Q+A Question: Should I be taking a collagen powder?
Collagen is a protein present in all of our bodies, in fact a most abundant one. It is important for many structure such as our joints, ligaments and of course our skin. After age 20, collagen production decreases each year. As we grow older this contributes to the appearance of skin laxity or sagging and an overall “aged” appearance to the face and skin elsewhere on the body.
As a society we put a heavy emphasis on appearance especially as we age, and marketing companies take advantage of that. For years now expensive collagen powders have been advertised as great for your skin preventing wrinkles and improving skin thickness.
The fact is collagen is synthesized BY the body in cells called fibroblasts into first a precursor form called procollagen. This then needs iron and Vitamin C to finally become one of many types of collagen. So instead of spending an arm and a leg on expensive collagen powders, take a much less expensive Vitamin C supplement! It will be much cheaper and more effective!
Tips to improve collagen:
*Eat foods rich in vitamin C: hint this isn’t just oranges, many other fruits and most of your healthy greens are packed with Vitamin C.
*Use a topical retinoid if appropriate. Retinoids have been proven to increase the production of and decrease the degradation of collagen in our dermis. *should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.
*Use topical products such as a quality Vitamin C serum and glycolic acid. Both, when formulated and packaged correctly, has been shown to increase collagen production over time.
*Avoid exogenous factors such as sun exposure and smoking. Both have been shown to break down collagen more quickly and increase signs of aging.
Of course we will continue to follow the research, but for now I can’t recommend supplementing with a collagen powder.