
This reduction in collagen is the cause of many of the most common signs of ageing - including fine lines, wrinkles, visible pores, dull and dehydrated skin.
And how does it help in skincare?
Collagen makes up 20-30% of your body and it’s easy to see how important it is for your skin when you consider its purposes in retaining moisture and shape!
As we mentioned above, a reduction in the amount of collagen in your skin is the main culprit for wrinkles, visible pores, and many other signs of ageing.
We normally get all the collagen we need from our diet but as the body ages, or if you have a diet low in natural collagen, it’s harder for the body to convert this into everything it needs. And less important jobs, like keeping the skin on your face smooth, get sent to the bottom of the to-do list.
How can I help my skin get the collagen it needs?
If your diet is low in natural collagen then you may benefit from a collagen supplement in the form of a liquid supplement like Reverse Life marine collagen 10,000mg.
Another way to get more collagen into your body - and to put it exactly where you want it with collagen-infused skincare products like creams and serums. These products contain collagen in a form that is easily absorbed by the skin and can be applied directly to problem areas for a targeted effect. If you’re already a fan of our Reverse Life marine collagen supplement then you will be delighted to hear that we’ve now added skincare products to our range.
You can now look after your anti-ageing goals on the inside and the outside.
Collagen Benefits for Skin & Body
Now that we know what collagen is and how it works in our bodies, we’re going to look at six amazing ways it can specifically benefit your skin.
1. Smooths skin and reduces wrinkles
Wrinkles happen as skin loosens over time. This could be due to natural wear and tear, sun damage, or hundreds of other factors you may or may not have control over.
While there are lots of things we can do to help prevent wrinkles or delay their appearance (like wearing plenty of sunscreen), collagen can actually reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help keep skin looking smooth.
Collagen also helps the cells in your skin retain moisture -which is great, because moisturising is pretty pointless if the cells can’t keep hold of it! It does this by helping to maintain the integrity of your skin cells, which in turn prevent liquid from evaporating. All this increases the effectiveness of your moisturisers and helps smooth out the appearance of fine lines.
2. Increases skin durability and elasticity
Because of collagen’s structural role in skin cells, getting more collagen into them makes them tougher and better able to hold their shape… Leading to stronger and more elastic skin.
Increased elasticity helps to prevent wrinkles and lines before they appear by helping skin to spring back to its original shape.
This process also helps cushion injuries and prevent scarring by allowing your skin to heal quickly and smoothly.
3. Promotes skin hydration
We talked earlier about how collagen can help the cells in your skin retain moisture, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
But hydrated skin is about more than just preventing wrinkles… Collagen-infused skincare can also help your skin cells to stay hydrated and work more efficiently, preventing flaking and cracking that can result from hot weather and dry environments.
This works because the top layer of our skin is constantly being replaced. And all these new cells need a ‘collagen scaffolding’ so they can stay hydrated without being protected inside your body.
You can see why our body needs so much of it to keep working efficiently!
4. Fights acne scars and stretch marks
Imagine stretching the fabric from a pair of tights over a thick rug… If there are any ladders or holes in the tights, then the fabric won’t be strong enough to flatten the pile and you’ll see a bump.
The collagen layer in your skin works in the same way. With acne scars occurring when the skin is broken through multiple layers during a breakout, and stretch marks being the result of tears in the collagen layer when the skin has to expand rapidly.
When our skin has a healthy collagen supply it is able to repair injuries like this quickly and seamlessly, leading to less scarring when the injury is healed. Collagen also helps keep skin elastic - leading to fewer stretch marks in the first place!
Collagen products can help repair damage or lead to faster healing (so no need to throw away those tights just yet!), even when you feel like all hope is lost.
5. Hides cellulite
Cellulite happens when the layer of fat under the skin becomes lumpy and pushes up the collagen layer in the skin above it, creating a bumpy appearance.
While it’s true that losing weight can help with cellulite, it's more about the distribution of the fatty layer under the skin than about the amount of fat in the body.
Increasing the strength of the collagen layer can help to smooth it out and prevent lumps and bumps from appearing where the layer is weaker.
Just like our tights analogy… If you have a stronger fabric (or layer of collagen) then it’s much easier to smooth out the surface and harder for imperfections to show through the layers.
6. Reduces skin damage from UV exposure
There are lots of things we can do to protect our skin from the sun, including UVA and UVB protection, staying hydrated, and reducing the amount of time we spend in direct sun. But when damage does happen, collagen can help to reduce the effects and speed up repairs.
Many sunscreens contain collagen to help hydrate cells and moisturise the skin in addition to the UVA and UVB protection they provide. A collagen-based cream can also give your skin a hydrating and healing boost after a long day of sunbathing.
How to use collagen-infused skincare products to improve your skin
Collagen skincare products are incredibly popular as you can apply them exactly where you think your skin needs help. This increases the availability of collagen in a targeted way, as opposed to supplements, which simply boost your overall collagen levels.
A great way to help your skin heal and get an elasticity boost overnight is to apply a collagen-based night cream to any problem areas.
Alternatively, you might benefit from a collagen face mask that’s been specifically designed to target wrinkles and keep moisture and collagen locked into the skin.
Most of us get enough collagen from our diet but, while some plant products contain collagen, it is much more common in meat. So, if you follow a plant-based diet or simply don’t consume a lot of animal protein then you may benefit from a collagen supplement.
Always discuss any supplements you are thinking of taking with a doctor or nutritionist and try a topical collagen product in the meantime.
As well as using collagen products to repair any damage that has already happened, you can help strengthen your skin and give it the elasticity to bounce back by maintaining a regular skincare routine including collagen products to make sure it is always in tip-top condition.
Remember: healthy skin scars less easily and heals faster and collagen is a crucial part of healthy skin!
Go ahead and check out Reverse Life’s full range of collagen infused skincare products as well as our best-selling marine collagen supplement over on the website.