Nearly every ad for moisturizing creams will mention the magical word “collagen” and how much they will do for your skin. This leads to two critical questions, though: Do you know what collagen is and why do you need it?
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is found in the tissues of your body. It is an essential component of the connective tissue that is found in skin, bones, tendons, blood vessels, muscles and almost everything in between!
Collagen accounts for some 70% of the protein in your skin. When we are born, we have a lot of collagen in our skin. By the age of 25, our body starts to lose its collagen. By the time we are 80, we have four times less collagen than when we were born.
This is why the skin of a baby looks so fresh and lovely. The amount of collagen gives that plump look. In contrast, the skin of an elderly person rarely has the same look. That is due to the loss of collagen.
Not only is collagen essential for our looks, it is vital as an anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. Hydrolyzed collagen is the broken-down form of collagen that aids in so many functions within the body.
Where does it come from?
The protein is made up of long strings of amino acids, but they are not made inside the body. They must come from our diet or be introduced in another way.
The best way to introduce it into your body is to eat a diet high in vitamin C, which includes green leafy vegetables and brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
Some online websites are an excellent source of recipes for foods rich in collagen. One standout recipe is for a beef broth made with roasted beef bones and vegetables that are then cooked to form a rich, meaty, collagen-rich broth.
It is possible to take collagen as a supplement in the form of a powder. Current research has not yet concluded how beneficial this is.
What stops our bodies from creating collagen?
The lack of collagen in our bodies is the cost of living an unhealthy lifestyle. Carrying too much weight, drugs, smoking, alcohol and too much sun can all contribute to the suppression of collagen creation.
Pollution is also a significant contributor to the loss of collagen in the body.
If you want to increase the creation of collagen in your body, then eat a healthy, balanced diet, drink adequate amounts of water, practice regular exercise and reduce your stress levels.
The big question is, do the creams help? Well, yes and no. The creams will give a superficial moisturizing effect and plump up the top layer of your skin, but collagen molecules cannot move into the deeper layers. The only way to repair the collagen damage is to improve your lifestyle and rebuild from within.