For centuries, Chinese women have viewed collagen as a Fountain of Youth, routinely consuming foods like donkey skin in hopes of smoothing withered skin and preserving aging joints.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, making 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen helps give structure to our hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments and tendons in our body. Thanks to collagen, we’re better able to move, bend and stretch. Collagen is also behind helping hair shine, skin glow and nails stay strong.
In short, collagen acts like a natural glue-like substance that our body constantly produces to hold our skeleton and internal organs in place. In fact, the word 'collagenis' derived from the Greek word, κόλλᾰ (kólla), meaning “glue”, and the suffix γέν (gen), which denotes “producing”.
Why Collagen? And How collagen will benefit your skin?
- Ensures Mobility and Joint Support: Collagen forms a smooth, gel-like structure around our bones. In turn, this supports joints for optimal function and pain-free mobility. On the contrary, however, things like swollen joints, stiffness, and lack of mobility are all a result of insufficient collagen production. This happens with age, joint disorders, injuries, or even excess stress on the joints from physical activity.
- Enhances Skin Health: Collagen is the main component of the connective tissues in our skin. Thus, when the body is producing a sufficient amount, skin appears vibrant, moist, and tight. On the contrary, decreased collagen causes skin to droop, loosen, crack, wrinkle, and become dry. It even makes us more susceptible to wounds, while also decreasing our natural wound-healing ability.
- Hair, Nails & Teeth: Similar to our skin, as we just discussed, collagen is a building block for hair, nails, and teeth. Sufficient production helps grow, strengthen, and maintain natural shine in our hair; it also preserves a smooth, clear surface for our nails and teeth — opposed to a weak, granular surface that is susceptible to cracking.
- Helps In Digestion: As mentioned, the fibrous protein structure of collagen forms connective tissues throughout the body — including the gut. It helps build a protective lining along the gastrointestinal tract, which keeps the gut sealed for healthy digestion. Also, collagen absorbs water in our intestines, which helps pass waste out of the body.
How to increase collagen on my skin?
“As we get older, we break it down faster than we can replace it,”. That’s why you tend to see wrinkles, loss of teeth and greying of your hair with. Here are few ways to boost collagen content on your skin,
- Massaging & Collagen Creams: Massages can stimulate collagen production and strengthen muscle memory. Applying collagen topically is easier said than done. The collagen molecule can't actually penetrate the skin; it just sits on the surface. Therefore you need to choose a product with collagen amino acids that are small enough to get to the deeper layers of the dermis to deliver that plumping effect you associate with collagen.
- Hydration: Keeping your skin hydrated with water, plant foods and hydrating skin care is possibly the easiest way to boost collagen.
- Dietary Supplements: Supplements can get to work deep in the dermal layers and strengthen your collagen from the inside out.